Executive Disorder

8.2 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
Users (0 votes) 0

Executive Disorder

  • Played August 2016
  • McHenry, IL

  • 60 minutes
  • 3-8 players (6 recommended)
  • $30

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One of the more impressive stops we made while in Chicago was to Twisted Limits. It’s about an hour North of downtown Chicago located in McHenry, Illinois. The ERA team checked out two of their rooms with Executive Disorder being the first. How did it go, and was it worth the drive? Read on…

Twisted Limits is conveniently found right on Elm St. (same as the local access highway), with plenty of parking and visible signage. We’re off to a good start. We walked in and were immediately greeted by the company’s two energetic and friendly owners who told us to grab some drinks and food in their lobby. As we joked about being bribed by the impressive choices in refreshments we were quickly told “No, we provide this for everyone. We feel if somebody is going to pay us a decent amount of money to play our games, we should at least provide some refreshments for them… it’s not a big deal.” Wow! When is the last time you’ve heard an owner talk about looking after their customers that way?!! Ok, bring on the room, we’re ready now! Wait, there’s more? Yep, you’ll also love the pre-room briefing… Ok seriously… NOW we’re ready for the real deal.

Hold on, this room looks… well… it looks like a real governor’s office! How is this possible? We soon found out this room not only looks like a real governor’s office, but it was actually built to replicate a picture of the real Governor of Illinois’ office (right down to the last details like crown-moulding, carpets, lamps, the works)! Wow! Of the 125+ rooms I’ve seen, this has to be the most authentic room ERA has ever come across! What was in those donuts and lattes in the lobby?!! You simply won’t find a better quality room out there. More creative rooms perhaps, but in terms of room quality you simply can’t get better than this.

The immersion as you can imagine followed in line with the room quality itself… impressive. Obviously the supporting elements for immersion (pre-room briefing and room quality) helped serve this area. Although the immersive experience was good, there were a couple things that took us out of the moment. The clue/hint system comes through an office computer in the room and relies upon the host using their own words which takes you away from the suspended reality you’ve been put in. This isn’t a fault as much as it is a limitation of how they approach their escape room experience. There was also a lack of connection with the ongoing story development, but for the most part the immersion was good.

Puzzle enthusiasts will probably be a bit sad to hear the puzzles of Executive Disorder are the weakest part of the experience. Are they bad? Not at all! We enjoyed most of the puzzles, but there is a lot of searching, some difficult to solve puzzles, and not much in the way of point to point guidance (did we mention there’s a lot of searching?) The lack of point to point guidance creates an ongoing need to interact with the clue/hint system which starts out as fun, but by the end made us feel like those geeky teenagers who spend their parents’ money on new video games only to run to the internet and immediately find the cheats online. A bit of a buzz kill when you have to keep asking for hints, directions and answers. Again, it’s important to note there’s a lot of puzzles in this room and many of them were creative and fun.

Most of all, was it fun? YES! Well… mostly. It’s hard to describe because in every technical way it’s a near perfect room (minus the abundant amount of searching and needing to use the hint/clue system). We definitely recommend and want everyone to see this room because it’s so impressive – just make sure you bring a good number of non-enthusiasts and first time players with you. We suspect non-enthusiasts will enjoy it more and probably even perform better than their enthusiast friends. Why so? After a lot of reflection we realized Executive Disorder feels less like a game, and more like a training simulator. It’s as if you were quite literally dropped in a real governor’s office and given an objective to accomplish without a game being attached to the experience. Because of this, it’s helpful to not have previous experiences from escape rooms. We want everyone to check this one out for themselves and let us know what their experiences were like… so if you’re in the Chicago area, you’ve got to try Twisted Limits!

We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!

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