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Category: New Braunfels

Escape Haus – Backstage at the Magic Show

Escape Haus – Backstage at the Magic Show

Room Name: Backstage at the Magic Show

Business: Escape Haus

Location: 1671 Interstate 35 New Braunfels, TX 78130

Date of Visit: July 29, 2018

Number of Players: 2-6

Our Group Size: 6

Official Description: You just started your dream job as a magician’s assistant. Tonight is his big show and he’s depending on you to set up the stage. As you enter the Prop Room, the door slams shut…and locks behind you. The show starts in an hour. Your dream job is on the line. The crowd is taking their seats. Will you find your way out in time?

Difficulty (official): None stated

Difficulty (experience): Easy-Medium

Time to Escape: 51:27

Review: My birthday rolled around again, and this time we found ourselves at Escape Haus! I was looking forward to this experience and hoping that we would find a room that was more entertaining than their Library of Secrets.

The room was decorated as we have come to expect from an Escape Haus game: many thematic accouterments around the room and room-appropriate wall hangings sold this as a prop room , though it lacked the detail we’ve come to love in some of the larger chain establishments we’ve escaped recently. We loved the giant trunk and the ‘saw the lady in half’ box made a great centerpiece. The handmade pieces in the room were the more striking elements. However, there was a lot of red herring decor, particularly on one side of the room.

There were a couple of moments of clever puzzle solving that we all enjoyed and we were happy to find several unique key locks in this room instead of more modern Master Locks across all of the puzzles (though, as with all Escape Haus rooms, there were a few). This proved to be the game’s high point as we encountered novel locks and an unusual one that we had not seen before. There was a slightly obtuse puzzle that frustrated us for quite some time and we stumbled across the answer, but chose to confirm it with our Game Master to prevent a lock that might timeout from impeding us any further. The puzzle wasn’t impossible, but our excitement at its completion may have been more relief than delight.

This room, as with many at this location, suffers from a ‘wall of locked boxes syndrome’, however this wasn’t as extensive as the wall of boxes in Egyptian Mysteries. We still would have preferred the locked boxes to be placed around the room instead of bunched together in one section. We really enjoyed a blacklight puzzle in this room, but when talking about the room afterwards, couldn’t really think of a puzzle that stood out as being really creative. Certain puzzles upped their difficulty by not being friendly to anyone with poor vision. There was also some outside knowledge required (which can be somewhat controversial in escape room communities).

While we had a great time going through the room, I don’t count this one as a standout. We were missing a magical element in our magic room that we very desperately wanted to see. This room could be easily rethemed without changing many of its puzzles and this is likely the room’s biggest downfall. This may be a great room for someone’s first escape room experience, or to introduce new players to the hobby, but Egyptian Mysteries remains my top recommendation for Escape Haus rooms.

We do want to give a shout out to our Game Master, who remained quiet and unobtrusive until we asked for her help!

Hints Used: One for an actual hint, one for clarification on a lock.

Clue Quality : Variable. We found one to be particularly clever, some were more direct, and a couple of others were just muddy.

Puzzle Creativity: A lot of escape room staples here; creativity was more focused on the unusual locks.

Rating: 2.75/5

Fear Factor:  None.

Things to note: Several puzzles in this room would be difficult to individuals with poor vision.

Escape Haus – Library of Secrets

Escape Haus – Library of Secrets

Room Name: Library of Secrets

Business: Escape Haus

Location: 1671 Interstate 35, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Date of Visit: August 13, 2017

Number of Players: 6-12

Our Group Size: 12

Official Description: A famous English detective wishes to retire and is trying to find someone his equal to succeed him. He has placed the best candidates in his Library of Secrets where not everything is as it seems. You must use your powers of observation and deductive reasoning to unlock the door and show that you have what it takes to be the next great detective.

Difficulty (official): Medium

Difficulty (experience): Medium, some clues very easy

Time to Escape:  51:53

Review: We’ve been wanting to do the Library of Secrets since our first time at Escape Haus. We had peeked into the room before and found the decor and theme to be interesting. Our group purchased five tickets, and we were joined by a family of seven, most of whom had never done an escape before.

The room itself is, like the other Escape Haus rooms, decorated to the theme (this one being Sherlock’s library). We were disappointed that the walls and floor didn’t quite tie into the Victorian library theme; they felt too modern. We realize this is kind of a nitpick, but after seeing the care put into the designs in rooms like Cursed Ship and Cabin Fever, we’re growing used to full immersion. We would have liked to have seen more nods to the literary Sherlock, like a journal or references to some of his cases.

This room had one electronic lock (not quite Victorian), but used a couple of interesting manual ones that we have not yet come across. Some of the clues were also quite clever, and we enjoyed the twist at the very end. We did appreciate the solution to a cipher in the room, but were disappointed when the clue revealed had already been completed, which rendered the code unnecessary.  

Like the other two rooms we’ve done here so far, several puzzle devices were reused. We were hindered by a lock that, while we had entered the correct code twice, were not instructed prior to starting the room how to manipulate it. It was only after the room operator heard me calling the correct numbers that we were told how to open the lock. She also seemed unsure of the puzzles and item locations in the room (after completing the room, we asked about the location of a piece we were missing and she had no idea where it was.) This was unusual, as the other two operators we had at this location were very knowledgeable about their rooms.

While we enjoyed the room in full, this could really be improved by different locks and slightly trickier clues. Most of the time spent was us running around trying to match code to lock versus figuring out puzzles.

Hints Used: Two unprompted (one for the aforementioned lock, one for a clue location.)

