Out of Time

8.9 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
Fun Factor
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Out of Time

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Nestled in the beautiful southern Appalachians just north of the Pisgah National Forest you’ll find Black Mountain Escape, a hidden gem of an escape room. Like so many locally owned establishments, the pride is evident in the quality and craftmanship of their rooms and experience. We had the pleasure of meeting and working with Jon Brooks, owner, gamemaster, quick change artist, actor, and overall fantastic person to interact with. You might recognize him as the “peacekeeper” from Hunger Games who restrained Jennifer Lawrence’s character Katniss when she tried to volunteer. Fortunately for us, he has retired his baton and opened two of the best escape rooms we’ve seen with Black Mountain Escape in 2018. The company is located in the McCoy building, the oldest in the town of Black Mountain, which itself sits on the eastern side of the Asheville, NC Metropolitan Area. There is plenty of free street parking in front of the building. Of note, the entrance is in the back of the building and requires traversing several stairs to arrive.

The two rooms currently offered by BME are USS McKoy and Out of Time. This review is for Out of Time. The moment you arrive in the lobby you’re in for an experience unrivalled by any other that we’ve seen. Before the game even begins, your gamemaster substitutes the typically tedious reading of rules with an enthusiastic in-character introduction to the adventure you’re about to experience. While the magic literally happens right before your eyes, the gamemaster disappears only to reappear moments later having transformed both costume and character to fit the appropriate scenario. The pre-game experience was unquestionably the best we’ve seen and earned the first 10.0 score we’ve ever given in any category for any room! It was unanimous and wasn’t close.

The room itself was of the highest caliber and stuck to both the “time machine in the basement” and the early 20th century theme of the scenario without the styles clashing. We did encounter one broken prop with a faulty telephone (perhaps true to the early 1900s motif); however, it did not detract from the experience and did not require any break from the immersion. It was multi-room with a logical flow designed and constructed in a clearly professional manner. We gave the room quality a well-above-industry-norm score of 8.

One of our favorite aspects of this room was the interaction with the period actor / gamemaster and full-fledged immersion that it provided. The props and puzzles were true to the time period and theme. The building itself is the perfect setting for the 1910s-era theme. Being in a real building (from that era) with real windows and real interaction with a real person (a very good actor in his own right) made this one of the most immersive experiences we’ve had and earned it a 9.0.

The room offered a good mix of challenging and “solvable by mere mortals” puzzles, which fluctuated between linear and non-linear flow. We concur whole-heartedly with their recommendation of 4-8 players. This was a challenging room that required teamwork, logic, and attention to detail, earning another well above industry norm score of 8 for the puzzles.

The entire experience was one of the best we’ve had in any room anywhere. We were smiling from the moment we entered the door until well after the game was over. Our fun factor score was a record-smashing 9.3, the highest we’ve given any room yet!

Final Verdict:


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