Date played: Saturday, December 22, 2018
Number of players: 8
Max number of players possible for this room: 8
Public or private game: Public
We played this room immediately following Prison Break, so I will skip the first impressions. 🙂
The story for this room on the website is as follows:
“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!”
We had some bad luck in that our group of 4 was paired with a group of 4 strangers for this room. Since we had just finished playing Prison Break with a group of 4 newbies that caused some issues, we were again not thrilled at having strangers in the room with us. This group had 2 children in it, and overall things went smoothly with the game play. There were a few moments when I think some people in my group would have liked to have been more involved in something and couldn’t, or would have liked to have completed something and couldn’t, but I’m sure they felt that way at times too. Just another example of why all escape rooms should be private.
I will say right off the bat: this room became my new favorite at The Escape Game, and it made it into my top 3 favorite games overall. I have learned through experience that the main thing I love in an escape room is quality immersion, and this room did a great job of that. I like when puzzles are about average difficulty, or maybe even erring on the easier side. If I can be in a really well constructed space and feel like I’m in the environment, and then have puzzles to solve that aren’t super frustrating but just hard enough to be satisfying to solve, that’s the sweet spot for me.
The room design of Gold Rush is wonderful. It begins “outdoors” near a cabin in the woods, and it’s just fun to step into something that feels so different. I loved how they made the ground with real dirt/gravel, and the cabin with real wood. The puzzles in that first section were cute, and definitely geared more towards beginners, but I loved them. There was a puzzle that used technology in a fun way, something I had done before in other rooms, but it was more enjoyable (and executed much better) in this room.
As we moved through the room, the scene design stayed at a very high level. I loved every space they created. The puzzles also were very good. They used the theme in creative and fun ways, they had things that were easy for kids to do, they had puzzles that required different kinds of strengths/abilities, and they had some really fun effects! I also think The Escape Game proves really well that you don’t need to include any red herrings in a room. Make everything useful, and the room works beautifully, without causing any frustration for the players.
I really liked this room. I wish we had been able to play with only our group of 4, but I was still able to appreciate the game design and the puzzles. We escaped with around 12 minutes left on the clock, which was a little disappointing because of course I wanted to get our money’s worth and use the whole experience. But with 8 people and our level of experience, there was no way it was going to take us the whole 60 minutes. Still, I’m glad we escaped and I think everyone had fun.
Our GM was really nice, and he said he knew we would escape since we had already escaped Prison Break. We looked back at the room and talked for a few minutes, and then we were on our way.
Play This Room If…
-You are new to escape rooms
-You have kids in your group
-You like immersive environments
Skip This Room If…
-You want to solve really complex or difficult puzzles
-You have a large group (I think this would be best for 2-4 players with some experience)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Company website: http://www.theescapegamechicago.com