Stash House

9 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
Users (0 votes) 0

Stash House

  • Played May 2019
  • Los Angeles

  • 90 minutes
  • 3-11 players
  • $40/person (sliding scale changes with more players)
  • No, due to drug references.

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Stash House’s adventure really begins online, if you so choose, where you can dig into some quality backstory about the criminal underground in which your drug tycoon boss, Ray, thrives.

After indulging in the optional narrative goodness, you and your team arrive outside a non-descript door in LA’s Koreatown waiting to be let in. There’s no real lobby, but rather a direct immersion into the game’s setting: your boss’ fancy penthouse where he has hidden bags of cocaine behind elaborate puzzles (as one does).

Your job is to find and dispose of (literally by flushing water soluble bags down a real toilet) this incriminating evidence before the cops show up; they’ve already been called, but in typical LAPD cliché, it takes them a long time to arrive. How long? 90 minutes long.

Already, you may be realizing how unique this room is: It’s not about escaping, it’s about finding. It’s not a typical horror or fantasy scenario, but a “real world” crime story. Most awesomely, it’s 90 minutes (versus the usual 60 minutes), an amount of time YOU WILL NEED.

As the adventure began, our team was already excited by the size (this is a very large room with high ceilings, an elevated bedroom, a kitchen and more), immersion (it has all the fixings of a penthouse, including a 90’s rap poster collection and stripper pole stage) and super interesting, very challenging puzzles. Before really digging into the intellectual obstacle course, we knew this was a well crafted experience, but it was the puzzles that really made this place shine.

Stash House’s brain-benders are all in theme to the crime-story and modern gangster persona, utilizing music, drug paraphernalia and other clever devices (we don’t want to spoil but wish we could!).

There are essentially a dozen super puzzles, each of which have several smaller puzzles inherent in their solving. They’re awesome, brain twisting and varied. We naturally found ourselves (a group of 6) breaking of into teams of 2, swarming a puzzle then switching up our pairing depending on the type of brain needed. This was a natural phenomena, which really illuminates a subtle but powerful criteria of what makes an escape room special: our teamwork flowed as seamlessly as the puzzles did.

As the room evolved into awe-inducing surprises and expansions, we found ourselves uniting as a group, separating off then uniting as a group again. The large and immersive room we walked into actually got larger and more immersive in impressive ways. Not just via size, props and puzzles, but also the finely tuned details, such as smells, music and sound effects.

After we completed the game, a grueling and always entertaining rush to annihilate the many tasks, our gamemaster walked us through the deep research they partook in, literally consulting with graffiti artist (fun fact: their hiring of local graffiti artists to tag a part of the room made it so the neighborhood stopped getting vandalized by said taggers) and DEA agents to nail super nuanced realism.

Stash House has only been around 1.5 years but already has an incredible reputation as a tiring (in the best way possible) challenging (in fresh, innovative ways) and super fun outing for teams of all sizes (bringing 3 people can be as interesting as 11, as there is so much to do). Let’s hope they build more!

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