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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Escape Room Reviews: Occam's Apartment

Company: Evil Genius Escape Rooms
Room: Occam’s Apartment
Date Played: 9/18/16
Player Count: 2, just enough!
Success:  Success!

Premise: Bill Occam was dead. They said it was open-shut: textbook suicide. While you didn’t agree, you just wanted to put this nasty chapter behind you. Just clean out his apartment and move on with your life.

Immersion: At the moment you're immersed in it, it's wonderful. It's a ratty old apartment. Your friend was a bit of a paranoid, and it's not absurd to think he might have been locking up some of his secrets. The music is light and a perfect accent to the goings-on, and there are several scenes contained within that feel very cinematic and exciting.

Highlights: For two people, there's a lot to do in here.  Even though on paper the room is fairly straightforward, there's a lot of exploring to do in order to get started. It's mostly traditional locks, but not an excessive amount of them. Progress generally felt earned and satisfying.

The music is really well-used.  I noticed at least a couple of tracks that almost blend in to the background, and they weren't movie scores I recognized. 

Our host did a fantastic job, and the in-game hint system - our deceased friend's secret contact - was far and away the best example I've experienced of the GM offering hints or comments that we didn't ask for but didn't let the air out of our tires. 

Lowlights: I randomly opened a complicated puzzle by accident while exploring, and we couldn't follow up on its contents because we didn't have the other requisite items - I'm sure this is more of an 'oh no!' moment for the GM than it's any real problem for me though. 

The apartment does not have its own bathroom, and therefore: no razor.

There was a disposable item in the apartment which I kind of wish I'd kept instead of leaving behind. 

And Finally:   After several encounters with lackluster games, we were starting to feel ready to take a break from room escapes for a bit, and we only happened on this one because of their opening-week sale. It was quite the stroke of luck for us! I liked the game, the space, the hosts (and not just because one of them said he recognized me as a stand-up – I got to wondering afterward though, if saying "hey, don't I recognize you from something" is just good customer service here in LA...) 

Knowing how new the place was, I felt bad anytime I accidentally or thoughtlessly let something drop to the floor or get treated roughly.  The room contains some paper items that I'm sure they're going to have to replace regularly, but I commend the owners for going that route instead of less-immersive laminated slabs. 

Out of 11 escape rooms played, I'm really happy to call this one #1, and I'm looking forward to the planned continuations of the story in their upcoming rooms. I both want to make friends with the owners and also never make friends with them so I can enjoy their future rooms as a complete fan of their work.

How to book this room yourself: Visit http://www.evilgeniusescaperooms.com/our-rooms/

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