Red Lantern “Midnight on the Bayou” – Escape Room Review (Mild Spoilers)

red lantern

Located in Orange County, CA, Red Lantern hosts one of the largest escape rooms in Southern California, “Midnight on the Bayou.” Inspired by the sets of movies and local theme parks, the room features a 1,000 square foot playing space that can hold up to 12 players maximum.

“Travel to the Louisiana Bayou without ever leaving California, and solve the mystery of the restless alumni before your hour is up.”

Midnight on the Bayou takes players to the swamps of Louisiana in Cormier Parish for a carnival-themed high school reunion. After speaking to a very creepy and enthusiastic host, players learn the history of the unfortunate five that died in the Homecoming barn fire. After looking inside a creepy chest the host doesn’t stop staring at, players realize something doesn’t seem right and are placed in a state of limbo. To get out, players are forced to help their dead alumni achieve their unfulfilled wishes before the clock strikes midnight. If not, the players will forever be stuck in limbo.

Red Lantern easily hosts one of, if not, the largest escape room I’ve ever participated in. The company makes great use of the space to create the carnival/high school reunion without overdoing it. I really liked that it was not another typical horror escape room where players are kidnapped and have to escape. The story made my friends and I reminisce about our high school days and some of the dumb stuff we used to do. The use of the props, such as the DJ booth and the fireflies for their puzzles, are very creative. The room is dim enough to set the midnight tone without impairing our ability to look for clues. This is one of the few rooms where a clue can literally be hidden from top to bottom fully utilizing it’s 1,000 square feet.

Unlike most escape rooms, the puzzles for Midnight of the Bayou actually relate to the story. Other escape rooms will choose words like “DEAD” for a lock because it obviously related to their horror themed room. I’ve guessed “DEAD” for locks in at least two escape rooms and we got in trouble for it. Not my fault, they weren’t more creative with their clues. Midnight on the Bayou instead set up puzzles that are unique to each of the characters whose unfulfilled wishes. For example, one of the five was the class clown and loved to play jokes on the teachers. One of the puzzles for this character was a “trick chest” with buttons and switches around the entire chest. This was one of the most frustrating puzzles we’ve ever had to deal with, but it fit the character’s personality perfectly. Even in the afterlife, the class clown was still playing jokes and frustrating his peers.

The puzzles are some of the most difficult I’ve ever encountered.  While most escape rooms claim that teamwork will be necessary, this is the only room I can say that one person will not be able to do it on their own. That’s not to say there are only puzzles that require two or more people; Jus saying the puzzles are that difficult. We were even given wooden puzzles before and during the game, if we completed the puzzles then we would get a free hint. We didn’t complete those puzzles. Those were hard too. However, the puzzles were not difficult just to be difficult. As stated earlier, each of the puzzles made sense to the character but required teamwork and some critical thinking on solving them. Which is what an escape room should be and not just search for random numbers around the room that fit a lock.

Red Lantern’s Midnight on the Bayou will challenge players with unique and difficult puzzles in one of the largest escape rooms in the OC all while reminiscing about their high school days. The company makes good use of the space, features clues and puzzles unique to the characters, and comes complete with a creepy high school reunion host. This is one of the few rooms where my peers and I stayed after playing to discuss our experience. I would highly recommend this room, especially to people who feel all that escape rooms are the same.

Red Lantern Escape Rooms is located at:

471 West Lambert Road,
Suite 108
Brea, CA 92821

Bookings: Midnight on the Bayou Escape Room

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