Nerd Reactor barely survives the new Escape Hotel in Hollywood

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The Nerd Reactor gents and I were invited to try out the new Escape Hotel escape room experience in Hollywood, California, this past weekend. Joined by Arvin, Narvin, Jose, John and Mark, we dared to enter the haunted themed complex of escape rooms. Situated on Hollywood Blvd. right on the Walk of Fame, many passersby were curious what was awaiting us inside.

We were greeted by a dapper man in a suit with a pallid corpselike complexion who welcomed us into the lobby, in character of course. They spared no expense in making this truly feel like a haunted, posh, classic hotel lobby (think of the Disney theme parks’ Tower of Terror). Furnished with tufted leather sofas, dim chandeliers, an antique front desk and tapestries, you know right away that the game has already begun upon entering the building. Another gentleman in uniform emerges unannounced and prepares our ‘hotel’ registration behind the front desk. This really puts everyone on edge, not knowing how many others were possible lurking in the shadows. Creepy!

Our host announced we would be checked into the Zombie room where previous guests had performed human experiments with viruses. They walked us through the halls where we passed at least 10 other hotel rooms. The endless hallway of rooms made the exit seem much farther away than we wanted it to be.

The Zombie room was authentic, floor to ceiling. It was like being inside of an overrun lab from Umbrella Corp. with test tubes with blood, body parts, hazmat suits. Again, they spared no expense. I think this is the first escape room where we experienced music/sound playing throughout which really added to the experience. The textures and props in the room felt dirty, they felt REAL.

Without giving any spoilers for Zombie, there was something to be unlocked in the room that none of us wanted to approach. Finally, our leader John was brave enough to put himself in (potential) harm’s way for the team. It was too terrifying to approach! We made really good time and escaped Zombie in 45 out of 60 minutes, not bad! Zombie is rated on Escape Hotel’s website as a 4 out of 5 difficulty rating. Our host feeling unsatisfied with our success wanted another chance to ensnare our souls. We accepted the challenge and made our way to a second escape room, Agent.

Agent takes place in WWII, and as Allied spies, we need to prevent Hitler’s nuclear weapon from being deployed, but first we have to escape our cell. Feeling confident from our last victory, we missed a few clues that set us back. This room was definitely harder and the clues were less obvious. In a hilarious moment that required us throwing a magnet on a string to obtain a key item, Arvin threw the magnet, getting it stuck to a lamp in the ceiling. Try figuring out who is your most coordinated player ahead of time! After relying on all of our hints, we buckled and ran out of time on the last puzzle. Agent pushed our limits, tested our patience, and almost got the best of us. It was definitely the most tension I’ve felt among friends in any escape room. Agent also has a 4 out of 5 difficulty rating, but we only recommend this for a really experienced escape room group.

Escape Hotel is the most dramatic and well put together escape room company that we have experienced. The puzzles and effects in the rooms were similar to what you would find in other rooms, however, the attention to detail and an all-encompassing atmosphere is what really puts your mind to the ultimate test. Escape Hotel is accepting reservations beginning Tuesday, July 19th.

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