Serial Killer Sleuth

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

Serial Killer Sleuth

  • Played February 2017
  • Schenectady, NY

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-8 players recommended, 10 max
  • $28

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Just a short hop North-West from Albany, NY you’ll find Schennecktady… Skinnecktabby… Skimmilklady… another city! Kidding, you’ll find Schenectady, NY a wonderful little place that seemed fairly quiet and peaceful as we arrived. Little did we know Port Rotterdam Mall was housing one of the city’s hidden entertainment hotspots with a variety of stores, restaurants, and you guessed it, an escape room company (Tru-Escape)! Was it worth a trip to the mall? Did we feel like joining the seniors’ morning walking class just get into this mall sooner? Read on…

As you’d guess from Tru-Escapes being located in a mall, it was easy to find, located close to the highway, and there was abundant parking. All good signs. The mall itself felt a little old and perhaps in need of some revitalization, but then again, if it creates a place for cheaper rent and easier accessibility for escape room companies, why not? Seems like a perfect partnership for both the mall and an escape room company. The entrance to Tru-Escape seemed to be lacking a little bit of flash and style, but was easily made up in how warm and friendly the staff were. We loved the bright smiling faces, the firm handshakes, and the genuine desire for us to feel welcomed and to have a good time. Serial Killer Sleuth was ERA’s second room in our visit to Tru-Escape so we were trying to take notice of slight differences between the pre-room experiences. We felt the intro to this room (including being hooded and hearing an audio track introduction) was more enjoyable than that of Secret Agent 22. One thing we wished was different was being told the rules and special instructions outside the room instead of inside. This broke the impressive immersive experience they started us with as it brought the “outside world” into the room with us.

The room quality was good. Scrap that, it was great! Were it not for this being our 7th and final escape room of the day, we would’ve probably appreciated it even more, if that’s possible. We loved how authentic the props, dirt, grime, garbage, and overall creepy interior was! No exposed wires, no oddities that reminded us of this being inside a mall, nothing but a great set design with lots of splattered blood, guts, metal, weapons, tools, concrete and wood. If there were any drawbacks here it would be that it’s a single room experience without even more to explore, and that there was a relatively clean and out of place safe tucked away which is odd. Overall an extremely impressive set design!

The immersion follows suit with the design… impressive. It wasn’t difficult to feel immersed given the amount of authentic items and consistency of theme. The puzzles fit the theme, and there are tasks that involve the level of creepiness you would expect if you were in this real life situation. One thing we would’ve liked to see improved, is story development through the room. This is a common critique of ours, and one we’ll make again in the future no doubt. When story gets developed through the room (discovery of why you’re there, what has happened, and how you need to escape) it’s a more enjoyable experience at each point in the room. Learning the why, what, and how at the beginning leaves the participants with just tasks and puzzles which is fine, but doesn’t give a fully immersive experience for the full 60 minutes. Don’t get us wrong however, the immersion in Serial Killer Sleuth is very good so we know you’ll feel the chills like we did.

The puzzles didn’t really strike us one way or the other. They were good with nothing really to complain nor boast about. You’ll find a fairly standard set of escape room puzzles that require a little bit of collaboration, but not much in the way of teamwork. Not much to add further here…

And finally… how much fun did we have? A good amount, but not over the top. Actually the owner of Tru-Escape seems to have said it best during our visit: “We’re not the best and more flashy company out there, but I know we’re not the worst either.” Yup, definitely, although I think he undersells himself too much – we had fun. Now who would we recommend for this room? Definitely not children, or those who get nightmares easily! Pretty much anyone else would have a good time with an ideal group size of 3-5 people (depending on the level of engagement you want in the room and the experience level of the players you’re with).

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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