- Played March 2017
- Denver, CO
- 60 minutes
- 2-7 players
- What People Say
Get ready to save the dinosaurs! A time machine has been hijacked for nefarious purposes and we were tasked with traveling back millions of years in order to find and disarm a device that could cause worldwide devastation. No pressure!
Sprightly Escapes’ newest room took us on an adventure to prehistoric times and thankfully the time machine was easy to locate. We traveled 15 minutes east of downtown Denver to a quaint, historic home. Street parking was abundant and clear signage confirmed that we had arrived. We were immediately greeted by the staff who are clearly long-time escape room enthusiasts. Because this is a converted house, the waiting area is a bit cramped and awkwardly arranged between an entry hallway and kitchen, but we didn’t find ourselves needing much more. There were some games and puzzles on hand for those who arrive early and photos along the walls of all of the happy customers. Prior to jumping into the time machine we were given a solid introduction to the story and a clear understanding of our goals.
Nowadays it seems that owners are trying to use more and more technology to improve their rooms. We are believers that quality trumps quantity. A “first generation” room done well can be just as immersive and fun as a newer generation room with intelligence and automation. The quality of the materials in Mission Improbable is pretty good. The room is decorated well with nice scenery and foliage—we didn’t notice any large flaws or broken parts. The exposed air conditioner felt out of place, we wished the ground was more “grassy”, and that some playable areas were better defined as “in-bounds”, but these issues didn’t distract much from our gameplay. We were surprised that a “don’t touch” area took up a lot of square footage of a relatively small space, however we later learned that this was a planned part of the game. Except for a few items, everything fit with the theme and the analog props made sense for the time period.
The puzzles in Mission Improbable range from moderate to difficult and there is a solid mix of solution styles. Sure, there were a lot of physical locks and combinations, but we greatly appreciated the multi-layered solutions that made the final lock openings just one step in the process. Most of the puzzles had multiple, intertwined parts and this is probably the strongest aspect of the Sprightly Escapes experience. The game designers took careful consideration of the experience of solving their puzzles rather than just the quality of the games. It also allowed for good teamwork as different people could work on the same puzzle at the same time. Relatedly, we did not experience puzzle bottlenecking where someone was sitting around doing nothing. At one point we had three or four separate games that each could be tackled by more than one person, and another instance where two concurrent brainteasers led to the same answer outcome (very creative!). No one was ever left twiddling their thumbs because accessing hints was a completely separate and unrelated activity. We felt that one particular part was a bit confusing and our (correct) solution was a bit of a guess. Overall, the puzzles made sure to follow the theme of the room and helped to progress the storyline.
The storyline of Mission Improbable makes sense and the decorations promoted the narrative. We knew our purpose and where we fit in as characters in the story. The layout of the room was successful at keeping our task in focus without impeding our progress. The room was dark, but our lanterns provided sufficient lighting to move us around. The props fit the theme and the time period; subtle background noises kept us in the time period. The notes, messages and tools we encountered on our journey all continued the immersion. Some of the props were a little cheesy, we wished we had learned more about the antagonist, and we never felt completely like we’d be sent to the past, but this was still an above average experience.
Through and through Sprightly Escapes succeeded at a solid escape room experience without succumbing to fancy technology or over-the-top props. We are glad that first generation rooms are still able to provide a high quality experience without a massive budget. The flow of Mission Improbable made sense, there were opportunities for teamwork, the puzzles were challenging, the room design fit the theme, our emotions were a rising balance of anticipation and excitement, and the number of tasks were fair for the allotted time. Another level of refinement to the room design would make the experience a little more exciting, but we would strongly recommend this room for everyone from beginners looking for a challenge to escape room veterans looking for a quality, fun and challenging room.
(Note: Room is located upstairs with very limited seating available.)