|Game experience: VERY GOOD|
|The fantastic sarcophagus!
Lots of puzzles
The roles and their personalized hints
|The simple decors around the sarcophagus|
“YOU HAVE 60 MINUTES TO SAVE DR. CARTER! HURRY, TIME IS RUNNING OUT!
With just your wits, clues from crates of artifacts, and notes from the trapped archaeologist, you must solve puzzles, discover mysteries, and help free Dr. Carter from his certain grave. Your group will arrive and be met by the Curator of the Seattle Archaeological Antiquities division. Each team member will be given a role and helpful information which will aid you in your quest.” (source)
After a small video explaining the rules, you can chose your role, such as a spy, desert merchant, Bastet disciple or private eye, each coming with a specific hint that will help you during the adventure. You can then enter the room, where Dr. Carter will ask for your help over a funny video call – a worthwhile addition in the sometimes-too-serious world of escapes. At the center of the room is located a large sarcophagus with a variety of boxes, locks and other puzzles arranged around. The sarcophagus is a magical, very immersive piece of work.
The sarcophagus is full of buttons and hidden mechanisms, and interacting with it was super fun, until the culmination in an epic ending! The role system also contributed positively to the gameplay by creating a great synergy among players. There are really a lot of puzzles to solve, so you should play this room in a team of at least 4 players (6 would be best) if you want to have a reasonable chance to win.
The gamemaster will follow you in the room, but I thought it damaged a bit less the immersion than in the Tales of the Ghostly Galleon game at the same venue, as a contemporary outfit is less out of place in this atmosphere.
The six of us eventually escaped with a few minutes left, after a hectic time solving many, many puzzles! Rise of the Mad Pharaoh was a very good experience, and it would be my first recommendation to play at Hourglass Escapes – although you might want to turn first to the (also good) Tales of the Ghostly Galleon if you’re only 2 or 3 players (just remember that you might be grouped with strangers), or if you have less than a handful of escape rooms under our belt. If I could chose one single item to bring back home from any escape room I’ve ever played, that would certainly be the Mad Pharaoh’s sarcophagus!
Game tested in August 2018 (Pictures 1, 2 & 3: Hourglass Escapes / Picture 4: Escape the World)
Here are a couple of introductory videos:
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