I learned two things about myself after heading into THE MIST for Sinister Pointe’s latest haunt. One – I would not be very good at an escape room. Two – I am a very, very sore loser. (Okay, I kind of had an inkling about the latter, but let me tell you, I did not take it well.)
THE MIST has an interesting concept. A team of archaeologists have inadvertently awakened an evil force with their excavation. Your mission – should you choose to accept it – is to venture into the dangerous mist and find 13 important artifacts, and help close the portal and save the day.
You are equipped with nothing but a map, and sent into this dangerous archaeological site on a scavenger hunt destined to be disturbed by the see-ers, a group of evil creatures who can see through the heavy fog and want nothing more than to thwart your mission.
And these guys are dedicated. When I first entered THE MIST, I was desperately trying to read my map so I could figure out what I was looking for, and a monster walked by and slapped it right out of my hand like I was a nerdy teen in a high school movie with a pile of books.
It was easy to get back on track – just pick up my map – but it was a bit of a blow to my ego. And even in areas where the mist wasn’t too thick, it was dark in there. So dark, you couldn’t really even read the map, let alone find the relics you needed to win the game.
Of course even if you could see, it would still be an uphill battle. We were told that out of everyone who had already visited the haunt, only two had actually completed their mission. AKA – the odds were not in my favor.
And it’s not hard to see why not many people had finished. The relics are pretty difficult to find, and if even if you do manage to find them, you’re still only halfway done. See, along with every relic there is a hole punch, so you can mark off the item on your map. Problem is, the hole punches aren’t attached to the items, or even necessarily that close to them. You really have to crawl around and search to get the job done.
I didn’t realize this until too late, so I ended up walking away from a bunch of artifacts, assuming I just hadn’t found the right one. Oh – and did I mention you only have twenty minutes in THE MIST? Our guide warned us it’s not safe to stay among the see-ers for any longer than that. That means you have to work FAST if you want to leave victorious.
I’m not even going to mention how many artifacts I found. What I will say is if we really were fighting to close up the portal and save the world from the vicious see’ers, well, we’d all be dead.
And it’d be quite the execution, because the see’ers are creepy as hell. They’re somehow both unsettlingly quiet and jarringly loud. Beware growls, sudden and loud banging, and bully monsters who knock your map out of your hand.
The world Sinister Pointe created is fun and spooky, with landmarks such as an old saloon, a church, and a graveyard. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to check everything out. (To be quite honest, I’m pretty sure I walked in circles for a bit as I couldn’t quite get my eyes to adjust to the haze and dark lighting.)
Having never been to an escape room/similar haunt before, I struggled with not knowing the rules. Can I just pick up this candle to light my way? Am I allowed to move things? Can I put my hand in the water feature to see if there’s a fish inside? (That’s a no.)
However, others in my group who were self-proclaimed veterans of such attractions seemed to have a blast. My flaws aside, I think most people would have a bit of an easier time acquiring all of the artifacts if the game were a bit longer. Twenty minutes to wander around the foggy realm with little lighting as you search for 13 hidden objects (plus 13 hidden hole punches) felt a bit impossible to this spooky traveler.
All that being said, at $29 it’s one of the more affordable of the unique Halloween haunts. And as bruised as my ego was, I know I’ll be back next year to see what creative attraction Sinister Pointe comes up with next. For more on THE MIST and to purchase tickets, visit www.siniterpointe.com.