HYDE & SEEK* - 60Out Escape Rooms
This is Escape Mattster's game No. 37.
Address: 1333 W Temple St, Los Angeles, CA 90026
Game: Hyde & Seek* (*Now Named "Hyde Circus")
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 09/17/2018:
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HYDE & SEEK // Grade: A
"...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
The moment I set foot in this location, I immediately felt, "This is it! I am here!" I had seen so many IG pics of this venue, from the *spectacular* mural art on the walls of the building, to the gigantic LED light happy face at the lobby, and finally the badass Cartel escape room complete with van vehicle entrance. The level of aesthetics here was on point. This immediately set the bar high for the final stop of our birthday escape room tour:
"Hyde & Seek", a detective mystery. Just what happened to children who went missing after watching a performance at the Hyde Circus? The chief suspect was the magician, though you have a strong hunch that he's innocent. Investigate the circus ground and clear his name before he faces the electric chair... in 1 hour!
What a clever way to put urgency in the game play. Hyde is definitely among the creme de la creme on the 60Out roster. Story wise, it's unique, uncommon, and it just screams wacky fun. Though plot wise, as you further uncover the truth, the ending seems a little bit confusing and convoluted, almost to the point that it doesn't quite add up to prior events--but it could be just my misunderstanding.
Whatever the case is, I still cannot deny the absolutely breathtaking production value that Hyde offers. Firstly, you enter the "room" by climbing, yes, climbing up the stairs and into a traveling caravan, one that is signature of when you think circus. As you continue to unlock and explore additional areas, the surroundings never ceased to surprise and amaze my eyes. Not only did all the settings look gorgeous, they made sense in terms of story, & one particular area even gave me a surprise scare! Hyde's got everything covered! Beauty, fun, and thrills!
The puzzles were equally high in quality. There were 2 traditional "locks" on door/gate, which were sensible, but majority of challenges were more hands-on and tech-based. All of them were perfectly in tune with the circus theme, and none of them stuck out as sloppily tagged on. There were two instances in which players would have to actually participate in circus acts, if you will, and those were just solid memory-making moments. I bet ya won't forget them for years to come. (Want mild spoilers? Why not check out some photos?)
I also want to praise on the way they almost "reward" you after inputting the solution correctly. There was usually a very loud noise accompanied with something opening, or falling, to indicate to players unequivocally that "You did it!" It generates a sense of accomplishment, while also pushing players along in the right track without any delay. Not every room out there knows the importance of such game design nuance.
My partner for the day was playing for his first room, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself, and effectively got hooked afterwards. With that in mind, I could safely conclude that the level of difficulty was at most medium. If we were able to finish on time with just 2 people, one of which is a complete newbie, you can, too. Bring 3-4 people for best results! (Yesss, we asked for hints. But that's highly encouraged to enjoy the complete experience.)
Now, onto the "bad". You know why Hyde did not receive the high honor of an A+? It came so close, but there were some design flaws. First, in the caravan room, I was offended both physically and mentally. I jest, but I, really, hurt myself pretty badly when I bumped into a central wooden pillar in the dark, TWICE. I bruised up my right palm and also got a minor cut on the back. Fellow gamers, play safely! (That's physical, now mental.) I also did not agree with the wording of a particular puzzle, but I could chalk it up as my misunderstanding of a certain simple vocab word.
Unluckily, we also ran into tech mishaps during the end part, when a certain prop box wasn't reset, though it did not affect the flow of game play. When asking for a hint at that point, however, the speaker system was severely malfunctioning, as I could not make out a word of what the game master said to me. My partner with sharper ears were able to decipher the hint after all, but 60Out assured us that the issue would be looked into.
But let's not end it on a bad note. I still appreciated everything gm Patrick did for us post-game. I was able to ask him questions regarding puzzles, and he patiently explained everything even though I seemed to go on and on, as I had so much interest and love for this circus room. He also took several souvenir pictures for us as requested, even making sure the photos would look decent in the right angle and lighting. It was the best ending I could hope for to finish our tour with.
To sum up, this new 60Out branch marks all the key points for a good escape room business, and I'll be returning to play Amityville very soon. See you on Ocean Ave next time ;)