🚶 LIVE ELEMENTS: Live Audio Narration, Media Shown Via Share Screen
🔎️ OTHER NOTES: Host's Face Not Shown
► PREMISE & OBJECTIVES ◄
Official Premise (from Escape Room LA):
You fall into a deep hole in the earth and find yourself trapped inside an ancient lost pyramid, deep in the Mayan jungle. Solve the riddles and challenges of the mysterious pyramid and escape before your time runs out! (Note to previous participants: If you’ve played THE PYRAMID at Escape Room LA, this is a completely new and different game!)
► "GAME AT A GLANCE" SUMMARY ◄
📚 NARRATIVE: Lost in a Mayan pyramid deep in the jungle, must get out! (Mosquitoes!)
👀 VISUAL: Lacking; an image overhaul and revamp would do wonders
🧩 PUZZLE: I enjoyed majority of them! Nothing difficult, but a decent roster with no true dud
🧠 IMMERSION: Okay; I would suggest more sound and transition effects for best results
🎮 REMOTE INTERFACE: Zoom conference app, screen share function with live audio
💁♂️ STAFF: Laura, my host from "Dark Raven", moderated once again; lovely experience
💭 OVERALL: A great first effort from the company, though already surpassed by itssiblings
🎟️ BEST FIT FOR: Those who prefer an audio led experience, or an "exploration" theme
🎫 IDEAL TEAM SIZE: 1-2 for experts, 3-4 for all others
I'M A COMPLETIST
Escape Room LA offers a total of 3 live streaming, audio led escape rooms. As of my publishing of this final review, I have officially completed all 3! Whoo!
Make note, however, I did the 3 games in reverse chronological order of debut. "The Lost Pyramid" actually came first, then the other 2 titles were added later. This would become relevant later.
Visually, I have to be honest, "The Lost Pyramid" only had so-so graphics, and easily the least impressive of the 3. However, considering how this was the company's freshman effort at this new genre, it's understandable.
In addition, there's a general trend of improvement in later games, so I'll overlook it.
Plot wise, it's a bit trite, but the classic "falls into a pit, though it turns out to be the exact entrance we're looking" shtick still works. No need to fix what's not broken.
The Lost Pyramid (Credit: Escape Room LA)
The actual puzzle portion of the escape room was, to my delight, much better in execution.
The setup was simple, but clean, and easy to comprehend, and I am a fan of such organization.
In short, an overheard view of the main chamber is presented on screen, much like a map, with points of interests marked. Our job was of course to interact with each, collect clues, then input solutions to advance.
The total amount of challenges were adequate; variety was also sufficient. Some did not come off as natural as the Mayans did not use the English language (I think); otherwise, they were mostly appropriately themed and enjoyable.
Yes, they still leaned towards the "easy for kids" genre, but by now, I've come to know what to expect and decide to just embrace it.
In fact, in the game's defense, the same puzzle concepts could've been translated into a real life physical escape room quite easily, and I could imagine its being a real hit, even among adults! Of course, you know, they would have to be introduced in an Indiana Jones like movie grade set. It's all about the presentation, my friends.
Overall, there were some rather solid puzzles in "Lost Pyramid", but the less than stellar stock images were unfortunately weighing the game down from becoming truly outstanding.
WE TRIO MADE IT EXTRA FUN
This duo explorer team, consisted of Escape Mattster & Kayla (another local enthusiast), were determined to transform an otherwise novice escape game into an excitement filled experience--we did it as a speed run! Knowing we would probably solve everything promptly due to our combined experience, we ran through the imaginary historic site as fast as we could.
24 minutes later, we emerged victorious!
24 minutes is the time to beat, folks!
Part of me was aiming to attempt the impossible, to finish the game within a quarter of the hour. Alas, it was indeed impossible this round, though our game host Laura congratulated us on our record breaking time--the shortest she's seen in her hosted sessions.
All right, we'll take that!
Laura was also amiable, quick on her feet, and knew how to handle our silly request to make popcorn. (Yeah, that happened.) A friendly post game chat also revealed she was none other than the famous detective's assistant who once mingled with a certain funny O'Brien.
All in all, fun times. Though my preference order, purely based on pre-set game contents and materials, would be: 1) Dark Raven, then 2) Planet X, then finally 3) Lost Pyramid.
ONE LAST NOTE
Due to the current pandemic, many indoor businesses in Los Angeles county, including escape room companies, have been forced to shut down, unable to operate at their physical locations for months. My patronage for "The Lost Pyramid" was a tiny gesture of support, and I hope this series of reviews for Escape Room LA's online options will prove helpful for everyone.
The reason why we even have this massive escape room culture of a pastime is you: owners, creators, designers, and investors of the industry, especially those who had been nothing but kind to me in the past, you continue to be in my prayers.
Until then, we should band together in solidarity: wear a mask, wash your hands, and social distance whenever and wherever possible. Do your part to keep our small businesses open.
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