Review: The Study
The Sleuth Box, Tempe, AZ
#18, Won, $30/person
This is a room that I frequently recommend to people who ask, "What's a good escape room around here?" Not just because it's centrally located, but because when I remember this room I mostly think of how much fun it was. This room was one Ace and I did with our friend Steamboat, and how can you not be having fun when there's a guy named Steamboat around?
First of all, spoiler-not-spoiler alert, it's a study so it has a giant bookcase filled with books, thus I was forced to be in love with it from the get-go. The collection of books is used in a pretty magnificent manner and I still want to go back in the room and explore it more. While the bookcase is the main event, the room has plenty more tricks up its sleeve.
One “trick” being a style of puzzle I have yet to see duplicated in any other room. The reason for this could be because this puzzle was really difficult in a unconventional way. My dad, who has an ear for this type of puzzle, would have sailed right through. Team Bluefish floundered a little. I like challenges that dare my neural pathways to forge new connections but unfortunately, while I have a lot of respect for the puzzle, the processes of executing the necessary actions was frustrating.
Another task that stuck out to me in the room was a time-waster task. These can sometimes work in your favor. When I can identify a time-waster early on, I know I have a leg up on the competition. And when I identify a time-waster too late, it takes a minute to shake off my annoyance and get my head back in the game. In this room I was annoyed. But not for long. I’d like to go back to raving about the puzzle-infused bookcase-web of intrigue, but I’ll spare you.
I also have to give this room props for immersiveness. You're probably like, "Anna, it's a study. How hard could that be to create?" But when the ceiling tiles are themed, I'm impressed. Also nice, was that they allow for you to finish, even if that means being in there for longer than an hour. Not that we needed that perk; one minute to spare, suckahs.
I was surprised to find they only have the one room open, but the game master clued us in on the second one being built and said something about, well it's kinda up in the air, when I asked about when it would be opening. But when even the ceiling tiles are in it to win it, I suppose that takes time.
Final rating for The Study
Puzzles: Abundant and varied. Just a few points off for unnecessary frustration. Theme: A great execution of a commonplace theme Game Master: Attentive and helpful. Upkeep: High quality, good looking room. Customer Service: Superb. Extras: +1 for a puzzle type I hadn't seen before.