Komnata Quest - Maze of Hakaina - Review

Location: Manhattan, NY
Date Played: June, 2017
Team Size: 2 – 5 players.
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $40 per ticket
 
Story
Ancient samurai warriors would traverse the maze to prepare for battle. After losing his way, an ill-fated boy found himself trapped and mistakenly unlocked the dark forces within. You must navigate the passageways in order to find and rescue him. Act fast and complete your mission before the demons of the maze begin to hunt you.
 
Puzzles
Puzzles to complete were mainly task-based and heavily relied on our powers of observation. Komnata always does a good job of seamlessly interweaving clues and challenges into the theme of the game, giving to a true immersive experience.
 
Highlights
The theatrical lighting and set pieces coupled with the actual labyrinth design did a great job of really pulling us into the world of the maze. The high ceilings and layout of the space succeeded in warping our senses, leaving us to second guess our whereabouts within. The Game Master introduced the game with a dramatic storytelling and instructed us to wear masks as protection from evil spirits. This really set the stage for the game to follow.
 
The maze felt excitingly ominous as we advanced deeper. Paths of the maze were not outwardly evident. This was a welcomed challenge as many other escape rooms fail to conceal seams and indications of doors or other mechanisms. The twists and corners of the maze built anticipation. Maze of Haikana was thrilling and even creepy at times to discover what might lie beyond the next turn.
A particularly memorable element takes place towards the end of the game that was unlike anything we had seen before.
 
Shortcomings
The masks we were instructed to wear helped bring us into the world of the game, but they were less than ideal to keep on throughout game play. While thematic, they made it difficult to navigate the dark corridors while reading clues and solving puzzles. Dim lighting was certainly a theatrical highlight; but at times, text was difficult to read. Further illumination should be provided, so long as it is thematically incorporated through the set or props as everything else is.
 
This Room is a Good Match for
 
The Maze of Hakaina was one of our favorite rooms to date. The room is detailed enough for more experienced players to enjoy. Multiple win conditions enhance the gameplay experience and provide another dimension to the plot. At the same time, the room is linear enough for newer players to enjoy. Clues are intuitive but players may require additional guidance from the Game Master.
 
Book your Maze of Haikana experience here!
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