Skeleton Key: The Cursed Crypt

Game experience: EXCELLENT
Immersion5,0 stars    Puzzles   4,0 stars    Hosting   5,0 stars
Plus Minus
Very convincing actors.
Beautiful decors.
Some puzzles might be improved.

Book here

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Manoir de Paris’ is a haunted house that opened its doors in 2011. In their main attraction, you walk across a spooky mansion with a group of friends, among gloomy decorations and actors with make-up who do their best to scare you. I had played it a year earlier, and it was very fun – I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys to be chased by a psychotic clown with a chainsaw. They opened in 2017 their own escape game venue, ‘Skeleton key’, which also feature actors – something you can find regularly in cities like Toronto (with e.g. the excellent games at Casa Loma or Murdoch’s station 4), but very rarely in Paris. Currently, they have only one game, ‘The cursed crypt’ (‘La crypte maudite’), which I was really looking forward to play.

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As you could expect from a place with such an expertise in scaring people, the immersion is a strong asset of this game. When we arrive, the receptionist explains to us the general rules of the place. Once this is over, an Indiana Jones-like gamemaster brings us to our adventure: this separation between the two roles is a good idea, as the gamemaster can remain in his character all along. He accompanies us to the entrance of an impressively decorated crypt: our mission is to enter the tomb of the count Saint-Germain and kill him.

The puzzles were very decent, with some nice manipulations, but there were not many of them: most of the time you will spend in the room will be dedicated to handle some other complexities… The game is designed to foster collaborative work. Surprisingly, one of the puzzle involves some prior knowledge – but the gamemaster will provide it to you in case you don’t know the relevant facts. This is also one of the rare escape games for which you will use – to a moderate extent – some physical skills.

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The help of the gamemaster in the room was very well calibrated to our progression, and he was both friendly and entertaining. The fantastic actor play adds a lot of value to this escape room, and can lead to some strong emotions during the game. At some point, I really felt trapped in a desperate situation, and a part of me could see myself dying (don’t worry, there is no risk, and you can always come back to the game).

All in all, this is fantastic escape game that renews the genre and which I recommend to everyone who’s not too faint-hearted (note that pregnant women are not allowed to participate, for  good reasons). I would say that the ideal group size would be 4 players: you can play it up to 8, but that would probably be too many, given the room size and the structure of the game. Don’t forget to bring good, comfortable shoes!

Game played in September 2017

You like to be scared? Then you should definitely also try ‘Lost Asylum‘ at One Hour and ‘Saw‘ at LeavinRoom.

Other reviews (in French): Escape Game Paris, la Revue Y, Escape game France, We need caffeine, Maman on bouge, Fille de Paname, Ce que pensent les hommes

9 thoughts on “Skeleton Key: The Cursed Crypt

  1. My friends and I have tickets for next month.
    I worry when I read things like “I felt trapped in a desperate situation and a part of me could see myself dying.” I’m not sure this is the right thing for us. We don’t think of being terrified as being entertaining. Is it REALLY that scary? Is it more about being made to feel panicky than about using your mind to solve riddles and puzzles? And physical skills? We’re fit and we’re hip, but we ARE in our fifties.
    Please be honest.

    Like

    1. I would not worry too much about it. When I say “a part of me could see myself dying”, it was the kind of feeling that you can have when watching an adventure movie with a horror touch. I was not terrified; but if I were in this situation in real life, then I would know I would be dying soon.

      Like all escape rooms, it is a lot about solving puzzles, but there is an additional constraint that requires to be moderately fit (from what you describe, it should not be a problem). The only persons I would not recommend this game to are persons who really have difficulties to move. I presume the gamemaster adapt the game to people and their speed.

      To summarize, if you can go to a haunted house, then you can go there. If you really dislike haunted houses, then it might not be the right game for you.

      Like

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