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Escape Hotel Hollywood: Zombie

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Hollywood Escape Hotel might hold the title of “best lobby ever.” Seriously, we arrived at the game deliberately early JUST to hang out in the deeply immersive lobby, a sprawling 2-story, early 20th century style “haunted hotel” full of class and creepy charm.

In-costume, in-character hosts jump-scare patrons for the LOLs in between helping them take their passport photos (every player receives a legitimate passport book, ID photo and all, so they may collect stamps for each of the 11 rooms at this venue… DMV, take note, they made it fun to wait in line to get an ID).

Amazingly, the waiting room for Escape Hotel has more charm, theatrics and epic technology than most other actual rooms (the hosts can make the lobby’s lights spazz out, black-out and do other paranormal activity whenever they feel like it).

It’s odd to dedicate so many paragraphs to the pre-game details, but it’s truly impressive. Our game-master, a bloody bellhop named “Stoner,” made us laugh a dozen times and made the immersive hallway leading up to the room super fun via another round of crazy flickering lights and spooky “haunted ongoings” he activated with a secret remote control.

Onto the game:
Players must destroy the zombie virus that has infected many innocent folks. The location? A bloody, dingy laboratory. This is a reboot of a previous Zombie-themed adventure that none of us had done so we are unable to compare, but it seems as if a lot of love has been injected into this current experience (part of an overall rebranding of the entire company, so we were told).

The immersion is strong. Grime, blood and high end props make up every morsel of the environment. Booming sound and music make the game a deeply suspenseful adventure, made even scarier by the super advanced challenge.

This thing is hard. We entered with hubris and were quickly humbled. This was a huge plus for us. We have yearned for a truly rough room for a long time and this, a 5/5 difficulty (according to them), had some deeply complex intellectual challenges that integrated story-motivated props and impressive technology.

There was not a single padlock to be had. Instead, a mature integration of gadgets and cool technology (with no glitches!) unlocked and flowed one puzzle to the next.

It is here that we present the only criticism, one that will be described vaguely: a very clever puzzle requires the loose application of “wearable props.” One of our reviewers was unable to put this object on due to her glasses and fashion limitations. This minor situation is worth noting, but in the grand scheme of the 60 minutes, there isn’t a single element in this room that detracts from it’s “QUITE AWESOME” status.

All of us shared identical opinions on this one across the board: If you want a very high quality, very hard room with top notch theatrics, ideas and immersion, this is one of the strongest choices you can visit in all of Southern California.

In the words of one ERA teammate: “I would bring people to do it even though I’ve done it already”.

Final Verdict:


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