The Paris Manor is a walk-through haunted house in the 10th district of Paris, France and the Skeleton Key is the label under which the Escape Games are offered. The Skeleton Key offers two interactive and immersive adventures with actors. The first room, “The Cursed Crypt”, is very scary and fits well with the haunted house theme of Paris Manor, while the second room, “Wanted”, takes a different direction and serves fans of the western genre.
We are greeted at the entrance area, and luckily, we can walk past the endless queue of people that has formed in front of the building because of a special Halloween event at Paris Manor. To get to the Briefing Room, which is located on the upper floor, we must pass through the Souvenir Shop. After watching a video with security instructions there, we are led into the vaults of Paris Manor, where we go on a time travel to North America at the end of the 19th century. After our mission has been explained to us, we can pass through the time portal, which unfortunately is just an ordinary door. Surely this could have been made more immersive.
Pretty soon we meet a person who does not seem to be well-disposed towards us. Since he doesn’t buy our story, he puts us in handcuffs, and we are locked up. The last thing we see is the smile of his dirty teeth. There are always actors in the Skeleton Key escape games. It’s no secret. They are elaborately and authentically costumed, have a great make-up and embody their role very well. There was a lot of interaction between us Cowboys/-girls and the guy who was the actor and gamemaster in one person. That was fun! Role-playing fans will enjoy it.
The scenery is realistic, detailed and just as one would expect for a Wild West theme. Lots of wood, objects that fit in well into this scenery. A well-done atmosphere. The puzzles are rather classical but not easy. Some require teamwork. There are no padlocks. Often it is about searching, observing, concluding. The right decisions must be made. Help always comes at a price. But who can you really trust in these wild times?
We played in a foursome, which in my opinion should be the upper limit. With more people, I would not recommend it, as otherwise there is a little lack of space in the room where you spend the most time. Nevertheless, I found “Wanted” a great western room, with an interesting gameplay and funny role-playing elements. It was fun, even if not every decision we made was the right one. My fault! A bit disappointing, however, was that there was no proper debriefing after the game. No opportunity to go back into the room and ask questions.