I mentioned it in a previous post, but last weekend, March 23-24, I took a very quick journey to St. Louis and back. Between the morning of March 23 and the afternoon of March 24, I solved nine escape rooms. Even for an enthusiast, it felt like a lot, but I have no regrets!
Start to finish, here were the rooms I solved:
- Mindbreak: Dragon Tower VR room
- Escape Challenge St. Louis: Mansion Library
- Escape on Main: Pirate Treasure
- Escape Challenge St. Louis: The Office
- Unchained: Surviving Saturn
- Unchained: The Vault
- Unchained: Villain’s Lair
- Mindbreak: Fairly Odd Tales
- Exhilarating Escape (Bloomington Normal): Ergo Spelunca Cadavera
I also need to give a shout out to Unchained’s great lobby mystery. It’s not uncommon to see an escape room set up a series of puzzles in the lobby, but the game at Unchained is easily the most elaborate I’ve experienced. Inspired by the novel Ready Player One, the lobby challenge forces players to search high and low for clues leading to three keys and a final puzzle. I wished I had more time to work on this challenge, but solving the three rooms back to back to back late at night (9, 10, 11 PM) on a day which started with a five hour drive from Chicago didn’t leave me with enough time or energy. Thankfully Unchained is opening a new room, so I have good reason to return and complete this challenge.
Also, I really need to get better at spotting repeated themes in my escape rooms! I’ve seen the same pirate puzzle in four different states, to the point where I immediately recognize the word KWANGCHOW as a sign that familiar puzzles are coming. There must be a popular DIY kit for pirate rooms!
Alas, I did not have a chance to visit the St. Louis arch. This trip I spent mostly north of St. Louis, and it was neat seeing a different side of town. When we looked for time slots to visit the arch, there were no tram tickets available for the times we could make it. Next time…
One more note about St. Louis- I am officially terrified to order pizza from there. Before this trip, I possessed a strong belief that bad pizza was still halfway decent. I WAS WRONG. After doing a little bit of research, I’m suspecting that my issue is with the concept of St. Louis-style pizza.
I had never heard of St. Louis pizza. For all the debates between New York and Chicago, I’ve never heard anyone from St. Louis throw down a gauntlet and join the fray. And I’m not surprised. My pizza tasted like Chef Boyardee ravioli drenched in Velveeta. I couldn’t taste the pepperoni on top because the cheese flavor was so strong, and the crust had no discernible texture to separate it from the cheese. I originally thought the pizza place forgot to slice the pizza, until I saw from the crust that the pizza HAD been diced but regenerated like a T-1000 terminator.
So I’m sorry, St. Louis, but your pizza is a contender for my least favorite pizza style, right there next to the strange spicy mayonnaise and corn variety I tried in Tokyo. It may be an acquired taste, but even if it is, I’m not going to find out. The next time I’m in St. Louis, I’m sticking to barbecue!