7.7 Overall
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You and your friends are hiking through the woods and lose track of time and it’s getting dark. What’s that in the distance!? Sounds like a hungry pack of coyotes! Luckily you see what looks to be a cabin in the distance. You and your team must find a way in within the next hour before you become coyote chow!

Sorry for the dramatic intro but we wanted to give you one similar to the one our Toronto ERA team received from the absolutely incredible people at Think it Out! Think it Out is located in Fraser Michigan, about a 30 min drive north of Detroit. The location is easily accessible as there signage visible from the road, the storefront and tons of available parking. As soon as we entered, we were greeted by the incredible owners (did we mention that they were great?). The lobby itself is a good size with tons of seating, games, and refreshments that are available to purchase as you wait for your room. That being said, we can’t imagine you will be doing much sitting around as Think it Out offers a fairly unique opportunity: located within the lobby are 4 puzzles. You are given the opportunity to solve each puzzle prior to your room and for every puzzle you successfully solve, you are awarded an additional minute (a max of 5 extra minutes if you beat all of them!). This was certainly a nice touch and we are sure many will enjoy as much as we did. What was nice to see within the lobby is that the team at Think it Out have truly made it their own. The lobby is filled with countless rubber duckies and Motown memorabilia to admire as you try to solve the puzzles. Once our brains were warmed up, we were given a brief introduction to the room and we set off on our camping trip.

There were many things that impressed our team in terms of room quality, but perhaps what we found to be the most impressive was how the physical space is utilized. The actual size of the room that Campout occupies is rather small, however, it is not something that you really notice throughout the game. Aside from the “nature” all of the props that are found in the room are authentic. The entire floor is lined with scattered leaves on Astro turf, the campfire and BBQ have a flickering glow which actually radiates heat. Basically anything our team associated with going camping could be found in this room, right down to the tiniest detail and we were all for it. Even the miniature cabin that you have to “break” into looked and felt like a real cabin in the woods. Much like the lobby it’s evident that creativity and Think it Out’s own touch permeates throughout the entire company.

With how much detail and authenticity was put into Campout, we would be hard-pressed not to find our experience immersive. As we stated before, all the props were real and thematically appropriate which certainly added to our engagement. The soundtrack was comprised of sounds of the outdoors such as crickets, frogs, wind, rustling leaves and even the occasional coyote howl to remind us of our predicament. Even the lighting was appropriate with the “rays of sun” shining down on us through the trees as we worked away. The whole game had a nostalgic feel to it, so nostalgic in fact that there were time where we would’ve been just fine lounging out and sitting around the campfire for a few minutes. If there is one knock on the immersion it would be that we couldn’t actually pee in the woods! We may or may not have been politely reminded of that prior to the start of our game by our hosts but we certainly won’t hold that against them.

The puzzles that we encountered in Campout were no different than the rest of the room. Everything that is found in the room is cleverly utilized and incorporated in some way. Our team felt that there was a great variety of puzzles and tasks found in the room and just the right amount to ensure there is very little down time. The puzzles are all incredibly thematic and make sense in a way that you could actually imagine yourself doing them while you are camping. While there are no team building puzzles per se, there are multiple puzzles that encourage inclusion, including one that sparked a small debate among our team. While one of our team members thoroughly enjoyed this certain puzzle, another felt that it was just a time waster.

So… as always, was Campout fun? YES! So much fun! While you won’t find any wow factors within the room, what you will find is a nostalgically authentic experience that you will be sure to remember! Campout is a great introduction to escape rooms for newer players and a great time for enthusiasts as it is simplistic, yet extremely clever. We recommend 4 players as the space in the room could be a little tight with larger groups but don’t let that deter you as Campout truly is BIG fun in a small space!

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