Welcome witches and warlocks,
I had the great pleasure of attending the haunted attraction Night Shift and figured I would offer up my thoughts for fellow haunt enthusiasts. To best describe the plot at play, I will use my own story summary:
“We are pressed into service as the new overnight crew at a warehouse where mysterious goings on have occurred.”
After a quick round of rules we are ushered into a room to await further instruction. As we were biding our time, a boot was thrown into the room from offstage. I went over and picked up the formerly flying footwear only to have an actor run out and yell at me for not holding off until we had obtained our orders. This was only the opening salvo of our group’s journey.
From that moment on, we were yelled at, moved, separated, told to drink something unidentified, and made to solve puzzles in an effort to solve the mysteries of the warehouse. It was a completely different experience from that of the average haunted house or escape room because they forged their own path by marrying the sensibilities of both together. With each riddle solved we moved further into the packing facility towards the answers that we were seeking. Along our path, we were met by actors who added a sense of urgency to the puzzles and added a creep factor to the proceedings.
The cast for this haunt was absolutely stellar. The first person we run across in the experience was both funny, helpful, and clearly hated our guts. As we made our way further into the bowels of the warehouse we come face to face with more people that are either using us for their own purposes, need our help, or prove to be our true adversary. Since we are not guided by the cast through the entire experience, these run-ins with the actors prove to be truly memorable because they are highly interactive and spaced out enough.
The puzzles themselves are relatively well known within the escape room business, but there is a good variety to keep the guests engaged. Most of the harder riddles were placed within rooms where we had an actor with us to help guide us a bit if we got stuck, which was a brilliant way to keep the forward momentum going without looking as if they were giving us the answer. The idea of solving the puzzles to advance to different rooms within the warehouse made even the simplest of tasks we accomplished feel like a triumph because it allowed us to unlock the next room.
The set design itself is on point. From the opening room in the warehouse to the back alleyway, each section was meticulously designed and decorated to evoke real world locations. One of the rooms even had a special little (or big, depending upon one’s perspective) surprise that kept a few members of our group mesmerized while my wife and I tried to work out how to keep on pressing forward.
All in all, this is a wonderful haunted experience that tested our mettle with puzzles and a creepy story. I usually offer constructive criticism, but the only thing I can think of that might prove problematic is that some teams might choose to leave one of their members behind at one point, because I know we certainly considered do so ourselves. Fans of haunts or escape rooms who want something just a little more than what they are used to should do themselves a service and check this out.
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