Bolingbrook, IL · Escape Hour Room · Escape Room · Private Room · Reviews

Unsportsmanlike Conduct @ Escape Hour Room

Date played:  Saturday, September 12, 2020
Number of players:  2
Max number of players possible for this room: 6
Public or private game:  Private
Outcome:  Did not escape

First Impressions
The business is in a strip mall in a nice outdoor mall called The Promenade. The lobby is small and pretty plain and there wasn’t much to it. The staff was nice though.

Setup
The Game Master walked us down the hall and went over the rules and the scenario in the hallway outside the room. It’s always a little frustrating when you’re asked how many rooms you’ve played and you explain that you’re a seasoned player, and then you still have to listen to 5 minutes of super basic guidelines. I wish there was a badge you could carry around that would certify you as an enthusiast and let you skip that part.

The story for this room on the website is as follows:

“EHR HS has had a great football season.  We are undefeated so far on the road to the championship.  We play you guys, the Rival HS Escapers, for the championship and are looking forward to the challenge. 

However, our mascot didn’t want to play fair.  He stole the Rival HS playbook.  We don’t think that is right and don’t want to win that way.  So, we are going to let you into our locker room.  We believe that he has hidden the playbook somewhere in there.

You need to find your playbook and get out!  Our mascot is a shifty guy.  I’m sure it won’t be as simple as getting in and finding it just laying around.  You’ll certainly have to figure out some things to find it.

Here’s the catch.  You only have 1 hour to find it while the team is out practicing.  If they catch you in our locker room, they will think you broke in to steal our playbook.

Game Play
This was the first room I played since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. We booked the game kind of on the spur of the moment when trying to think of something to do and I felt a little unsure about it at first, but it was great. We wore masks in the lobby (as did the staff) but then took them off while playing, since it was only us, and it was clear that everything had been well sanitized.

This room had some cool stuff in it! I liked the mix of different kinds of puzzles; there was a great amount of variety and I think there would be something for everyone if there was a big group playing together. I also was impressed by a few special effects/technology tricks and puzzles that were present that made for some fun and surprising moments.

In general I would say I was pleasantly surprised by this room and company. I think because it was in a strip mall I wasn’t expecting much, but it was a good room and totally on par with other places I’ve been to. And one of the best side effects of this pandemic is that all these escape room companies are FINALLY making all rooms private by default! I really hope things stay that way after the world returns to normal.

One downside to the room was that sometimes we would solve a puzzle and something would open or unlock, but it wasn’t super obvious what it was. Luckily there were only 2 of us in the room and it was fairly quiet so we could usually hear a latch open, but if there had been more noise it would’ve been hard to tell that we had successfully solved something at times. I will say that the Game Master did give us an explicit heads up about that, so it helped that we knew to be ready for it.

We did not escape this room with only 2 of us playing. The Game Master had asked us beforehand if we wanted nudges and I didn’t want too much help but we said that would be ok. I had said that I wanted to be sure we saw the whole room and had asked to make sure we got enough help if needed to make that happen. I think the GM maybe didn’t quite understand what I meant because there was a good amount of steps remaining after our time ran out. I was really bummed that we had missed out on a few things after I found out what they were, and I really wish they had helped us move along faster so that we could have done a few of those things. Let’s face it: an escape room is expensive for only one hour and you want to feel like you got your money’s worth. But oh well I guess.

Final Touches
Our GM walked us through the remaining steps in the room that we hadn’t gotten to, and that was about it.

In conclusion…

Play This Room If…
-You have any size group (I think 2-6 would work well, as they state)
-You really like sports (But it’s still fun even if you’re not)
-You’re new to escape rooms, as I think it could be a good beginner room

Skip This Room If…
-You live far away (I believe other rooms would be more worth the trip, but if you’re nearby this is fine)
-You have young kids (I think it might be a little boring for them)

Overall rating:  3.5 out of 5

Company website: http://www.escapehourroom.com