Number One Escape Room
Written by: The Bat
The Shed is the sequel to The Cabin at Number 1 Escape Room in Las Vegas, but it is fun as a stand alone game as well. You have escaped capture by a dangerous serial killer, and are hiding out in a shed on his property. Darkness surrounds you and you need a flashlight to see. Missing posters coat one wall and there are boxes full of….well I’ll let you find out for yourself.
Props & Decor:
Many escape rooms use darkness to hide shoddy decorating, but with this room, that was not the case. The game host provided plenty of flashlights, and when you use them, you see that the decor in the room was done with an artists attention to detail. The skulls are dusty, the body parts are bloody, and even the floor is rough under your knees.
And this multi room experience doesn’t keep you in the shed. The premise is that you are trying to escape from the killer, so it guides you through his shed and on to your escape. It does this with a creepy dark subtlety that I haven’t seen in any other room. Even the lighting gradually becomes brighter, and I didn’t even notice until someone turned off the flashlight and I could still see.
The props were all in good repair, although there were not too many of them that the players could manipulate. Anything that moved was definitely part of a puzzle, and most of the puzzles were nailed to, painted in or in some way attached to the wall. While this is a good way to keep your room and your props in good repair and prevent theft, it does take away a bit of the fun “I get to play with things” portion of escape rooms.
The puzzles in this game were well laid out, if a bit linear. It did take multiple people to solve some of them, so more than one participant was involved at once, but only one puzzle could be solved at a time, so if you were not involved in solving that particular puzzle, you had to stand around and wait, possibly guessing at pieces for the next puzzles. Many of the puzzles spanned two rooms or more. Some were simpler than you would guess; do not overthink in this room. There were varied types of puzzles, which made them more fun, and none of them were impossible to solve. I believe our group only used two hints, and there were moments of “oh, that makes sense” after each one.
There was one puzzle that was a bit of a challenge, but mostly because you had to use a regular flashlight on a section of the room that was right next to the black light area you had to view. The flashlight kept interfering with the black light, so we basically had a rave going on in the room as we had to keep flashing between the two lights. The puzzle was doable, of course, and I’m not even saying it wasn’t well made. It could even have been done on purpose to increase the challenge.
The lighting and decor definitely set and keep the theme throughout the room. Walking into almost complete darkness at the beginning throws you into the scene, allowing you to adjust to your new situation as your eyes adjust to the darkness. You feel almost as if you should be sneaking through the darkness to avoid being caught, which is exactly the point.
Creepy trophies remind your mind of the danger you are supposed to be in. Hidden doors and crawling escapes jive with the fact that your groups is supposed to be sneaking away. A secret escape won’t always be through a simple door, after all. This room doesn’t just stick to a theme, it tells an escape story, and it does it well.
Dragon: There was one element that stood out as really odd and I’m torn about it. On one hand having to go back and forth to solve puzzles was really cool and the freedom to do so came in handy several times. On the other hand it broke the emersion for me, if I was trying to escape going back and forth would be one of the last things I’d want to do.
I enjoyed this room. Their hint system was by walkie talkie and our game host answered promptly every time. Every prop was in place, every key properly hidden, every lock was locked. It may not have been so unique that anything stood out. It didn’t have live actors, dramatic sound effects or pop scares. But it was a good solid room, with puzzles to solve and a story to tell. The hour flew by. We emerged a bit tired but triumphant. And that is what makes a good escape room.