|Game experience: EXCELLENT
|Very nice decors.
Fun and immersive manipulations.
|Nothing of importance.|
I stayed in Chicago for work during a few days in November 2017, and wanted to use this opportunity to try some of the escape rooms the city has to offer. The Escape Game Chicago attracted my attention – it is the local venue of a chain that also exists in Austin, Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Minneapolis, and Dallas. I called them and they recommended me their ‘Gold Rush’ room for its immersion. I didn’t know anyone in the city to play with, but they nicely accepted that I would play the room by myself.
“For nearly two centuries, the hope of gold has lured people to the hills of Northern California. No one was captivated more than Clyde Hamilton, a greedy gold prospector who loved to gamble. Clyde made too many bets with the wrong crowd and now he’s missing. You’ve been tipped off to where he stashed his gold… but so has the mob. Find it first!”
This escape game has indeed very nice decors. You start in a fairly convincing recreation of the surroundings of a miner’s cabin, and have to enter it deeper and deeper to find Clyde’s gold. The various atmospheres are all quite elaborate and immersive in different ways.
There is a nice balance of observation, manipulation and reasoning in the puzzles, with an emphasis on observation – which is probably the real challenge here (interestingly, though, the difficulty does not reside only in finding hidden objects!) Some manipulations are very unique and fit perfectly in this Western environment: a very good use of electronics will enable you to communicate with nature, feel like a real cow-boy, or express your soul of miner. There is only one puzzle in the second room which I found a bit confusing and not so interesting.
The gamemaster helps you when he feels you are blocked and start being bored, rather than restricting his help to a predefined number of hints – which is a more entertaining system in my opinion. The only drawback of his help in my case concerned this confusing puzzle I mentioned above: the gamemaster repeatedly used a technical term that I didn’t know, despite me telling I could not understand this word.
Being by myself, the game was difficult to complete and I did not manage to escape, lacking a few minutes, although the gamemaster abundantly helped me. Despite the high number of puzzles and my failure, I think the room should be doable without too much problem by an experienced team, while still being an interesting challenge, and could even be completed by a motivated team of beginners. Overall, this was the best escape game among the five I tried in Chicago (‘The heist’ at the same venue, ‘Save the White House‘, ‘Escape from the safe house’ and ‘Trapped in a room with a zombie’) – although I must say that all those five games were good and recommendable for different reasons.
Game played in November 2017