We had so much fun at The Escape Game in Austin that we planned a trip to do most of the rooms at The Escape Game in Dallas, and I'm very happy we did because one of their rooms is now number three on my all time favorite rooms. This trip, I was with my brother Billy (who I do most rooms with) and four other family members.
The Escape Game Dallas is in an awesome mall called Grapevine Mills Mall. This mall has a lot of fun things for families to do. I have two young sons, and we went back the next day for them to enjoy the mall. The mall has a Rain Forest Cafe, a gigantic arcade, bowling ally, indoor playgrounds, Peppa Pig store, Lego store, cars for the kids to drive around the mall, a train, and more.
I have been to a few The Escape Game locations, and one design feature of all their rooms stands out to me. They put their puzzles right out in the open as decorations. The good thing about that is that it adds to the immersiveness of the room, and The Escape Game is very good at immersion. The puzzles and clues fit very well with the story line. When you pull a puzzle out of a drawer or box, they sometimes feel forced into the storyline of a room. The downside of all the puzzles being visible in the beginning is that it makes the room nonlinear, and it's very difficult to know where to start. That's fine if you are with a medium to large team, but it's quite difficult to do nonlinear rooms with a two or three person team. The good thing is that The Escape Game knows their target audience, and their recommended group sizes reflect this reality.
At this locations, we did three rooms: Playground, The Heist, and Prison Break. I'm amazed that all of them are so good. At almost escape rooms, there's a weak room, but not at The Escape Game. Yes, some are better than others, but they're all good.
Mike's Difficulty Rating: 2 (out of 5)
Their Difficulty Rating: 6 (out of 10)
Playground is number three on my list of the best rooms I've ever played, and it is the most unique room I've ever done. Everything about this room is impressive. You'll be an elementary school student racing to get to recess. Yes, it's as fun as it sounds. It's helpful to have a group of four or more for this room. It would be hard to do this room with three or fewer players. You'll need to divide and conquer for this room. Get through the first two areas quickly because the third area will take some time. If you get a chance, do this room.
We completed the room in 50 minutes.
Mike's Difficulty Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Their Difficulty Rating: 9 (out of 10)
The immersion/decor of this room is incredible. The emotion I'm feeling about this room is regret, not because the room wasn't amazing, but because I missed two very obvious clues. You've probably done a room where you start the room separated from part of your group. This is one of those rooms. Separate your two best communicators so that they can share information with each other. Make sure you search the areas very thoroughly. My only complaint about this room is that it was unnecessarily dark.
We completed the room in 55 minutes
Mike's Difficulty Rating: 3 (out of 5)
Their Difficulty Rating: 8 (out of 10)
Pay very close attention to details. The decorations are often the clues, and they are so immersive that it's hard to understand how they provide solutions to locks. Like most of The Escape Game's rooms, there are a lot of high quality generation two (electronic) puzzles/locks in this room.
We completed the room in 40 minutes.
After all that, I'd say my favorite The Escape Game rooms from best to really good but not best: