Our first Orange County escape room. The Dynasty is composed of three rooms, each room leading to another in a sequence. The theme is on point, and continues throughout the rooms. It was fun, with a variety of puzzles, although there were a few weaknesses that brought down the overall experience. I’d recommend it as intermediate to advanced, and having more than 2 people is almost a necessity if you want to complete more than one room. See below for the full review.
Hints Taken: 5
“Travel back to ancient China where the old empire hid their secret treasure of glory in the Royal Library. What power could this forbidden seal possibly hold? Find it before it falls into the wrong hand!”
I hadn’t experienced a room like this before, where you escape from one room directly into the next, and then into the third. This was a fun experience and appropriate as the theme between all three rooms is connected. It starts with an orientation from the owner/designer of the escape room. You are travelling back in time to ancient China. You have some superhero powers also. I didn’t really get the connection, but it was a way for you to go in with certain helpful objects that may not have existed in ancient times, like a blacklight.
The hint system is based on the number of coins you have. You are given one per hour, and can get extra coins, up to 5, if you check-in on social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Weibo). We added a few check-ins to get some extra coins. I think it’d be nice if you could plan for this ahead of time.
The first room we blew through in about 20 minutes, with 1 hint. He said it was close to the top time, so we must have been the fastest 2-man team. However, it turned out that there were 2 puzzles in the room we didn’t solve, and obviously didn’t need to. I still don’t know what those puzzles held, but I think unnecessary puzzles don’t belong in an escape room.
The next two rooms were a little more challenging. We got out of the 2nd room in under an hour, using about 3 hints. We used our last 2 hints in the final room. He said we were about 2/3rds of the way through the last one. As a result, he wouldn’t explain the last few clues, since we weren’t close enough.
The room has been operating for about a year and 3 months. In that time, the rooms and props have seen some heavy use. As a result, a number of the props that were supposed to be glued down were no longer glued. This made things a little confusing, as we weren’t sure what props were supposed to be moved. He said they are looking for a new location to open their next room, so that may have some impact on the upkeep of the rooms.
Some of the puzzles were not very intuitive for me. Even after the explanation, I wasn’t really satisfied. We did not come to the same conclusion as the designer had intended when there were multiple possible outcomes. To quote Scott Kim, on The Art of Puzzles, “A puzzle is a problem that is fun to solve and has a right answer.”
Another issue we had was that a couple of the locks were difficult to manipulate, which took a lot of time to carefully hold and spin to get them opened. The room also had a lot of blacklight usage. For me, a little too much, especially given the theme.
Overall, it was a fun room to try, and unique given the room-to-room experience. It was simple to book, and there were lots of available time slots. The owner was very accommodating to our last minute booking, and flexible given our arrival direct from the airport. I’d recommend it for intermediate to advanced players, with at least 4 people.
Legend X Iteration
3816 S. Bristol St, Suite N, Santa Ana, CA 92704 (Close to South Coast Plaza. Look for Plato’s Closet, LXI is upstairs)
Book the slot.
Check their website for times and dates, and coupon codes.