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August 2, 2017

Countdown: Pandorus & Krampus (Los Angeles, CA)

Escaped Pandorus and Krampus
Countdown Live Escape Games has great reviews on many sites and its "Krampus" room is a 2016 Golden Key recipient from EscapeRoomArtist and its "Pandorus" room is a Top 15 LA Escape Room for EscapeRoomTips. While I am personally not a horror fan and never frequent haunted houses, we decided to give it a go when one of our team members really wanted to play Krampus. We were also very excited to play Pandorus as for some reason, there aren't that many spaceship themed escape rooms.

"Your mission is to board the Pandorus class spaceship of the Federation of Axis Planets and use the alien technology to create a nanobio weapon capable of eradicating the parasitic species that is threatening the universe. Can you traverse this derelict ship and get your well deserved credits? Or will you risk the wrath of the Federation?"

This game is an update on Countdown's previous spaceship themed room. The pictures on their site show a slick ship interior so we were surprised when we played the game to see a derelict setting. Although the set was dark, the atmosphere was not scary. There were a lot of pop culture sci-fi nods that actually make solving some puzzles easier if you happened to get the references. There was some good use of automation and tech and we got to play with a cool tech toy in one of the puzzles. There was one puzzle that stumped us and it was one of those puzzles where nothing happens if you do it correctly because of another unsolved puzzle, although there is no indication that the puzzles were linked. We heard rumors from multiple sources that this room was the most difficult in LA but apart for that one puzzle, we moved along pretty quickly. We appreciated the theme and although it's not totally unique, it's definitely not common among the rooms that we played.

"Your investigation has brought you to the morbidly festive apartment of the Krampus Killer. But what will happen to you when the suspect is more myth than man? Escape his lair before he returns or you will have one Hell of a Christmas."

This room was originally created for the Krampus movie that came out a few years ago. After the movie run, the room was modified to become a permanent game. This game would be most appreciated by horror fans. It's perpetually dark (which makes it a hindrance for groups larger than 3-4) and there are some real haunted house style scares. The darkness is a bit much as there aren't enough flashlights to go around which means some players have to search in the dark. There is a creative use of technology that we can't refer to without spoiling but this limits a lot of the reveals to one person. If you like creepy and scary rooms then this would probably be great fun.

We enjoyed Pandorus more than Krampus because the puzzles felt more substantial and the set design was more unique. Both rooms overall are highly crafted and enjoyable escape rooms with great set design and good use of tech.

Pros: Great production level, and nice unique features in each room
Cons: Dark rooms, more so for Krampus
  • Set/room design: Excellent
  • Technology/automation: Gen-2 room
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30/person,  
  • Number of players: 1-6 (we recommend 2-3 ), private
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Pandorus ★★★★, Krampus ★★★½
See their website here: http://www.countdownescape.com/la

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