- Played March 2019
- New Orleans, LA
- 60 minutes
- Fun for everyone
- What People Say
Our third room at Clue Carre in downtown New Orleans was a great example of how a talented and dedicated team can have continued success in the ever-growing escape room industry. In our experience, playing multiple rooms by the same company will often show that the designers find puzzles that work and then re-appropriate them into a different theme. The staff at Clue Carre may rely a little too heavily on combination locks, but each of their rooms are unique with different puzzles and designs for each game. Our pre-room experience was similar to The Carnival Heist and French Quarter House of Curiosities with a nice lobby in an easily accessible location and a standard story presentation. We found this introduction to be engaging, thematic and with a clear objective.
The room was well-suited to the theme and the materials were in good shape. While the Vampire Hunter has been played many times, the wear and tear fits the theme and we couldn’t tell which items were intended to be old vs those that had taken a beating over time. Some of the props will seem a little “fake” for enthusiasts, but they don’t take away from the room experience. We particularly loved some of the art work and the decor towards the end of the game. The design was spooky, however we would have appreciated some additional sounds and different lighting to bolster the immersive experience.
The area of the escape room in which we began was set up well to make us forget we were in the middle of a wild city (days after Mardi Gras). At times it felt awkward to search the room…an exceptional emotion to have when playing an escape room. While it’s difficult to take players out of the real world while inside, it’s even harder to keep them in that state of mind. We began to waver as the puzzle systems became more standard (lots of combo locks) along with the ever-present TV screen with typed clues. We appreciate that technology has found its way into escaping, but we would almost always prefer less intrusive ways of communicating with the gamemaster. That said, by industry standards, the Vampire Room is well above average for creating an immersive experience.
There was a healthy mix of scavenging and puzzle solving in the Vampire Hunger. Experienced players will recognize the puzzles and anticipate what they need to do, but won’t be able to jump ahead without the specific items they’ll need to find. Beginners may feel the opposite where they are searching for more clues than are necessary. There are multiple puzzle paths along the way, which makes this room work well for larger groups. Some of the trickier puzzles had a couple of ways to be solved, to give some flexibility to player experience and more leeway for the gamemaster to nudge if you’ve veered off course. As with other Clue Carre rooms, communication and teamwork are essential for success—and they make the room much more fun! We found the pathway took more of our time in the beginning and middle stages to build the clue foundation, and then the final stages moved very quickly. This is great way to build exciting, nervous energy as we felt we needed to rush and push our brains even though we were closer to finishing than we realized. As we mentioned before, we wished there was less reliance on word solutions and combo locks as they felt repetitive and didn’t fit the theme, but we thoroughly enjoyed the puzzles and their varying difficulty.
The Vampire Hunter does a lot of things very well and even after playing 3 rooms at the same location, we’d be happy to come back and try the others. Our criticisms aren’t unique to Clue Carre, which is why we found our experience to be above average in all regards. The difference between these rooms and the holy cow rooms you’ll read about are based on space and money. Most escape room companies have tight budgets and limited manpower, but few are able to make the best of what they have to create an all-around great experience every time. It’s clear the Clue Carre has been around since the beginning of escape rooms in the USA and we’d highly recommend you stop in for a visit!