The Curse

7.6 Overall
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The Curse

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The Curse at Puzzah! in Broomfield, CO is best categorized as an “Adventure Room”. The goal here was not to figure out how to open the door in the traditional “Escape Room” fashion. Instead, we had a series of objectives that presented themselves as we progressed through the puzzles. This is not to say that an Adventure Room is any less enjoyable, but if you are an escape room enthusiast, be prepared for a different experience.

Puzzah! is a storefront location within the massive FlatIron Crossing Mall. Finding the entrance was a bit challenging as we were unsure in which lot to park—our puzzles had already begun! We eventually found the location (near the food court) after consulting the mall directory. It is clear that the owners are targeting a wide audience and most customers are passers-by. The pre-room is well-lit and bright green with some small brainteasers, a photo area, a host and some merchandizing. The staff is usually limited to just one person who takes care of the check-in process and guides you to your room. Everyone we met was very friendly and professional. There aren’t any places to sit while you waiting for you adventure time to start, but the nearby food court has plenty of tables and chairs.

To begin The Curse, we were shown to a large, highly ornate door. We entered into a small chamber complete with a large pyramid, ancient wall carvings and a bedazzled puzzle wall. Our audio guide provided history about a family curse and our mission to figure out the cure. Throughout our 30 minute experience, we were awed by the incredible attention to detail. All of the puzzle materials are lavish and solidly constructed—it’s as if we were interacting with sculptures from a museum! While all of the rooms’ elements do follow a theme, it was hard to feel truly immersed. A high ceiling and cement floor prevented us from believing we were part of a jungle adventure. Additionally, because the rooms at Puzzah! Broomfield are fully automated, our interactions were with a series of cleanly recorded messages and overhead lighting that took us down a predetermined path from one mini-game to the next.

The puzzles we experienced were unique and took many different forms. Puzzah!’s in-house puzzle designer, Todd McClary is a highly regarded, veteran puzzle maker who has done a stellar job at transitioning his craft to this new medium. Not only has he created unconventional, intensely interactive and thought-provoking brainteasers, he has baked in varying levels of difficulty. Different groups may have a slightly different experience based on their speed and accuracy. Each puzzle seemed to be suited to the strengths of a different ERA team member—everyone helped in their own way. A group of four is probably the best size to allow for a range of individual perspectives within the confined space. This room is a great introduction for anyone new to this genre of live gaming.

Our biggest area of complaint was with the automated messaging. Sometimes we felt the alerts came too early; other times, we felt like they did not come fast enough. A few times we found ourselves waiting for a message to repeat or provide new information because we missed what had been said while we were talking amongst ourselves. Our group unanimously agreed that our experience would have been enhanced if we had some control of the speed and frequency of the hints and messages.

The Curse is a fun reprieve from a day of shopping. Check it out next time you are in the area or visit a room at the other Puzzah! location in Denver.

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