Room Name: Silicon Valley
Business: Outer Rim Escape San Marcos
Location: 700 N LBJ Dr. Suite 112, San Marcos, TX 78666
Date of Visit: May 20th, 2017
Number of Players: 2 (the website lists two, the leaderboard shows larger groups may be allowed, up to 4)
Our Group Size: 2
Official Description: You’ve received a disturbing video message from your friend David Chen asking you to come by his workplace. David works for a leading tech company in the valley and his video leaves you worrying his life might be at stake if you don’t come down there immediately. Upon arriving at David’s office his door slam shuts and a video on his computer starts… Your life, his life, and the lives of millions of people hang in the balance of what happens in the next hour. Can you and your team figure out what David left for you?
Difficulty (official): The owner has stated on social media that Silicon Valley is the easiest of their three rooms.
Difficulty (experience): Medium, mostly due to the time used to decode items.
Time to Escape: 45:00
Review: We arrived at Outer Rim Escape and were promptly greeted by a staff member, who both did a great job explaining the room and helping us through a payment problem. She confirmed that we understood how to use certain items within the room before leaving us to solve and explore. Some technical issues early on hindered our puzzle experience, but they were quickly solved and we got right down to solving.
The room itself has visibility issues (no overhead lighting, light is provided by standing lamps), as well as visibility issues concerning one of the puzzles that we found more frustrating than the puzzle itself. The puzzles are quite linear and there are very few, but the room gets creative with its technology theme, and we enjoyed having to use electronics to figure out puzzles versus pen and paper. Having an available whiteboard was a great touch, though.
What we found disappointing was how the room itself is styled. We both work in technology environments, and found the room to be lacking in decoration (no posters or toys, not even a coffee mug or general office accoutrements.) Our excitement over the puzzles wasn’t enough to mitigate the lack of theme in the room.
We enjoyed escaping this room (and will be back to try out the other rooms). The staff is invested in providing a fun, quality experience in San Marcos, and they are reaching their goal.
Hints Used: One prompted hint that we had not fully explored an unlocked item.
Clue Quality: Clues are very linear and all lead to the end puzzle. We were a bit disappointed that unlocking one puzzle gave us all the clues to the next puzzle versus having to unlock several things to piece it all together.
Puzzle Creativity: Medium. Some fun surprises, but there weren’t very many puzzles to judge on.
Fear Factor: None. The room is large and easy to move around in. The door in this room is locked but the players can unlock the door from their side at any time (e.g. emergencies).
Things to note: Outer Rim has several Groupon promotions. It is situated in a shopping center with plenty of available parking. This room may pose difficulties for people who have poor low-light vision.