[N/A] THE KRAMPUS - 60Out Escape Rooms
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This is Matt's game No. 4.
Venue: 60Out Escape Rooms (Downtown Branch)
Address: 2284 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007
Game: [Closed] The Krampus
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 12/23/2017:
THE KRAMPUS // Grade: A-
"...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
My group thought it'd be fun to do a Christmas themed game "Krampus" around Christmas time, and we were right! (This room would be fun any time of the year, though.)
The premise: you're sent by the PD to investigate the disappearance of children. The Krampus killer has trapped them all inside this apartment, and it's your job to (possibly) rescue them out within an hour... or face Krampus's return home.
Ok, so the story is the yoush, with Xmas twist. What set this room apart from others was definitely the scary factor! 60out actually tried very hard to make you believe the killer was around the corner, ready to strike. I had done two other horror themed rooms before, and while they were creepy, they weren't scary. I never really had the feeling that an actual killer (or anything, for that matter) may jump out at me. Those previous rooms didn't make me scream. Krampus, however, made me scream 3 to 4 times. So! If you're looking to do an actually fear-inducing room, THIS. IS. IT. DO IT!
What made me scream? Krampus was littered with sensory effects that are thrown at you at various points of the game. These could be, but not limited to, sounds, lighting, and a few other surprises. To be a little more specific: this room took advantage of the natural fear of darkness (or minimal light sources) very effectively. This, along with few other tricks, was the main reason why I would recommend this room. The fact that these effects made me feel completely immersed in the story line, making my heart pump and my mind uneasy, was admission-worthy. Every time a room is able to successfully toy with my emotions in a good way, thumbs up!
Let's move on to the visuals. To date, I've only been to quality escape rooms, and the props in previous rooms were all well maintained and "movie quality".
As to Krampus... well, Krampus tried. If the goal here was to create a dread-filled apartment, then they'd succeeded. With that said, the props were somewhat run down and old. While this may not interfere with the theme, per se, I would appreciate their looking that way without *actually* being run down and old. Many items were worn out due to overuse. One or two key items actually smelled kinda bad. If 60out can Lysol everything down regularly, and rid of any yucky smell, I would greatly, greatly appreciate it. Regular upkeeps of key items would also be super!
The puzzles themselves were not hard. Fun, but not hard, somewhat formulaic. As someone who's familiar with escape room puzzles, I could confidently solve most of these without much struggling. One particular puzzle, however, was oddly physical, and it's my favorite task of the game. It really worked out my arms. All in all, these are decent puzzles, and fit for a broad range of audience. For the sake of reviewing, I'd say this room could benefit from making the puzzles a tad harder, or fill the room with maybe 2 or 3 more puzzles for the main story portion...
...that's because the room actually contained "a bonus section".
The bonus puzzles are entirely optional, but they do grant the players an actual prize item upon exiting the room. However, here's where it got tricky: I personally felt like there really wasn't enough time to solve both the main story puzzles and the bonus puzzles. The bonus part was actually quite long and complex, and would take up much time to complete, which was unconventional for anything "bonus".
So you can kinda either do the main story puzzles really, really fast, then solve the bonus ones, then escape? Or more realistically, you kinda work on the bonus ones, risk on running out of time, give up, and escape anyway? I think that's what the owners wanted us to do. They wanted to us to continually solve puzzles at our own time, but still have the option to escape at any given time, since the main story puzzles can be completed quite swiftly.
Whatever the case was, I think there could be some tweaking that make this whole experience even more rewarding.
In-game clue system was simple, direct, and immersive enough. Our group actually used 2 hints due to our being completely blind and failing to find one key item (TWICE! Hence, the 2 hints!), which got us stuck for quite some time. So, my fellow escapers, look at every inch of this room carefully!
Lastly, I thank the staff for being friendly and well trained. My 5th member of the group couldn't attend due to the flu, and my game master automatically provided a partial refund without my asking. I was actually under the impression that there'd be no refund at all! When the game was done, he also took great patience to help us take very decent pictures. My entire experience was enhanced by such professionalism. Again, thumbs up!
With all said above, I really wanted to rate Krampus 4.5 stars. Since no half star is allowed, I up'd it to 5. When this location features more than 1 room again, I would happily return.