Raleigh Room Escapes – Stronghold (Review)

Location: Raleigh, NC

Players:  2-4

Price: $20 per person

Time to Escape: 45 minutes

I’m sorry Dave, I’m afraid I can’t do that.

Theme:

A unique new piece of real estate has appeared on the market, and it might just be a great buy! It’s an old Cold War era fallout bunker, moderately priced, and just eccentric enough for your tastes. It even comes with it’s own AI, making it a sort of Smart-home. You’ve ventured out with your real estate agent to have a look, but when he leaves you to have a look at the property yourself, the door locks behind him, and the AI lets you know that the air filtration systems have been shut down! There’s 45 minutes worth of oxygen left, and you’ll need to make your escape before then, or suffocate!

First Impressions:

Raleigh Room Escapes builds a great set, and Stronghold feels very much like its namesake. The whole experience has that Fallout meets Bioshock vibe to it, and everything looks like it came out of the 50’s. The acting from our Real Estate Agent was convincing and perfectly over the top, and the introduction from our new AI frenemy set the tone well.

High Points:

Though this was a 45 minute room, it did not lack puzzles or feel overly short. The room was non-linear, and comfortably fit all four of our players. The room had many enjoyable technological interactions that made the smaller space feel much bigger as we explored. All puzzles flowed well one into the next, and connected to each other well. The hint system was creative, and we didn’t fully realize what it was at the time since it was so immersive. The finale felt appropriately climactic and exciting.

Low Points:

Our objective felt unclear at first, and we eventually worked out the mission on our own, but a slight bit more cluing as to what was going on wouldn’t be out of place. There was one instance where a hidden blacklight felt anachronistic.

Verdict:

For a 45 minute room, Stronghold felt like a full experience, which I’ve found is rare for rooms shorter than an hour. The excitement of the room keeps up for the full game, and getting out felt like an intense victory. It will be a very fun starter room for beginners, but the puzzles are tricky enough that enthusiasts will feel challenged. Book your showing of the Stronghold here!

8/10 (Great)

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