“Don’t worry, I already called the cops. They will be here in an hour,” Ray said with a smile. He sauntered toward the back of the room, and just before locking the door, he called out “Good luck.” And with that, the clock started ticking.
So started our story with Stash House, a brand new escape room located in Koreatown in Los Angeles. While that is where our story started, it wasn’t where Ray was first introduced. For those who attended the “Drinkin’ Smokin’ West Coastin” show at Think Tank last summer, you may remember the one-night-only events called STREET BAPTISM. Created by Don DeLeon and Tommy Honton, the shows people checked in with Ray at three different points in his life. Serving as a prequel to Stash House, you got to see his start in the business and where it took him. And now, Stash House is the next chapter in that.
Stash House, however, is a more permanent chapter in Ray’s story, and one I urge you to check out. Prior knowledge of the prequels is not needed, though, as you can come in fresh and get to know Ray for yourself.
Staged as a ‘trial’ of sorts, the game begins when Ray invites you to join his crew. Of course, you’ll need to prove yourself first, and that is where Stash House comes in. Instead of traditional escape rooms, where you are fighting the clock to get out, this one has you finding Ray’s stash of drugs and flushing them down the toilet before the cops arrive.
Stash House did a masterful job of keeping players immersed in the world from start to finish. From the moment you ring the buzzer to starting the game and even right down to the ‘clue’ system, you are IN Ray’s world. DeLeon and Honton do a great job of setting the tone right off the bat, and their actor playing Ray has the perfect amount of charm and menace to explain what’s about to go down.
The room is perfect for the story and has tons of hidden spaces and intriguing discoveries for you to explore as you try to find Ray’s stash. As Team HorrorBuzz worked hard to find the drugs, we were amazed how Ray’s world and the story unfolded before us. Subtle hints of his background and narrative came in naturally through puzzle pieces and solutions, and it was pretty awesome to see.
Not only that, but the puzzles themselves were incredibly clever. There was quite a number of times that I audibly said “Whoa, that’s cool!” as we figured things out. While there are a handful of “lock and key” puzzles, as expected, the bulk of the things you will be working on are pretty innovative (not to mention fun) additions to the world of escape rooms.
Our group of six was able to keep busy the entire time, with more than enough to do so we weren’t crowding around individual puzzles. Multiple puzzles can happen at once, so small teams can definitely break off and work on things. Very non-linear, and very satisfying to see it all come together at the end.
Overall, DeLeon and Honton did a fantastic job of creating something new for escape room fiends. To me, it was almost like a living, breathing mission from Grand Theft Auto. The duo has crafted a weird love letter to LA life with the room, and it’s great. Stash House definitely became one of my favorite rooms, and based on our interaction at the completion of the game, I am excited to see what they do next in Ray’s story.
If you like your escape rooms with a touch of immersive theater, and incredibly clever puzzles, than Stash House, is for you! A big thanks to them for having us out!
To book your visit and to join Ray’s crew, visit them online at: http://www.stashhou.se/