Trapped in The Fun House – From Cross Roads Escape Games

GameStop, Inc.

Fun HouseBored on the weekend? Cross Roads Escape Games in Anaheim has got you covered with their latest escape room, The Fun House. This time, fellow FanboyNation writer Michael Sarratt and I were lucky enough to be invited out to give this room a try. If you have never had the chance to experience an escape room, I highly recommend this one be your first. The room seems like it was built for the novice to intermediate escapist, still offering a strong challenge, but more likely to let you have a sweet taste of success. However, If you’re an experienced escapist, it may be too easy for you. But like most escape rooms, teamwork is the real key to freedom no matter how experienced you are.

FunHouse_bigtop_small

First off, we loved the simple layout, but detailed design of the game space. The Fun House is decorated and themed, as you would imagine. Bright colors, both light hearted and creepy circus music, and some off the wall decorations, as well as some unexpected and downright strange rooms. Once inside you’ll be faced with word puzzles, number puzzles, and as always the daunting timer mounted above the door to freedom. The room will test your critical thinking, comprehension, and surprisingly, a bit of your physical skills. To escape you’ll have to pay attention to your surroundings and you might need a double take, once or twice, to see through the illusions of the room.

If it wasn’t obvious by now, The Fun House was an incredible experience for us. By far one of the coolest features was the way you could receive hints in case you get stuck. While the moderators watch you, they can also choose to drop in a few clues, but not without some compliments, feats of talent, or some amusing requests for entertainment in exchange.

*I don’t think Michael and I will ever be dancing hand in hand again, but I do need to thank him for letting me lead. -Thanks buddy!

Another aspect of note was the complexity of the puzzles and the progression from one to the next. It was very impressive and well thought out. In some escape rooms, you may solve the answer to a clue but then find yourself stuck searching for the next question. However, Cross Roads proves you can still create a challenging escape room and avoid game master dickery and eliminate the use of those frustrating practices. The problems and locations of each challenge flows seamlessly on to the next and the design of how the room evolves as you make your way through was awesome. Ultimately, after a bit of anxiety, mental exhaustion, and some excellent teamwork, Michael and I flew through the last part of the game knocking out puzzles one after another like dominos in a row. All the clues we had been gathering since the start were making more and more sense, and before we knew it we were unlocking the final door to escape!

FunHouse_bigtop_small

A themed photo op, complete with costumes and props, awaits you on the other side. Will you come out a worthy magician or a clueless clown? Whatever it is, you’ll be posted on Cross Roads Facebook page, along with your time, so you can show it off to your friends. Plus, if you escape, you win some free cheese sticks or cinnamon sticks at the pizza place down the street, hence the aforementioned sweet taste of success.  

We went in as a two man team because we were the only ones who were interested in that available time slot, but The Fun House can accommodate up to as many as eight participants. In my opinion, this kind of activity would be great as a workplace team building exercise. So convince your boss that work retreats are lame compared to an escape room. Want to play but don’t have enough friends? Not a problem, because the Cross Roads staff will pair you up with other groups to fill out those eight spots. Remember, more minds working together means a higher chance of escape.

Now as far as replay value, a second play through may not be as entertaining. However, if you don’t make it out, remember you can always try again! But, If you’re feeling cocky, and you felt like this room was a breeze, check out The Hex Room in the same location. That room will not be nearly as generous. Be sure to check out FanboyNation’s previous Cross Roads review featuring The Hex Room and see how our group faired. Both rooms run at the same price at $32 per participant and will have one hour to complete the escape.

Lastly, I feel that it is especially important to mention that the Cross Roads staff’s customer service is fantastic. They offer constant enthusiasm and encouragement from beginning to end. They want you to win, they want you to have a great time, and they want you to come back; I know we will! We’re looking forward to whatever they’ve got planned next. Check out their website http://www.crossroadsescapegames.com/ for booking information and videos and be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram! 

 

The Fun House Overall Experience
  • The Game Room Environment (Aesthetics/Sound/Decor)
  • Ratio of Puzzle Complexity / Solvability
  • Play Value / Price of Admission
4.2

Summary

While The Fun House does offer an unforgettable, unique, and surreal experience, it may not be in everyone’s price range for just an hour of play compared with other weekend activities of the same price. Is it worth it then? …Eh… More yes than no. However, this medium difficulty level escape room gives a less experienced escapist a great opportunity and a place to start building their puzzle solving skills.

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