THE HEX ROOM - Cross Roads Escape Games
This is Matt's game No. 2.
Venue: Cross Roads Escape Games
Address: 4245 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807
Game: The Hex Room
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 11/11/2017:
THE HEX ROOM // Grade: A
This review contains minor "spoilers": info from official website, trailer, or Game Master's briefing.
My group had 6 people, the best recommended number of players for "The Hex Room". There's me, who has done 1 escape room before, and 5 other newbies.
We booked "The Hex Room", and prior to the game, we had to take a personality quiz to determine who will be assigned to what role during the game. Assigning the right person to the right character choice DOES help you achieve your goals easier, so keep that in mind.
The premise: 6 horror movie characters cliches are kidnapped by a maniac killer who has a penchant for horror flicks, escape within 1 hour to avoid a horrible bloodbath.
My Game Master's intro was complete, thorough, and professional. (Side note: I give big props to Cross Roads for staffing such well-trained, friendly, and awesome employees.) He emphasized communication is the key to beating the game.
Then the characters assignment took place. I was assigned as Detective, so this review will be largely based on Detective's point of view. Each team member will be given a costume piece, which was actually part of the overall game, pertaining to your personal puzzle "The Hex Box". (More on Hex Box later.)
After that, blindfolded players were escorted into the room, one by one, and the game began.
From the trailer, I already knew the room was hexagon in shape, hence the name of the room. Each side of the hexagon had a door, leading to one of the following: The entrance you came in, Nerd's room, Jock's room, etc. Detective was placed in the common hub in the center of the hexagon.
Let's go over the visuals! As Detective, I was impressed by the decorations of the center hub. Everything was on par with an actual movie set. A+ work.
As Detective, I was able to directly talk to and look at all my teammates as each door will have some type of opening, such as a mail slot, or a doggy door, you get the drift. All rooms I saw were fantastically themed and done with such impressive details, it actually made my relatively plain Detective room look mild. Again, A+!
(As a side note, Detective and all characters, really, must be physically capable and mobile, so take that into account. For example, there is no way for you to talk through a doggy door without lowering your entire body down to the ground.)
As you probably guessed by now, Detective's role is not largely puzzle based, but rather, to act as the communication guy for your other teammates. Detective had puzzles, too, but you gonna spend most of your time running back and forth, from door to door, to help all of your teammates out. You may need to help passing key items around. You may need to relay CLUES. So if you want to solve more puzzles, or just not good/quick leader, opt out from being Detective.
Which leads me to: the clue system in this game. The Game Master would periodically call Detective via telephone to ask you if you want clues. You could accept or refuse. My group had people who are newbies, who completely froze, so I accepted. The number of calls made from the Game Master will vary based on your performance, I'd imagine.
As the game progressed, I noticed that I had to give clues to certain members of my team more often than other. I also got a taste of what kind of puzzles were set up in each room. Some were more intellectual, some were more physical, some were "scary". All grade-A puzzles. To offer such a wide variety of puzzles, Cross Roads outdid their market peers.
From the clues I was relaying, I knew the difficulty of each room was also unequal. Some rooms WERE easier than others.
As members of my group escaped their rooms one by one, time was severely running out. I had all the pieces to bust out of the main room even, but we were hesitant to do so right away. The reason?
"The Hex Room" has a 20% escape rate, which was what we were about to achieve.
But if you solved your own personal bonus puzzle known as Hex Box, you would be granted a medallion. Wearing the medallion while escaping the room grants you metaphorical survival in this horror movie based game. Only 5% of all participants achieve that. I desperately wanted to become that 5%, so good job to Cross Roads for coming up with this extra layer of challenge.
Since we had a number of beginners, we were racing against time to escape. At the point when we were a door away from victory, only two of six players had opened up their Hex Boxes, the other 4 were still actively pondering on their Boxes. With only about 2 minutes left on the clock, I made the executive decision to escape the main room, leaving 4 Hex Boxes unsolved.
So yeah, my group escaped with about 2 minutes left on the clock. (We did so with a massive amount of clues from the Game Master, I'd admit, however. Experienced players will not need as many clues, and would probably solve all 6 Hex Boxes, too.)
Now it's your turn to play.