Drago’s Castle

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

Drago's Castle

  • Played February 2017
  • Albany, NY

  • 30 minutes
  • 2-12 players
  • $20, discounts for multiple rooms
  • great for families

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Located inside Crossgates Mall in Albany, NY, you’ll find another location for one of ERA’s favourite companies, 5-Wits. We debated whether another review was necessary given I’ve already reviewed this same room at the Syracuse location. In the end we concluded there were enough differences between the two locations to warrant a new review, and perhaps even a bit of comparison between our experiences at 5-Wits Syracuse and 5-Wits Albany… With that in mind, let the comparisons begin!

Much of what you’ll read here applies to the Drago Castle’s located in both the Albany and Syracuse locations, but I’ll do my best to draw distinctions whenever applicable so that you can see how minute differences in review team members and personal preferences made for slightly different scoring results. With that being said, let’s start: Once upon a time…

Finding Crossgates mall is easy enough as there were road signs available from the highway exit and onward. Once inside the mall a quick glance at the directory will let you know exactly where to go, and the staff were already waiting for customers at the entrance way of their unit with smiling faces and lots of excitement in their voices. If it wasn’t mentioned in the Syracuse location review, Drago’s Castle may very well have the best pre-room experience in the industry (if not, it definitely holds the top spot for room introductions of the 165+ rooms that I have personally done)! Our first comparison: Although we love the staff at the Syracuse location, our game master in Albany was definitely the best we’ve experienced for role playing. Her memorization and playing along with the pre-room video was top notch and had me wanting to act along.

As you would expect from 5-Wits the room quality was near flawless. Completely believable set designs, atmosphere, lighting, and definitely nothing cheap or out of place. What’s different about the set in Albany (and slightly better perhaps) was one of the passageways between rooms. A minor difference for sure, but just slightly more enjoyable which put that extra half-inch of smiles on our faces. The room quality plus the incredible pre-room experience were added to some great story development. Even our most cynical team member confessed it was like being a character in a real life fairytale. What makes the immersive experience even better is the lack of downtime between tasks and puzzles (note: this may not always be the case as it’s possible to catch up to a slow moving group if you’re quick)… Rest assured you are in for an immersive treat in Albany just as you would also be at the Syracuse location. The puzzles were also pretty much the same in both locations with one slight difference in the first room. We didn’t really find any more enjoyment in one location over the other for puzzles but naturally we did perform better having done the same puzzles just 12hrs previous in Syracuse. A note to all our first generation escape room purists out there: If a puzzle precludes teamwork exercises and tasks from your definition of what a puzzle is, you may find Drago’s Castle (and in particular 5-Wits) a less enjoyable experience. For those who use a more liberal definition of what a puzzle is, you’ll definitely enjoy the team building aspect of this room!

Was it fun? Nah, way too much stone, brick annnd…..YES OF COURSE IT’S FUN!!! We love 5-Wits. Drago’s Castle in Albany not only further reinforced why we love this room so much, but also gave us a further appreciation of how escape rooms can grow, change, adapt, and be more than people have experienced elsewhere. Is Drago’s Castle an escape room? Some would say yes, others no, and some will use the term “adventure room” to bridge the gap. No matter what you personally call it, it’s definitely FUN and worth checking out for all ages and experience levels!

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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