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March 30, 2018

Dare To Escape: X-Child (Tempe, AZ)

"X-Men we need you"

Date To Escape, not to be confused with the nearby "Dare 2 Escape" company, has three rooms in Tempe, not far from MindSpark. We played one game at this location, "X-Child" and for some reason I thought it would be about some little girl's haunted spirit which wasn't the case. It was actually more of a play off of "X-Men" and kids with superpowers. From their site:

"Telepathy Acclimation Program, or TAP, was a programme set up to train potential human telepaths. Children who showed telepathic potential were sent to Station Zero, a facility located deep in Mojave Desert for training.

You were one of the children who was sent to this facility. Officially, TAP’s function was “to evaluate telepathic abilities so an understanding of this phenomenon could be compiled.” In reality, they did physical and psychological experiments on you and other children.

The facility was closed down, and your memories of the place is hazy. After years of searching, you and a group of TAP victims were finally able to locate the now-abandoned facility.

Some old systems are still active though. As soon as you enter the facility, it goes into a lockdown..."

Puzzles, Technology & Set Design

The set design was pretty basic. Not bad, given it takes place in a lab/office but definitely nothing special. The set design was not what stood out, it was the puzzles that did.

The group was split into two and as you'd expect, teamwork makes the dream work. The vibe for what the story was about was spot on. You felt you were in some experimental facility for mutant kids. The manner in which you work with the other half of you group starts off as pretty standard but the delivery method of some hints were fantastic.

As the game progressed, some common puzzles types were weaved into the story in a fashion that made so much sense. The flow was incredibly smooth and you really felt yourself move along naturally. The final part of the game utilized a well known "puzzle" which may or may not require outside knowledge. I think this puzzle is known at least in the Western world and maybe beyond that.

You could  do this room as a duo, but there was one puzzle that would be a time sink that we later found out you didn't have to do because the answer was given at a later point.

Memorable Moments 

We MacGyver'ed a puzzle, to the GM's delight as he had never seen a group attempt to do what we did.  All the "eureka" moments in X-Child made us smile :)

Room For Improvement

The set design could look a little more slick. Some props felt a bit flimsy and we did have one tech glitch that involved a computer freezing.

Overall Thoughts

We highly recommend this room for a group of four people. Bear in mind the set is basic but the puzzles are pretty fun.

  • Set design: Basic but not bad
  • Difficulty: Easy-Medium
  • Price: $30+tax/person
  • Number of players: 8 max, (we recommend 4-5), public
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
See their website here: http://daretoescapeaz.com

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