7.4 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
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rriving to the Puzzah! was pretty easy, with plenty of street parking. Being downtown, there are also lots of restaurants and bars nearby for before or after. The lobby area was well-lit, spacious, clean and plenty of puzzles to entertain ahead of time. The intro to the escape room was fun, engaging and well-delivered and then we entered to the room through a hidden door, executed to nice effect. The rear of the space, where some supplies and offices are stored, was parceled off with plain black curtains, interfering with the otherwise relatively polished appearance. Puzzles in the bathroom keep you entertained while multi-tasking.

The room was well curated for the theme, easily engrossing visitors in the well-worn, overly stocked office of a master magician. The effect of having to use the ‘magic’ glasses was an intriguing effect at first, but the annoyance of it wore off after a few minutes, especially for those of us who wear glasses to begin with. There’s no comfortable way to wear two pairs of glasses at once! It would be great to have an option to stop using the glasses once after you’ve solved that mystery. Definitely take the time to look all around and take in the intricately decorated environment. This is a rare case where a room that is filled with props isn’t overwhelming or confusing.

As a whole, the puzzles were well-executed and smartly designed. Throughout the experience our group was kept curious, engaged, and enticed further into each puzzle. We were impressed that we had some many opportunities to think outside the box and engage with the space. The puzzles allowed for multiple participants and were made more fun by the collaboration of multiple brains. One puzzle involved incredibly fine motor skills to place an item into exactly the right position… and then we had to do it over and over again. Our group struggled mightily, to the point of annoyance and waning of interest. We greatly prefer puzzles that require cognitive processing and partnership—Kazam didn’t disappoint. In true Puzzah!-style there are some puzzles that aren’t revealed unless you are moving at a quick pace.

The immersion was well-executed through decor, curation and puzzle design. The act of solving the puzzles had an effect of being in a magician’s show, having been called upon stage to assist. The riddles were intriguing and brought depth to the theme. The storyline persisted throughout, with clues and problems framed through magicians’ experiences of a storied career. In some ways the room felt a bit like a roller coaster of emotions as there are a couple of times where the frustration of a puzzle brought us out of the flow of the game.

Overall, we were quite impressed. This Puzzah! room is not reset-free nor fully automated like many of their newer offerings which means Kazam is as much like an “escape room” as it is an “adventure room”. Both type of enthusiasts will enjoy this style of linear gameplay. It’s clear that this room has been played many times, but the worn feel is not out of place for the theme. Inexperienced groups may find some of the puzzles rather difficult to solve without hints, but the beauty of this room design is that the pace adjusts to your skill level. Definitely stop by the next time you are downtown.

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