King’s Room – Salem’s Lot (AGAIN)

Salem’s Lot (Game duration 90 minutes)

Fury team: Bistra-Dona Konduzova, Monika Gornishka, Dimitar SmilyanovIvan Vladimirov and Nadezhda Danabasheva

Date: November 2, 2023

Our time: 58:13 minutes

This room I played twice.

The first time I played it was when they opened it, and I promised to write a review. Then, I fell into a creative slump (not because of the room, but because of the pandemic, I think) and left the post in drafts for three years. This room doesn’t deserve just any slapped review, so after finding my mojo again, I decided I needed to play it again before writing. We gathered a brave group of friends because this room requires you to be on your toes, and… we went.

Let’s start with a small analysis of what’s been happening in the escape room market in recent years and the facts. It’s evident in the rankings and reviews that, in most countries (with Spain and Greece leading), on larger markets, players are increasingly looking for and appreciating not-so-complicated rooms with many logical puzzles. What’s sought after is an experience—a combination of gameplay, realistic decors, role-playing, rich stories, and maintained and working mechanisms. More and more leading brands allocate incredible budgets for building decors like a Hollywood movie. You enter another world, whether it’s a street in Japan, the underground tunnels of New York, a pirate cave with a waterfall while steering a wooden ship that’s 6 meters high, or the village of a cursed poor soul—everything is grandiose, on a large scale, with many props and a lot of acting.

“Salem’s Lot” is perhaps the closest thing we have to these rooms. Not only was it built following the best principles of its predecessor, Kings Rooms – IT, but this game is also located in an impressively large space. Your story begins with Father Callahan (known to us from Stephen King’s works), who, in a suitable robe, warns you about the evil awaiting you if you enter Salem’s Lot. And so our game began.

As you progress through the puzzles, you always feel like someone is watching you. This turns out to be true because evil is always around you, in the form of sounds, messages, and a shadow that sneaks in and appears when you least expect it (or when you do). It constantly reminds you that you’ve entered the lair of evil. You fools.

Now, I know evil, in the literal and figurative sense. In our case, evil is a 50-kilogram cute creature, which didn’t make my game slightly tense or my “belly button” moments less. The moment they materializes in front of us shortly before the end of the game made me raise my eyebrows. Honestly, even when they explained things later, I don’t think I’m less impressed with their acting talent.

The decors are not just realistic; I would say they are the main thing that immerses you in the plot. Lighting, sound, every little detail has been thought out to raise your adrenaline. Unlike other similar rooms we’ve played (not that there are many, because I’m just starting to tip my big toe in this genre, far from jumping in headfirst), here, there are puzzles, and they are not just a formality. Some of them require you to use your brain. I personally appreciate that. I understand the new wave, but in the end, this has to be an escape room, and this room stays true to the classical beginning—find the exit but not just by running, also by thinking.

The finale, for the second time, I don’t see it in all its grandeur because it gave me goosebumps. For the most frightened in the group, go and confess, my child. You are not safe, but you can calmly sing “baby shark doo doo doo doo” in the dark with plugged ears so you don’t hear the screams of the others from the team.

Don’t forget, this is a game; the actors in it are in their roles and doing their job. If you’re rude to them or want to show how strong you are, you’re being an asshole and shouldn’t be in such a place. This game is for connoisseurs, like a gourmet kitchen. If you crave a kebab, go elsewhere.

In conclusion, “Salem’s Lot” is an experience. You can always write to them and ask for the evil to be at a greater distance or even to take a break so you can solve the puzzles in peace. Since the first time I played this room without actors and the second time with them, I’ll say that you’ll lose some of the effects, but on the other hand, if you’re not ready, you have the option to adjust it so that you’re in your comfort zone.

Made in the style of the better horror escape rooms, “Salem’s Lot” is impressive, different, and memorable. Just as befitting a room nominated for the Terpeca Awards 🤴🏻

Our photos 🧛🏻🏰🗡️