THE MISSING SCIENTIST ESCAPE ROOM
Played February 2017
2 - 6 players
$25 - $30 USD/person
Escape Room Kauai
4353 Rice Street, Lihue, HI
RATING: 9 / 10
Escape rate: 35%
Best time: 29:44 minutes with 6 people
Average time: 55 minutes
Clues allowed: 3
Did we beat it?
Yes! Just 2 of us, with 1:39 minutes to spare.
If you paid attention in high school science class, you already have an edge in solving Kauai Escape Room’s science-themed escape game. This room is ideal for 2-4 advanced escapers, or 4-6 beginner or intermediate players.
Overall, this room scores high for enjoyability. To save civilization from a deadly virus, you have to climb inside the mind of a scorned biochemist who has just gone missing. The game starts in the scientist's office and you have just an hour to discover why he disappeared before the cleaning crew arrives to clean out the office.
This room requires a bit more scavenging than others we’ve played and it makes it really fun. As we pored over the room, we found scraps of the biochemist’s journal entries, rejection letters from potential study sponsors, and vials filled with mysterious substances. There is more than one room to unlock and they do a great job of balancing technology with analog clues.
One interesting difference about this room is that there’s no countdown clock inside the room. Instead, players are given an iPhone and time updates and clues are delivered via SMS text throughout the game. You’re allowed to ask for three clues, and all players must call for the clue in unison to get the tip. Our game master did a nice job of hinting and nudging us in a direction toward something we overlooked, rather than overtly telling us what we missed.
The Missing Scientist also scored high on our critique of uniqueness. The room has an interesting array of problems to solve – from alpha and numeric locks to awesome science-only challenges (we’ll save the spoilers!) The other exciting differentiator for this game is that you don’t have to escape the room, instead, you have to solve a final high-stakes, challenge. With the seconds counting down, my adrenaline was pumping right until the very end!
The puzzles ranged from low to high difficulty, which makes this room perfect for groups. It’s critical to look over all the items in the room carefully and combine them with other clues to solve problems. This makes the room appropriately challenging and better than most where you just collect and apply clues.
Insider tip: Hawaiian residents get $5 off admission.
ABOUT KAUAI ESCAPE
Before playing The Missing Scientist, I had the opportunity to meet Yacine and Michelle, the founders of Kauai Escape Room. Their foray into escape games began when they created their first room for friends inside an Airstream at their house.
Since creating their first amateur room, they've built many seasonal games - including Christmas and Halloween rooms. Today, each of their rooms has a taste of Hawaii, including the 45-minute Lost Elvis Record room.
Now building their 7th room, they work out all their puzzles on paper and test the prop ideas before they begin construction. Drawing inspiration from set design, the story line and setting is hugely important to their room designs. With a focus on immersing players in a theme, they spend a lot of time collecting authentic props, working on hidden engineering and circuitry, and never re-purpose puzzles.
Yacine and Michelle have two scruff mutts, Hope and Scarlett. As pet lovers, the Kauai Escape Room lobby has something special for four-legged team members: a special box to open and win a doggy treat :)