Thursday, March 21, 2019

Game Shows and Lost Cities at Two Bit Circus

By Jonathan Bilski
Angela our hostess
It still looks like you're entering a circus. As festive as ever when you first enter, Two Bit Circus delights upon entry. Like you've just come into a big top. On this outing to the carnival downtown we checked out Club01's Game Show and The Lost City escape room.

Take you seats and get ready to answer trivia. Almost every night Two Bit Circus has Game Show, its a trivia contest like no other in LA. Though the name might be generic, your experience is akin to being on a game show like you would be on television. There's some tech that helps too, you get to answer in real time with specialized tablets on your table.

Going with the name of the Cantankerous Matthews, you choose your group name from two lists of pre-selected words on screen, my friend Matthew and I played the hour long adventure.

We had the lovely Angela as host. She appears on stage with a big screen in the front of the room. Small tables with four seats each are spread out with two tablets per table. You and your date or you and a friend team up on one tablet. You're in fact seated against another team at the same table. The tablets are raised and fit in a console that lights up for when you do well, do badly or when you're running out of time to answer a question. This is all explained to you by the host before you start playing.

What followed for us on team Cantankerous Matthews was a bitter fight for supremacy on the real time scoreboard against team seating at the same table as us. On the night we played, we had only 6 teams playing, but when the weekend rolls in there's a lot more people free to play and Two Bit's web-site says up to 80-100 people can play in real time.

That night it was us against not as many as 110 people. We still had to fight hard though, tapping the screen as fast as we could. Did I mention that sometimes you have to play games on your tablet to get to go on stage? Yes, you've got to tap drums the fastest or pound stars based on their number in mini-games if you want a chance to get on stage.

Lucky players get to go on stage to choose the categories and get more points, while the rest of the audience pushes the answers out on their tablets per usual. Being on stage is like being on a TV game show. There's buttons in front of you in your stand and it feels like your the center of attention for a minute or two. I got to do it and so did my friend that evening. It's kind of special to get to go up there, our odds were easier with a not so big audience. Try your best to get on stage though, it's worth it to tap away in the mini-games.

Angela, the host for that evening, greets you and gets you in front of everyone. Multiple hosts do different nights, so you might get a different host if you play Game Show more than once. Our Angela, in a floral rose dress, kept us entertained throughout the show with her happy personality and good nature even with a technical hiccup of a question not loading.

Tablet questions aren't just multiple choices out of four. Some are wagers, some are fill-ins, some are you fast-paced sliding left or right and there may even be a round where your team expands and your scores are reflected in a horse race on the big screen. So things don't stay the same all the time. Game play changes up.

Now some of the trivia was just random trivia and a lot of it was nerd trivia like naming the books Game of Thrones HBO show is based on or when certain video game consoles have come out. So, it's not the same some stuff you might get at a bar trivia contest. Though, you can get bar drinks and eats while playing. You actually get a beer or wine with your ticket. Or you can get a soda instead.

Game Show goes by fast and it ended too quickly for me. It lasts an hour and I wanted to play more of it. If you want to spend a night answering trivia like you would on a game show you have to give this a try. I'd like to come back on a busier night to kick even more butts.

Check out all the different games played in Club01 here

Okay, so we attached the cables, but did we put the dynamite in correctly?

It wasn't easy to figure out what was happening in The Lost City. The Lost City is the only real escape room that Two Bit has. I wanted to try it out since I saw a sneak preview inside it months ago. This is one of the coolest looking escape rooms in the LA area you can try to get out of. Past a mine shaft, if you can get past that part, you'll unlock an ancient city area that looks so damn good you'll think you're on a re-creation of Legends of the Hidden Temple.

* Sorry, for lack of pictures inside the Lost City, Two Bit wants it to be a surprise for anyone who makes it in there.

*Now, things did not get off to an easy start as the room wasn't reset(?) and we had to wait 15 minutes before playing at our scheduled time. This made my group a little un-happy at the start. Another problem was the sound didn't work inside, so sound effects and outside help with hints was hindered. We were given a walkie-talkie, if we needed help, which we did.

You start out in a mine shaft and have to figure out a way to blow your way out of there with a series of puzzles. It didn't seem to complicated at first. I'm not sure if by purpose or by accident, but there's some lighting issues that make it hard for you to figure out a color coded puzzle. Maybe my group was just not good at the puzzle, partially it felt like there was a hindrance on us as we had to step into better lighted sections to see what pieces to put in.

After a long time, you only get 45 minutes, we blew are way into the lost city. And my group was impressed with the look of the place. I think we all sort of jumped around and got lost in the multiple puzzles around us. It's a sight to behold and it feels like you have earned your way into after being in a cramped tunnel. They've really made a lost civilization secret area to behold if you can make it in.

The Lost City, in all its wonder, has many puzzles to solve and not much time to figure them out in. You might want to separate into groups to decipher some puzzles inside separately.

Sadly, we did not make it out in time. They said we made it close, just not close enough. And for the most part you do feel like your in you own Indiana Jones adventures when inside The Lost City section. You've just go to be more like Indiana to make it out.

Check out all the different Story Rooms here

Two Bit Circus keeps on changing. I saw new VR equipment, games and arcade machines from the last time I visited. You'll be trying something you haven't before if you give it a look.

Two Bit Circus
634 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA 9002
(213) 599-31881

Mondays: Closed for Reboot
Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm – 11pm
Friday: 5pm – 1am
Saturday: 1pm – 1am
Sunday: 1pm – 11pm