Elegant, classy, mysterious, but a little too easy for fancy experts like us | Mission Escape Games (Anaheim)
COMPANY: Mission Escape Games (Anaheim Branch)
ADDRESS: 400 Disney Way Ste 313 Anaheim, CA 92802
GAME: Escape The Hydeout
PREMISE: The good Dr. Jekyll has been acting strangely for weeks and has gone missing. A crazy fellow has been causing chaos in town so you’ve been hired to investigate. Can you find out what happened to Dr. Jekyll before Mr. Hyde returns…
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 07/25/2018:
Before my actual review for "Escape the Hydeout", let me have a little "rant". ;)
Forgive me, but I'm really NOT a fan of non-private games. I highly prefer playing with those I know well. Escape games require meticulous communication, & sometimes in tense situation under time pressure, may involve occasional bickering--& I don't wanna potentially present myself as a crazy, yelling mofo in front of strangers!
Out of 6 spaces, 4 were taken: me, mi amigo, & 2 strangers we'd never met before. In the past, I've always had the luck of having the room to myself despite not having reserved it to max capacity. Today, the universe threw me a curve ball--so how did it go?
SURPRISINGLY FANTASTIC! Given, your experience may vary, but I was fortunate enough to be paired up with a father & daughter duo, who were just lovely. The daughter, despite being a young child, was already a regular escape room player all over CA--how friggin' cool is that?
I've brought this up specifically to illustrate that, despite public games' sometimes having a bad rep, when managed with care, & with a little bit of luck, they could turn out to be such decent experience. I actually enjoyed interacting with both newly met partners throughout the entire game. And my only hope was that they had as good of a time with us as I did with them two!
Now the actual review! The mysterious & tragic story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde... just whatever happened to the marvelous doctor? He's disappeared, and who exactly was this new Hyde fellow? Dr Jekyll has mindfully locked away all his secrets in his study, and you have 1 hour exactly to unravel what he's hidden, and escape before the unthinkable happens. As far as narrative goes, if you know "Jekyll and Hyde", you pretty much know what's in store. Though there's very little mystery involved, I commend the company on utilizing a theme that's rarely used in the LA market. (Note: this room is NOT scary.)
Mission does, however, commit to this theme fully and extensively, constructing the room to be as immersive as possible. Upon entering, you'd most probably be in awe of just how exquisite the set looks. All prop pieces were made to fit the Victorian age (...right?), with much consideration to what textures, colors, and styles the pieces should employ. Everything came together as one in such a well-polished looking final product. (Our GM Sara said that, due to proximity to Disney, this venue must elevate the experience to a comparable level to stay relevant in Anaheim. You know what, "Mission" accomplished.)
I particularly want to praise the company for framing the LCD monitor with a picture frame to make an otherwise out-of-era tech piece more era appropriate, though I did find the inclusion of combo locks and Master brand padlocks a bit questionable in the setting of the story. No such locks existed back then? (Alas, that's just my nitpicking, and if you're willing to glance over minor imperfections, this game still rocks.)
The puzzles were actually on the easier side. With the 4 of us all having done rooms before, and with me at my 29th room today, we pretty much burned through the entire room without many hiccups. We had problem getting started with our very first puzzle, and got stuck a bit towards the end, but for the most part, this was a great introductory room for beginners, but a bit formulaic for enthusiasts. If you know your escape room logic well, you'll champion in this game. (Having only used 2 hints, we escaped in about 36 minutes. So hey, loners-experts! Even if you decide to play solo, this is completely doable!)
The level of difficulty did not dictate the level of enjoyment... at least not for me! A very nice mixture of gen 1 (lock based) and gen 2 (tech based) game play, this was one of my favorite formats of escape rooms, and I enjoyed Hydeout thoroughly, from start to finish. Every time something magical happened (ie special fx!), it felt rewarding, yet suspenseful, not knowing where it'd lead you next. Bonus: since the puzzles were not too challenging, my young partner (the daughter) were able to fully participate and solve some puzzles entirely on her own, without much help from any adult at all. Seeing a child fully integrated in-game, and being as mesmerized as I was in the very same hobby, was rewarding.
Lastly, I want to thank our GM Sara for being so friendly, kind, and well-prepared from start to finish. She was very thorough in introducing the rules and the story, was helpful before and after the game, and undoubtedly brought a smile to everyone's faces by being a total pro.
If you're looking for a Class A escape experience in Anaheim, this is it. As for me... See you again soon, Mission Escape Games! The next time we meet, you'll try to kill me in an "Hour", one that is nothing but "The Darkest". Gimme your best effort; I'll be ready.
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