Dead Man’s Secret
Dead Man's Secret
- Played June 2019
- Denver, CO
- 60 minutes
- 2-6 players
- $25-$40 (all rooms private)
- What People Say
Conundrum Escape Rooms in Lakewood is one of the longest running escape companies in the Greater Denver Area. They’ve used that time to continually improve their rooms and it shows. Our experience felt very buttoned-up and smartly executed. In fact, we would have liked even more than our sixty minutes so that we could explore the smaller details of the design. The business’ success has allowed them to expand to a second location in Arvada CO. We are eager to see what they’ll come up with next.
The Lakewood location is on Kipling St, about halfway between I-70 and Rte 6—make sure to look for the red sign outside the building else you may pass by the entrance. There was enough parking in the front of the building for our visit and additional spaces behind if there is a big crowd. Our overall pre-room experience was similar to many other rooms we’ve played. The lobby area is a comfortable size with water and small puzzles to keep you occupied while you wait for the rest of your team. There is a locked storage space for your belongings and plenty of room to sit. We crossed paths with another group that was seated in a second waiting area—this separation is a nice way to start your team-building experience. Conundrum is “private room only”, which means your group won’t be mixed with people you don’t know. We greatly appreciate this booking style. We’ve heard countless stories of bad games due to groups that don’t mesh well or too many people in a small area.
After meeting our gamemaster, we reviewed the rules and absorbed the backstory about Conan Drum’s hidden fortune. Then we found ourselves in a well-constructed and appropriately designed study. Most of the decorations fit the theme and while the room isn’t very large, our group of four had little trouble moving around each other. We appreciated the sturdiness of the props and the authentic look and feel of the furniture. Some of our group disliked the soundtrack volume and others felt the lighting could be a little challenging, but neither was overly distracting. Everything worked as expected which meant we could focus our attention on the challenging puzzles.
This is a difficult room and, as such, we wouldn’t suggest this as your first escape room unless you are with some seasoned veterans. We think this is best suited for 3-4 experienced escapers. We appreciated the difficulty and only found one puzzle to be harder than it needed to be. (The staff has already discussed adjusting that particular puzzle, so your experience may differ slightly from ours.) Throughout our game we found ourselves splitting up into pairs to tackle the overlapping puzzle paths. We hit a couple of logjams and one situation where more people made the solution harder to discover, but for the most part all of our brains were focused on something at any given moment and we felt that our individual skills were helping the team. We wished for a greater variety of puzzle styles and fewer combo locks, however both of these critiques are common to escape rooms across the country. We understand that room designers have constraints!
The storyline that was presented to us at the beginning of the experience was clear and our environment helped keep us in that zone. However, the narrative didn’t play out as strongly as we would have liked. It wasn’t until our post-adventure discussion that most of our group grasped how the puzzles connected with the story and how the solutions connected with each other. Immersion is always the hardest aspect of an escape room to get right and with that in mind, we felt Dead Man’s Secret was better than average. We enjoyed the puzzles, but we would have been okay with fewer of them (or reduced complexity) in trade for some more evolution of Mr. Drum’s character and information about his past. Without going into any detail that could spoil your escape, there was a part of our game in which we really enjoyed the mechanics and authenticity. Make sure to take it all in even if time is running out!
Conundrum recommends 3-5 escape room enthusiasts to best enjoy this room and we concur. More people could get cumbersome and fewer guests (or beginners on their own) may be overwhelmed. We had some moments of frustration and we wished for more immersion, but overall Dead Man’s Secret is a very good room. We appreciated that the gamemaster didn’t provide us with little hints, instead waiting for us to ask…and we wished we were less stubborn about asking. We escaped feeling positive about our game and wanting to do another room. Conundrum is [rightfully] proud of what they’ve created and even after 3.5 years is still looking to find ways to improve. They have other rooms with varying levels of difficulty so don’t be turned away if you’re a new escaper. Conundrum will have something for you and we’re confident you’ll have a fun experience like ours!