Room Name: Spy Safe House
Business: Maze Rooms Austin
Date of Visit: June 23, 2019.
Number of Players: 2-8, we recommend 6 max
Our Group Size: 4
Official Description: The year is 1972, and the United States is in the midst of a Cold War with Russia and the entire Soviet Union. America lives in fear of Soviet spies living among them, threatening the American way of life. The government responds by sending the best of the best investigators to catch these spies and send them packing back to USSR empty handed. It’s an era where tensions were high, trust was low, and espionage was thriving!
Difficulty (official): The staff told us this was their easiest room, they pegged it at a medium difficulty.
Difficulty (experience): Medium-Hard.
Time to Escape: Approximately 58 minutes.
Review: Maze Rooms Austin is located in a nondescript building; however being on one of Austin’s main roads made it easy to find, just tucked away in a business park. We were questioning if the GPS had led us to the correct place as we missed any signage as we approached and the building looked closed. But this time, Google hadn’t failed us; we found the logo on the door and were let in as soon as we rang the bell.
We spoke with our gamemaster before the game about other rooms both in the area and in Houston and he gave us several recommendations for rooms for which he had previously worked or escaped. We appreciated the chat and the excitement he brought to our event that day and were happy for the new rooms we have added to our to-escape list.
Maze Rooms did a fantastic job with decorating this room. It felt extremely early 70s without going into stereotypes – no disco balls or shag rugs to be found. The apartment looked authentic which made us feel right at home in our roles as federal agents investigating a clever spy. Wires and mechs were hidden well for the most part, and all of the puzzles were integrated well into the rooms. There were few traditional lock and key puzzles but the ones present fit the theme of the room.
The first big reveal was incredibly clever and we loved how seamlessly it fit into the room’s spy plot. From this point forward we fell deeper and deeper into a world of espionage and deception. We encountered a simple but unique clue in the games middle act that got us all excited at its discovery and were most impressed and engaged in the immersion of the room at the reveal of a historic event which was part of the story and a clever clue. For the most part, Maze Rooms put a unique spin on their puzzles and our group appreciated the variety of tasks we had to accomplish.
We did discover a few drawbacks to the room for our experience. Some puzzles felt more scavenger hunt than puzzle; some pieces were hidden in non-intuitive locations and there was no room guidance for how many pieces we needed to find. Our team got hung up on an audio puzzle that we found difficult to understand and decipher even after discovering the correct key. There was also a puzzle in the room that some in our group felt more like busywork than one that led to the final solution. If the puzzle was reworked or taken out entirely, it wouldn’t detract from the game difficulty, perhaps only marginally from the game length.
Overall, this is not a room to miss while in Austin. We look forward to trying the other offerings from Maze Room in the future!
Hints Used: Maze Rooms offers five hints per room, we used four.
Clue Quality : Extremely well done with one difficult exception mentioned above. This room excelled with giving wordless hints.
Puzzle Creativity: High. There are still puzzles in the room that we enjoy discussing months later.
Rating: 4.75 / 5.
Fear Factor: None.
Things to note: The first act of the room takes place in a small space, however this opens fairly quickly and did not provoke claustrophobic feelings. Some areas of the room are lowlight, and there are two audio puzzles that may be difficult for the hard of hearing. There is plenty of parking in the office and shopping center where Maze Rooms is located.