Escape Room Reviews: The Mystery of Senator Payne
Company: 60 Out
Room: The Mystery of Senator Payne
Date Played: 8/27/16
Player Count: 2, which was probably a little low.
Success: Success! w/ hints
Premise: There's just 1 hour after the Senator's staff leaves the office and before he returns from his golf game, during which you need to break into his office and steal a copy of a bill he's sponsoring.
Immersion: The office... looks like an office! Except of course that the Senator has no computer or office supplies of any kind (of course, if he had, maybe I'd be carping about all the red herrings). Naturally, the further we got, the less plausible I found it to to believe that the Senator actually has time for any of the stuff we discovered.
Highlights: This is a very high tech room, and despite the constant presence of our friendly Keeper, apparently completely automated. These guys are great with magic objects.
The puzzles here have a lot of variety in their methods, but mostly follow the form of the player needing to gain insight on to use objects together. In that way, this is probably room most like a point-and-click adventure game that we've played.
Lowlights: Our search skills were lacking on the day we played this one. For that reason and the ticket price, it would have been good to bring a couple of others along - showing up with two people means overpaying per person, but we'd heard good things about the company and were excited to try them out.
The introductory video was not up to par with the video we just saw over at Exit Game.
You'd think a US senator could afford to replace his old, beat-up paper goods once in a while.
And Finally: Our Keeper was very free with communicating with us during the game over the room's PA system. It never felt irritating like other games where the walkie talkie keeps wanting to give you hints. It was more like we were interacting with the narrator. It felt like he was a part of our team. (When he gave us our time at the end, he said it wasn't a terrible score for "a group of three.")
Regular locks provide clear goals. A room built on magic objects (that is, some combination of sensors, rfid tags, arduinos, you know, magic) puts everything in front of you as well, but you don't know it. The downside of this, I think, is that it creates a lopsided impression of the overall game. You forget about the puzzles you breezed through, and mainly remember the sticking points that ate up the majority of your time. I guess maybe that's always true, but perhaps I feel it more in these situations?
Even though I found the second half of this game to be less enjoyable than the first half, I still thought the company seems really promising. I'm looking forward to coming back to try their casino heist! Out of 7 rooms played, I'm ranking this one #4.
How to book this room yourself: Visit https://www.60out.com/rooms/myster-of-senator-payne-escape-room