I arrive in a quiet corner of Vegas at an unassuming warehouse. An Egan & Co Meat Products sign flashes against the night sky as a neon cleaver drops slowly toward the street below. I think to myself: could this really be the Saw Escape Room? No branding on the outside leads me to believe it is associated with one of the most prolifically sadistic movie series of all time. None the less, I meet with Shady, the security guard, who quips a couple ominous double entendres as I enter through the gate into the warehouse. After a quick video describing the safety rules for the meat facility I am about to tour, I am lead through a series of hallways and into a locker room. As the door slams shut behind, I am left to face whatever Jigsaw has in store.
Produced by Lionsgate Entertainment, The Saw Escape Room showcases how impressive and immersive an experience can be when supported by a major movie franchise. Showcasing seven individual rooms, each denoted by their own time-limit, puzzles, and innovative design, this experience is fast-paced and interactive. Given the films, the themes inside focus on sadistic torture, quick thinking, and sacrificing the weak among you. Friendships may be tested–and only the strong and smart will survive.
Further, with seven distinct sections, failing one room does not mean failure for the entire experience–participants can continue on regardless of timer hitting zero. With timers ranging from five to nine minutes, getting stuck on a singular puzzle will not ruin the remainder of the experience, but allow guests to be reset each time. However, that also means that success in a given room will not set you up for more time in rooms. Before beginning, you are also offered three levels of help: from extreme to no help whatsoever. Assistance is provided by your guide, Bailey, a fellow victim of Jigsaw’s torturous games, and is always provided within narrative, careful to never break the careful immersion this experience creates.
From the moment you enter to the moment you leave, the set design is impeccable and is comparable to the Saw movie sets. The vast scale of each of the rooms is by far one of Saw Escape Room’s most impressive qualities. These rooms house everything from a full-size incinerator to intricate slaughter house crawl spaces and freezers. Although the rooms may have been overwhelming to senses, the puzzles require you in drill into the details of the space and embed yourself in the narrative. The adherence to the story even at that granular level is impressive and make each clue feel important and meaningful.
The only criticism is that throughout the experience we were so focused on solving the puzzles, it doesn’t allow much room for sympathizing and developing a meaningful connection with the actors. While they carry out their roles as guides and providing hints fantastically, when they are put in danger and you are forced to save them, we found ourselves more inclined to ourselves and simply solve the puzzle than rescue them. Most of interactivity stems not from interacting with the characters of the Saw universe but through unlocking containers, operating heavy machinery, and carefully trying not to trigger any of Jigsaw’s traps.
The Saw Escape Room provided a thrilling experience which forces guests to engage all senses to make it out alive. The tie-ins to the movies, as well as the standalone narrative, felt well executed and cohesive. Jigsaw would be proud of their twisted masterpiece. All the rules and guidelines were presented organically and allowed for flexibility in how difficult the puzzles could be. Overall, Saw Escape Room realistically recreates the movies in a fun and horrifying way that tests your mind and your bravery!
Open all year found and recommended for anyone over 18, more information on The Saw Escape room can be found on their website.