The Great Houdini Room
Escape Room Rating: 94%
"The Great Houdini Escape Room is the world’s first “escape room” – built 100 years ago by the escape master himself, Harry Houdini. It was designed as a challenge to 8 brilliant innovators, to see if they could escape his contraption filled room within 80 minutes.* These innovators — Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Henry Ford, Charlie Chaplin, John Philip Sousa, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Helen Keller, and Luther Burbank — all participated in San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915. The room is now open to the general public and available by reservation only."
Still a well paced and incredibly fun adventure, Palace Game's original debut room stands the test of time. Walking into the The Great Houdini Escape Room truly does feel like a time machine into the early 1900's. Production value is top notch here, from the locks and lights, to the "on-switch" inside the room, every detail is considered to create a lingering feeling that Hellen Keller, Henry Ford, and the rest of the crew, had just finished solving all of the same puzzles. Far from the trite themes that have become overdone, Palace roots their games in historical fact, and specifically around the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915.
The structure of the room itself can a bit overwhelming with 9 different puzzles you could start with at once. Divide and conquer. Read (and re-read) the directions in the beginning to set your team off to the right start. Don't give yourself a hard time if you need a couple extra minutes before your team can escape from one of Houdini's greatest acts. A few things to note here: in contrast to some rooms with a high number of maximum players, there really is a wide breadth of puzzles in terms of quantity to tackle here—so plan your team accordingly. While it is a premium price point at $400, you do get more than the typical 60 minutes! While this room might be better for those who have experienced a few other escape rooms before, it is a large credit to the Palace team and their carefully planned "aha!" moments that it could still be a draw for escapers who are a bit newer. Palace Games consistently conveys to the players that you can affect the room in a variety of ways, and the discovery of the different methods to do that here is in itself a puzzle.
The Great Houdini Room sets a high bar for Palace Games, and readies the stage for their Roosevelt and Edison rooms in magnificent fashion.
- 80 minute room! Great for large groups
- Really elaborate set design
- Great technology and automation
- Booking: $400 for entire room, private booking style
- Hints: No limit. Game Master comes into room when asked and unprompted to check on progress.
- Capacity: 10 maximum