Clue Quality: The clues were very clear, perhaps a little too simple. There were way too many of the same type of combination lock, and a room dedicated to Sherlock provides a wealth of opportunity for interesting clues and lock variety.

Puzzle Creativity: For the library belonging to the master of deductive reasoning, there was very little to deduce. Most of the riddles and clues had solutions that were outright handed to us with no overarching puzzle or real moments of frustration or deducing. We were hoping to piece together a major puzzle throughout the room.

Rating: 3.25/5. The flavor was great, but the puzzles were lacking. This feels like it should be someone’s first or second room to get one’s feet wet in the world of escape rooms.

Fear Factor: None. The room is large and easy to move around in, even with twelve people in the room plus the operator.

Things to note: This room is very family-friendly. Parking at Escape Haus is plentiful, and as of this writing they do not have Groupon. They do offer a $5 discount on tickets for groups of five or more.

Escape Haus – Game Suite

Escape Haus – Game Suite

Room Name: Game Suite

Business: Escape Haus

Location: 1671 Interstate 35, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Date of Visit: February 4th, 2017

Number of Players: 2-6 Players

Our Group Size: 4

Official Description: As a child, you spent 2 weeks every summer at your Great Uncle Milton’s house. Each year you tested the new games his company developed. Uncle Milton has died and named you as his sole heir, but he wants to play one final game. You must use the clues he has left behind to escape his Game Suite within 60 minutes or his fortune will be donated to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

Difficulty (official): Not listed

Difficulty (experience): Easy

Time to Escape:  50:38

Review: Our group this time included two people new to escape rooms, and we chose on a whim to revisit Escape Haus for our second room. The staff was again quite friendly and we amused ourselves with riddles that had been set out as warm-ups.

Escape Haus makes a good effort in decorating their rooms, and one thing that we noticed was that this time, there weren’t several locked boxes lining the walls (which detracted a bit from our enjoyment of the Egyptian Mysteries room.) There were several flavor items included (such as other board game boxes that weren’t part of the escape). The casino machines and the oversized chessboard were fun touches.

While we enjoyed the flavor in this room, we did notice several items that we recognized from the Egyptian Mysteries room (particularly a certain puzzle item), and wished that there was more variety in the puzzle offerings. The clues were clever, however, and fit the game theme perfectly.

Hints Used: Two unprompted hints because we overlooked one clue and because we were not finished with another and we had put it away.

Clue Quality: Clear and direct (except for one that we had overlooked). The staff member told us that most players in this room miss that clue.

Puzzle Creativity: A few clever moments, but mostly ‘find the key and unlock the box’ puzzles.

Rating: 3/5

Fear Factor: None
Things to note: Escape Haus has plenty of available parking and at this time does not have Groupon. The rooms are all very family-friendly, and $5 is deducted off the ticket prices if you book a group of five or more at once.

Escape Haus – Egyptian Mysteries

Escape Haus – Egyptian Mysteries

Room Name: Egyptian Mysteries

Business: Escape Haus

Location: 1671 Interstate 35, New Braunfels, TX 78130

Date of Visit: October 30th, 2016

Number of Players: 6-12

Our Group Size: 9

Official Description: Your mentor, a world renowned Egyptologist, has made a history-changing discovery. Before he can announce his discovery, he is kidnapped. Apparently, some very powerful factions want to keep this discovery hidden and are on the way to destroy your mentor’s study. You have 1 hour to piece together the clues left behind that will lead you to where this discovery is hidden. If you can’t decipher all the clues, your mentor’s life’s work will be destroyed.

Difficulty (official): The staff has stated that this is their hardest room.

Difficulty (experience): Medium

Time to Escape:  58:00

Review: We booked Escape Haus’s Egyptian Mysteries room for our very first escape room, mostly because of me loving ancient Egypt as a kid. We found the building easily and were greeted promptly. As we were the only group waiting, we had plenty of time and space to try out the warm-up puzzles in the lobby. It was then that we were informed that we had inadvertently booked the hardest room, however we persisted on and requested hard mode for our hints (nothing unprompted).

The Egyptian room is meant to echo an Egyptologist’s study rather than a tomb as in most Egypt-themed rooms, and the room evoked a study/museum theme. Our room operator told us prior to starting that his mother was the one who painted the room’s murals, which fit in well with the theme.

Unlike other rooms that we have encountered, Escape Haus has the operator in the room with the players for the entire hour. However, just as we had requested, he did not give us any hints until an item in the room broke. However, this was quickly fixed and we escaped the room with two minutes to spare. The puzzles and clues were well executed and were integrated well into the design and theme.

The one distracting item was a series of locked chests lined up on one wall, which did not fit the theme in appearance. We felt that it was clear we had to open those boxes, and we were disappointed that so many found objects were in one position rather than being interspersed among the set pieces or other puzzles. After playing other rooms and seeing how well locks and chests were integrated into the overall design of the room, we found this to be a negative in an otherwise fascinating room.

Hints Used: Only the aforementioned nudge

Clue Quality: Clues were written clearly, and were challenging without being frustrating.

Puzzle Creativity: Out of all of the rooms we have played at Escape Haus, Egyptian Mysteries has the most creative puzzles. There were several multi-step puzzles as well as an overarching puzzle needed to fully solve the room.

Rating: 4.5/5

Fear Factor: None

Things to note: Escape Haus has plenty of available parking and at this time does not have Groupon. The rooms are all very family-friendly, and $5 is deducted off the ticket prices if you book a group of five or more at once.