⏲️ TIME LIMIT: 75 Minutes
💬 DIFFICULTY: 8/10 (Official) | Medium (Mattster)
👨👩👧👦 CAPACITY: Minimum Of 2 Players
🔐 GAME TYPE:Private
💰 PRICING: $26.25 Per Person (2 Players Minimum)
► SPECIAL DISCOUNT CODE! ◄
Use code "VZTL8VR9" for 15% off any international booking.
(Minimum of 3 tickets required.)
► PREMISE AND OBJECTIVES ◄
Official Premise (from Mystery Mansion): After finding one of his childhood drawings, Alex is suddenly plagued by nightmares of "The Sleepyman". Seeking to rid himself of his night terrors, Alex turns to a hypnotherapist. Playing the role of his subconscious, you will need to help Alex figure out what's causing his nightmares... before it's too late.
► ROOM ESSENCE AT A GLANCE ◄
📚 NARRATIVE: One of the best parts of this game was its plot!
👀 VISUAL: Moderately good; everything else outshines this, though
🧩 PUZZLE: Satisfying choices and an appropriate amount for the story
🧠 IMMERSION: As immersive as being someone's subconscious (Very!)
🎮 REMOTE INTERFACE: Google Drive based, worked well
🏪 VENUE: N/A
💁♂️ STAFF: Mitch (the owner) was my avatar; he was one cool dude
💭 OVERALL: Unique story, able to toy with my emotion in a good way
🎟️ BEST FIT FOR: If you like a bit of creepy, plus great plot & great puzzles
🎫 IDEAL TEAM SIZE: 4 is probably a good size to ensure good pacing
awoke from a beautiful nightmare... Mind, body, and soul still intact. Whew.
"Night Terrors" officially joins the "MUST DO!!!" rank!
► A NIGHT(MARE) TO REMEMBER ◄
I wouldn't say I've done numerous remote escape rooms at this point, but I think I've done a good variety of themes. Creepy and scary has not been one of them yet, though.
Then "Night Terrors" crept up to my back and was like, "What's up-"
And I went, "AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
During my research for this game, I was very attracted to the premise of the story: Young man, disturbed, cannot shake off some dark and mysterious images from his childhood. Terrorized by nightmares of one "Sleepyman", Alex seeks help from a hypnotherapist.
First off, "Sleepyman"? Very Slenderman like, very cool. He's also giving me some serious Babadook vibe. My attention, successfully ensnared.
Then I found out the players will play as Alex's SUBCONSCIOUS and will help him navigate through his old bedroom, manifested by his repressed memories during a series of bad dreams?! FOR UP TO 75 MINUTES?!?!
Night Terrors (Credit: Mystery Mansion Escape Rooms)
The concept itself is definitely not something I've heard of, and I am dying to do it. Understandably, I got really excited when I got my first game update email. Inside, I found some background music to accompany the game (nice touch), and a Google Drive full of "Hands Off!" materials.
So to briefly explain the Google Drive business: these are files that you will access during the game. It could be audio files, reading materials, among other things. You are NOT to open these files or folders until clearly prompted during your mission. (In effect, this functions as your "inventory".)
Besides the *obvious* self restraint issue, I actually really liked this creative solution of using a cloud drive to distribute key information and items. (Obvi, Mattster always plays by the rules, so nothing was spoiled ahead of time.)
And since the Google Drive was very neatly organized, I was even able to open each folder in a different internet browser tab right before the game, fully in anticipation for easy and convenient access on my monitor.
(And it worked EXACTLY as I intended them to. Me likey.)
Google Drive based inventory system (All spoilers removed for your benefit)
Now onto the actual game itself.
The game took a very unique approach in introducing both the beginning of the story and your role for the next hour or so. To further consolidate the idea that you are now Alex's subconscious, you're given a task to do in a fashion that is consistent to your role, to officially start your countdown.
Now inside Alex's mind, through his eyes, you take command to scan down the entire room and start exploring every corner, and he'll do as you please.
Once again, the idea of playing someone's subconscious struck me as being very clever. Many great remote games give reasonable explanations to why you're playing through Zoom, most commonly crediting it to spy missions and gadgets. Plunging directly into one's mind--that's a first.
The production value for Alex's bedroom was decent, not extravagant, but realistic enough to be a regular place for rest. I would probably suggest adding in a wardrobe dresser to really complete the look.
Sweet dreams, Alex...
Maneuvering around the room was smooth with our Alex's (avatar's) movements, and any uncertainty was easily clarified since the Google Drive did provide a 360° view through a series of photographs.
As we explored and encountered our first few puzzles, the story unfolded, and we came to our first cut scene. This was the host's cue for the players to open one more Google Drive folder, and to examine the materials inside. Meanwhile, the camera went black, giving us enough time to take it all in.
Not really intending to spoil further than this, my point is to illustrate and compliment this peculiar segue. To the game's credit, I thought it worked really well. I mean, for us the subconscious to focus, and to recall and reflect, the body should rest temporarily, ie sleep. It makes very good sense!
As we "woke up" and continued working through more puzzles, we got a pretty good rhythm going, and everybody absolutely started to enjoy themselves immensely.
Except for Alex, he's still dealing with trauma. So much trauma.
"Night Terrors" was an immersive and engaging experience from start to finish
The puzzles were not excessively difficult, and most were gen 1 style that required us to translate cryptic (but well made) clues into numerical or alphabetical lock combos. Some flat out stumped us for a while.
I also want to stress that no one answer was blatantly given. None. It often took us several steps, a good volume of active thinking, to fully realize the final conclusion. And that, my friends, makes a truly satisfying brainteaser.
And "Night Terrors" got a good amount of them!
Tech based puzzles were also in the mix, and they functioned just as well.
Finally, I acknowledge that while some riddles felt a bit random, I am willing to give them a free pass since this entire sequence took place in a dream world. Nothing needs to make logical sense where people can fly.
Night Terrors (Credit: Mystery Mansion Escape Rooms)
I am going to stop here because I love this escape room so much, I really want my readers to actually experience it for themselves for the first time.
To receive the full impact of your uncovering the sinister twists and turns of the plot, as events got darker and darker, and onto the ambiguous ending...
Trust me, "Sleepyman" will make an impression on you, too.
Now, for my horror seeking fellow fans, though this virtual experience is not recommended for children under 14 years old, it is not that scary. I only screamed once, and a legit horrific room should make me scream at least 3 times. Yes, yes, I am now also your terror barometer.
PG-13 is probably a great analogous indicator, and do be aware that some minor cursing was present. If that bothers you, contact the staff prior to game to see if possible modifications can be made.
Finally, as suggested by the owner, the game becomes much more menacing if played in darkness, accompanied by the dreadfully creepy background music track (provided in the email).
I chose to skip both so I could actually see and make notes on my notepaper clearly for my vision sake, but feel free to put atmosphere first, and puzzle solving lower on the priority list.
And the Scream King/Queen Award goes to...
"Night Terrors" is like a self-contained episode of "Are You Afraid Of The Dark?", except you don't simply watch it happen--this time, you are literally the mastermind (get it?) that'll make it happen. In real time. Via Zoom.
The often sleepy EscapeMattster
► DISCLAIMERS ◄
We at "Escape Mattster" appreciate this company's hospitality and the opportunity to publish an honest review. Though game access was complimentary, we aim to provide *only* genuine & unbiased opinions.
All official media are provided by or credited to respective contents owners, and are used with proper permission for the purpose of this post.