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June 27, 2017

Cross Roads: The Hex Room & Funhouse (Anaheim, CA)

What a bunch of clowns
Crossroads Escape Games is consistently the number one recommended escape room company in Southern California and I put this location on our "must do" list for our Los Angeles/Anaheim trip. "The Hex Room" in particular, has a reputation of being a solid room with a strong storyline and immersive theme. "The Funhouse" is known to be a fun room, although better suited towards a younger audience. From their site:

The Funhouse: "Come one, come all! Step right up and see if you have what it takes to become a magnificent magician! In this room filled with trickery and illusions, you and your team will be put to the test. Work to beat the clock as you search for clues and solve mind boggling puzzles in a topsy turvy experience of a lifetime! Now all you need to do is ask yourself, do you have the wits of a magician?  Or are as clueless as a clown?"

The Hex Room: "Can you survive a horror film? This murderous horror movie fan wants to watch you try. Each player will take a quiz before the game to find out which character they are: The Nerd, Virgin, Jock, Rebel, Prom Queen, or Detective. Your team will be divided up into separate rooms where you must work individually and as a team. Not only do you need to escape, but you must also survive! Who will live? Who will die?​"

The Jock rocked and the Detective was effective 

Let's start with their marquee room, The Hex Room. As per their description, each person plays a specific role and this is extremely important in terms of your game experience. Each player is locked in their own mini-escape room and the detective is in the middle room that links all the rooms together. There are many places that start off with split groups but for The Hex Room, 80% of the fun is in your own personal mini-escape room which is closed off to everyone else. Given there are six unique experiences, that explains why people play this game multiple times (genius idea Crossroads!).

We heard that some puzzles are swapped out in order to keep the game fresh but your first experience will be your best one given that parts of the game would be repetitive.  The sets and the immersion are top notch. The roles and the storyline blend in seamlessly and the horror film vibe is persistent throughout the game.  Yes the rumors are true! Every player also has a personal bonus puzzle which makes the game that much more fun if you are able to complete this side quest. Out of the six roles (each had their own room), two were deemed excellent, two were very good and two were good.

The detective definitely has a unique role as his job is to mainly assist the others in escaping their room. The detective's middle area does not actually have many puzzles to solve and rumor has it that some of the puzzles were removed to be used in a future Crossroads escape room. So what we played was "Hex Room 2.0", similar to what we experienced at The Basement's "The Boiler Room". We could see the detective role being more important with new players but given the experience of our group, the detective had a lot less to do than the other characters. The Jock and the Virgin seemed to have the best rooms and it was great to hear the totally different experiences that group members had.        

The Funhouse on the other hand is a more whimsical room that was colorful and perfect for kids. Adults can also enjoy this room as it is well done but it's definitely a less challenging room. The puzzles were linear and mostly involved opening locks on a box so nothing too out of the ordinary there. The GM was entertaining so we appreciated the way the hint system was integrated into the theme.

Both The Hex Room and The Funhouse were solid rooms that didn't require any high tech elements in order to be a blast.

Pros: Great production level, incredibly immersive
Cons: Not all people will experience the best parts (The Hex Room), padlock heavy (The Funhouse)
  • Set/room design: Top notch
  • Technology/automation: Gen-1.5 room
  • Difficulty: Medium-Hard
  • Price: $35/person,  
  • Number of players: Hex Room, 5-10 (we recommend 6) / Funhouse 4-8 (we recommend 4), both rooms are private
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½ 
See their website here: https://www.crossroadsescapegames.com

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