The Candy Shop
The Candy Shop
- Played March 2018
- Montgomeryville, PA
- 60 minutes
- 4-10 players (6-8 recommended)
- $105 for groups of 4, $26 for each additional person
- What People Say
If you drive 30 minutes north from Philadelphia you’ll find Montgomeryville, PA, and the site of Expedition Escape’s newest location. Our team spent an afternoon at their facility hosted by the owners. It was great chance to learn more about their company, their passion, and their vision moving forward. It’s a rare treat when we get to have deep discussions with the people responsible for creating the companies we come across in Canada and the USA, but in this case it was a particular joy. Why so you ask? Because the owners were also escape room enthusiasts and understand the industry from a broad perspective just as much (if not even more) than we do! When we heard they’ve played over 300+ escape rooms, we knew we were in the presence of people who genuinely had a good understanding of what people are looking for in an escape room and not just self-proclaimed experts. But enough about that, let’s get to the second of three rooms we played on this day… The Candy Shop.
Our initial impressions as we drove to the company were good. It was easy to find from the street address, there was lots of parking, and the signage was clearly visible. The lobby is quite spacious and well-suited for large groups and corporate events. Drinks and snacks were available for purchase from a vending machine. A neat feature they also have is customers can acquire a passport which gets stamped with each room you complete (success or fail). When you acquire enough stamps you get treated to your choice from a variety of items which is a nice little touch that shows the customer comes first at Expedition Escape! Noticeably different from The List was the absence of a video introduction, and therefore just a little less engaging, but still a decent start overall.
The room quality is… well… how can we say this in as few words as possible? …AMAZING! If you don’t feel like you’re in a real candy shop (with what seemed like thousands of name brand candies, chocolates, treats, and homemade goodies) then you’ve probably never stepped into a candy store before. The number one complaint the owners have with this room is that it’s designed too well (and people try to pry the sealed covers of all the candies to get some free samples despite being told repeatedly the candy jars are not to be forced open)! How often does anyone hear that as a complaint in other facilities? The building materials, choice of interior design, the authentic props… is really amazing. The only thing holding this room back is that there isn’t more of it, and selfishly, we kinda wish there WAS a way to somehow steal some of those candies! 😉
As in most cases the impressive set design lends itself to a great immersive experience. You’ll feel just like a kid in a… well, you get the idea. The colours, the lighting, and yes even the smells of this room are spot on. Gen-X’ers and Baby Boomers will even have moments of nostalgia as famous candies from their childhood are incorporated throughout the experience. At one point in time, we couldn’t help but sing along to one of the clues because it brought back so many good memories… If you ever grew up as a kid fantasizing about being locked in a candy store, this is it, this is your chance! The one minor touch that would’ve made the experience industry changing for us would’ve been a stronger story component, and story development throughout the game. Aside from that however, this was as good as it gets within the industry.
And just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we started interacting with the puzzles. A semi-linear, semi-open path design makes for the best amount of variety in this room. There was a good variety of unique puzzles, each with various skill sets required. Also nice to see was the amount of puzzles we had to accomplish. We’ve noticed that far too many escape rooms are designed to have puzzles that purposely suck up your time and maximize your frustration, but this is far from the case here. There were several puzzle paths, each with fairly straight forward clues and indications as to how it needs to be solved. Puzzle enthusiasts will further enjoy the level of challenge in some of the lateral thinking problems presented. If there were to be anything added or slightly changed, it would be our desire to see some more team building puzzles put into the mix. Most of the puzzles were inclusive, but we can only recount one or two puzzles that were somewhat team building (in that they needed more than one person to complete it). All in all, we had a fantastic time with the puzzles in The Candy Shop.
And yes, as you guessed this room is fun. There are so many little things that work well together in this room that made us smile and not want to leave at the end of the game. The set design, immersion, and puzzles are all top notch, and the ending will particularly make you happy (trust us)! 😁 It’s also a great room to visit for several different groups. We’d suggest a group size of anywhere from three to six people, and is best for kids of all ages and experience levels. The only suggestion we might have that would have you choosing another room (like The List), is if you had all new players who have never done an escape room before. The reason we say this is because the semi-open, semi-linear path might create a bit too much for the group to do at once and cause confusion if you’re not sure what to do inside an escape room. Aside from that, this is a room you MUST try, and had more members of our ERA family come try this, we have no doubt it would’ve ended up on some of their top 10 lists! Kudos to the team at Expedition Escapes!
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