Thursday, April 6, 2017

REVIEW: Puzzle Break: 'The Eventide Departure'

Puzzle Break's "The Eventide Departure" review
(Puzzle Break)

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“Escape Rooms” are popping up all over the country and many people have had good and bad experiences with them. However, it wasn’t until recently that I was able to experience an escape room for myself at Puzzle Break’s The Eventide Departure.

Puzzle Break actually has three location is Seattle with three different mysteries to discover. Escape from Twenty Thousand Leagues is located on Capitol Hill and has room for up to 14 players. Escape the Midnight Carnival is located in Belltown and has room for up to 12 players. The Eventide Departure is a much more intimate affair that is geared for much smaller groups from two to five players max. However, this room has a twin. That’s right. You can go head-to-head with another group escaping the same “room” experience at the same time to see which group is the smartest.

If you are unfamiliar with Escape Rooms, here is the basic idea: You and your friends are “locked” inside a mysterious room that seemingly has no door or at least has a door, but you need a key to get out. You are then saddled with number of tasks to follow and finding clues to help you figure out how to find the lost key to get out of the room before the timer goes off. You are typically given one hour to complete the task.

For The Eventide Departure, guests are given a short backstory about how Professor Firestone had attended a séance and never returned before entering the room. For my initiation, I was set up to work with four very nice people, who all knew each other and most had done a similar exercise. By walking through the main door, I was brought into a very different environment: Professor Firestone’s study. If it was just me and my wife attending, we probably would have been slow to move about the room taking in all of the detail before actually looking for clues, but this group didn’t waste any time looking through drawers, examining pictures on the wall and moving around anything that wasn’t nailed down. It was chaotic and yet thrilling at the same time. However, we learned early on that if you don’t communicate with the others on what you’ve found, you won’t get anywhere.

In addition, the voice of the Professor would give us some information and there was a video screen on the wall that would flash hints every so often to help our group get to the next stage. Of course, I can’t divulge what we learned or how we learned it, but let’s just say that it wasn’t an easy time for any of us. While some clues were simple and easy to understand, many were not and sometimes the trick from getting from point A to point B was simply saying the right thing at the right time. It’s a lot of trial and error.

For those concerned about the occult theming of this room, The Eventide Departure is less supernatural and more mystery, similar to an episode of a Scooby-Doo cartoon where anything mystical has a logical reason behind it. I will say, that Scooby and the gang may have done better with this task as we failed our mission, but the nice folks at Puzzle Break let us out anyway. This would make a great alternative for small birthday celebrations or bachelor's parties and consider dressing up to make the experience that much more fun.

Puzzle Break offers scheduled games on Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday and is open to hosting private events during the week as well. The cost to play is $30 per person and open to anyone age 18 and up. Exceptions are made for those age 16 and 17 as long as they are accompanied by an adult. Tickets must be purchased online. The Eventide Departure is located at 2124 2nd Ave. in Seattle 98121. For more information, visit the Puzzle Break website.