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August 26, 2019

California State Escape: Wizard's Redemption & Trespassed

(Right to left) The Red Wizard, The Purple Sorceress, Cory in blue bathrobe
It had been a few years since we played any rooms in Sacramento and it was due for us to revisit the area. One of the locations that we visited was California State Escape which had quite a few games to play. We played Space Sector the last time around and this time we played Wizard's Redemption and Trespassed. From their site:

"Wizard's Redemption
Welcome future apprentices to the Thaumaturgy Preparatory School of Magic! Upon entering for your tour of the grounds, the institution falls under attack by evil sorcerers, determined to breach the walls and break the protective enchants. It is now your job, along with your fellow apprentices, to make a passage through the halls, communicate with the outside world to get more aid, and find your way to safety!

You will have many tasks that challenge every aspect of what is to come of your time at the school. From geography, potions, and alchemy to history and much more. This will be your greatest test as magicians and it’s only the beginning!

You haven’t participated in Devil’s night since you were a kid, but your roommates haven’t stopped with the rumours of this old mansion on the outskirts of the city that they found geocaching – let’s do it! Laughing and steering per the GPS along the side roads, you look to find the vague break in the bushes, and a sign catches your eye, “Pembroke Dr.” This house, it has to be the Fitzgerald’s. Your nerves begin, it was only a myth. After all, nothing was ever found."

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

Wizard's Redemption
People who like Harry Potter would definitely appreciate this 90 minute game. The set was a well done Wizard's study and definitely a step up from the set of Trespassed . In terms of footprint, this game (and Trespassed) was above average in size. It was also a linear room so small groups would be best and three players felt like the perfect size.

Puzzles revolved around finding and associating elements. There was a lot of reading and puzzles more than often unlocked laminated hints. Out of all the rooms we played, this was one of the games where we had to do the most reading.

This game was billed as a horror experience but there were no jump scares at all.  There were creepy props and blood on the wall but nothing scary at all. This escape room was not for kids but one of our players who jumps in Disney movies didn't flinch at all. The set design was fine for a creepy home.

The puzzles were search heavy and involved unlocking padlocks. Standard first generation escape room puzzles were executed appropriately and good for entry level players. Seasoned enthusiasts will likely play through this room quickly.

Memorable Moments 

Wizard's Redemption was more memorable and there were some nifty  effects that made the setting magical.

Also, the celebration that this location gave after completing any of the rooms was probably one of the most exciting post game experiences we have lived! We didn't see it the first time we played a few years ago so it might have been a recent addition.

Room For Improvement

Both rooms relied on laminated paper with a lot of text and there were some parts where no one on the team wanted to read or review them.

Less reliance on padlocks, especially for Trespassed, would have been more interesting. In Wizard's Redemption, black light was extensively used and it would have been more convenient if everyone had their own light.

Overall Thoughts

Both the games we played were great for beginners as the set designs were high quality and the puzzles had single level complexity. There were a few things that stumped us in the Wizard but asking for hints at the right time should be enough for most people to make it through.

  • Set design: Good
  • Difficulty: Wizard's Redemption: Above Average, Trespassed: Easy 
  • Price: $35-$40/person
  • Number of players: Wizard's Redemption: 3-6 (we recommend 3-4), Trespassed: 4-10 (we recommend 3-4), private
  • Duration: Wizard's Redemption: 90 minutes, Trespassed: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Wizard's Redemption: ★★★★, Trespassed: ★★★
See their website here: https://www.californiastateescape.com/

Disclosure: California State Escape graciously comped these games

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