June 12, 2020 – Every time I visit Rabbit Hole Recreation Services I get a little bolder in proclaiming how special they are. One world-class room is a data point, two is a trend, and three is an identity. Frost Base Z cements Rabbit Hole as a place every escape room enthusiast needs to add to his or her bucket list.
Frost Base Z joins Ruins of the Mystic Temple and Paradox – The Incredible Time Machine at Rabbit Hole Recreation Services’ facility in Louisville, Colorado. Christina and I are starting to feel like we know the area after several trips out here, though sadly, a few of our favorite restaurants we were planning on revisiting on the trip were still shut down or restricted due to COVID-19.
Rabbit Hole Recreation Services has a noteworthy lobby with many unusual and eccentric photographs on display and a steampunk “time wall” with all sorts of blinking / spinning components to really bring the piece to life. It’s a really neat space to kill some time prior to the game.
I’ve written up my adventures with Ruins and Paradox previously. Frost Base Z shows off again some of the same brilliant design features. Though the rooms are packed to the gills with unique technology, all three remain incredibly tactile, giving players many wonderful props to interact with. And the experience is designed to delight- solving a puzzle usually gives players more cool props to interact with, adding a little fanfare to every incremental win.
I’d be remiss to not mention the incredible job Rabbit Hole has done in all three of their rooms to make some of the most convincing sets you’ll see this side of Hollywood. Frost Base Z has multiple spaces within, including a cave and a research lab, and as you can see from the photos, no detail was spared to make these spaces authentic.
So to avoid repeating too many of the comments I’ve already said about Rabbit Hole Recreation Services’ other rooms, I’ll focus on what makes Frost Base Z unique.
First off, Frost Base Z is one of the most immediately impressive escape rooms I’ve ever seen. The room includes major setpieces which aren’t even part of the puzzles but rather serve to get players immersed in the game. I’m usually more interested in the puzzles than the story / immersion factors, but these elements completely blew my socks off here.
On the topic of puzzles, something that stood out to me about Frost Base Z was how there were puzzles to cater to every taste. While the bulk of the game was based around logical and lateral thinking, there were elements of seek & find, communication, association, and attention to detail. It’s the kind of room design that rewards having a team of diverse thinkers that approach problems from different angles.
Frost Base Z also nailed the integration of the narrative into the game. Players work through a handle of distinct objectives through the course of the game. The objectives all make sense to progress toward the overall goal. The game never needs to bludgeon you over the head with “Now do this. Now do that. Now do this other thing.” Instead, you get access to tools that help you deal with the broader objective of stopping the virus and it’s up to the players to take it forward from there.
The room presented a very good challenge, and we finished with only about 30 seconds left on the clock. We’re glad we did, because like Rabbit Hole’s other rooms, Frost Base Z has a very cool finale which rewards the players’ efforts and ties off the experience with a bow.
After finishing, Christina and I found we’re unable to pick a favorite room at Rabbit Hole Recreation Services. I’d honestly encourage anyone visiting the area to play all three- the themes and puzzles are different enough that each experience will be uniquely rewarding. Whether this is someone’s first escape room played or 500th, it’ll still stand out as an experience that will be remembered for a lifetime.