Browsed by
Category: San Marcos

Escape Space Games San Marcos – The Play House

Escape Space Games San Marcos – The Play House

Escape Space

Room Name: The Play House

Business: Escape Space Games San Marcos

Location: 1508 Aquarena Springs Dr, San Marcos, TX 78666

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: 2/5. 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.

Escape Space Games San Marcos – The Endorsement

Escape Space Games San Marcos – The Endorsement

Escape Space

Room Name:  The Endorsement

Business: Escape Space Games San Marcos

Location: 1508 Aquarena Springs Dr. San Marcos, TX 78666

Date of Visit: November 25, 2017

Number of Players: 2-6, we recommend 4-6 depending on escape experience

Our Group Size: 6

Official Description: Welcome to the office of Aaron Brown, the world’s leading endorsement consultant. What’s an endorsement consultant? Let’s just say he can take a group of average Joes and Janes like yourself and give you fame and fortune beyond your wildest dreams. Bottom line is that this guy has the secret to making you and your team a legend, and his track record proves it. Aaron’s family has been in this business for years and he has been kind enough to offer you the same test he has offered all of his clients. Escape his office and he will give you the key to your wildest dreams. Can you and your team live up to the challenge, or will your defeat lead to more than you know?

Difficulty (official): The employees told us that this is their medium-difficulty room.

Difficulty (experience): Easy-medium

Time to Escape: 46 minutes (approximate)

Review: We had previously played their easiest room, Silicon Valley, at their old location and we had discussed coming back to experience the other rooms they had to offer. We had reservations about booking the room because of several copy errors in the room description making us question the attention to detail in the room itself, however, we agreed we had an enjoyable experience in Silicon Valley and decided to take advantage of their Christmas special to bring a larger group to play (including a new player).

We had difficulty finding the new location, but only because of assumptions that our driver made getting to the escape room. Following Google Maps will get you to the room with no issue. Despite our own issues we still found the new location with time to spare. We were all warmly welcomed and were impressed again by the level of customer service. The two staff members were happy to answer all of our questions and invited us to try their wheel of chance (which could add/remove time off our clock, give us an extra hint, or provide prizes – our group declined).  We were then shown to our room for the night.

The first thing that we all noticed was the size of the room—it was quite tiny. We were concerned about the number of puzzles that could be present in such a small room, but went ahead and started trying to uncover the office’s secrets. Despite its size, the ambiance of this office was much more detailed than Silicon Valley. There were general office accoutrements present that we had missed—coffee mugs, photos on the walls, knickknacks, etc. that added a more realistic touch—in the previous room. We had fun exploring the smaller details, particularly in the second act.

While there weren’t a large number of puzzles, the variety included set piece manipulation as well as standard lock boxes and mental puzzles. We all found puzzles that catered to our strong solving points and had fun surprising each other with hidden talents. One puzzle did suffer from technical failure—we had solved it correctly, but the staff had to intervene and ask us to try again. We did feel that one particular set piece was under-utilized and could have been more involved in puzzle-solving, but overall many of the items in the room were a part of the escape. After 46 minutes in the room, we were able to piece together the solution to the room and escape (with our first top spot on a leaderboard).

Overall, Endorsement is an enjoyable puzzle room that embodies the home-grown aspect that we’ve come to love in escape rooms in small cities. We were excited to learn about their newest build and are eager to try it once it’s ready to go.

Hints Used: Two unprompted (one for technical failure; one to alert us to our next puzzle, the location of which was less than obvious).

Clue Quality : Clues were cleverly presented, but were not obtuse or vague.

Puzzle Creativity: There were a few standout puzzles in both acts, including one that we all agreed had a fun solution.

Rating: 3.75/5

Fear Factor:  No real fear factor, however there are some darker themes.

Things to note: Escape Space has limited parking, carpool if possible. This room has a low-light sequence that may impede those with poor low-light vision. Escape Space runs frequent promotions on their Facebook page and often has Groupon discounts.

Outer Rim Escape San Marcos – Silicon Valley

Outer Rim Escape San Marcos – Silicon Valley

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.

Rating: 3.5/5

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.