Room Name: The Play House
Business: Escape Space Games San Marcos
Date of Visit: April 8, 2018
Number of Players: 2
Our Group Size: 2
Official Description: The Play House takes place after hours at your friendly neighborhood daycare… but once the lights go out, things may not appear as they seem… Dolls, toys, and puzzles are fun to play with, but what if they decide to play with you… You and your team will have 60 mins to solve the puzzles and escape before you become just another toy in… The Play House!
Difficulty (official): Not stated. We were told that it was not their most difficult room.
Difficulty (experience): It is definitely the most frustrating room we’ve played.
Time to Escape: Did not escape.
Review: “A room done in the dark with flashlights!” we cried. “How cool is that?”
Answer: Incredibly hot.
We were excited to try Escape Space’s newest offering, especially after thoroughly enjoying The Endorsement. Instead of the decent quality of our previous escapes here, we were led into a tiny, haphazardly-slapped together room that resembled less of a ‘daycare after dark’ and more of ‘child’s bedroom after playing because he’s too young to know how to put away his toys.’ There was very little airflow in the room, and despite Texas being in a cold snap, we were sweating buckets after an hour in there. Escape Space has had problems with airflow in rooms, but this was the most noticeable.
The room was very tiny (smaller than my shoebox apartment in Tokyo), which made it difficult for two adults to maneuver around the furniture and solve puzzles at the same time. We had two already-opened locks, a lock so old and used that the letters were unreadable, and technical issues that, combined with the vague and sometimes misleading nature of the clues, led to an unpleasant experience.
(Note: This isn’t just us whining about losing – see our review of Houston, We’ve Had a Problem for our spectacular experience.)
The main puzzle was creative in its execution, as was one of the early puzzles. However, we spent most of the time sorting through the props in the room to find clues and puzzles than we did actually solving. When we asked for clarification on a puzzle that we were unable to solve at the end of our game, our operator gave off the impression that they did not seem to understand the solution either.
Hints Used: Too many. Our operator was also pretty clearly reading from a walkthrough -we’d ask for help on one puzzle, she’d direct us to something else that needed solving instead of what we were doing.
Clue Quality : Low. Some clues were clever, however one in particular cost us quite a bit of time due to its misleading nature.
Puzzle Creativity: A couple of standout moments, but mostly run of the mill. The unreadable lock was a huge stumbling block – it’s hard to put in a word when the letters are almost all completely worn off.
Rating: 1.75 / 5. Come on Escape Space, we know you can make some really fantastic rooms!
Fear Factor: None.
Things to note: This room takes place entirely in the dark and provides little room to maneuver – this is not a room for someone with mobility concerns. Escape Space San Marcos is currently running a Groupon for reduced price games.