Edit: I am updating this from thumbs down to thumbs up based on Paniq's response to my review. Heidi, Paniq's regional manager, reached out to me saying that this was a training error and it was indeed Paniq's policy to charge the price at the door for extra players at the correct prorated amount. She refunded my purchase in its entirety and gave me a voucher for a free game which is more than generous. She also said that they do take feedback from their GMs seriously and that they are already in process of updating the puzzle I disliked. I really appreciate that she worked very hard to make this right. It's unfortunate that a bad review was required to get Paniq's attention, but I do believe they are an honest company with a good (albeit expensive) product based on the one room I've done with them. In their defense on the price part, the rent in Logan Square is probably pretty high.
Original review below.
The reason I gave this a thumbs down is because they have a policy that I believe is a rip-off to customers. This game has a sliding scale where the more players you have, the cheaper per person it gets. They also offer the ability to add more players, and the FAQ states "So long as your final player count does not exceed your chosen game's limit, that's not a problem! We can process payment for extra players at the door. We are unable to process refunds for players who don't show up, so book conservatively if your final headcount is uncertain."
So I booked for 2 and then added 2 at the door. However, they did not give us the price for 4 people in total, we paid $8 plus tax more than that. When I sent them an email inquiring, they said, "Since our games are private, we have scaling pricing for smaller groups. Once purchased, this price is not adjusted for variations in the group size. To mitigate this, additional tickets are set at our cheapest player price: $37.95, instead of the additional tickets also being $43.95 at the 4 player rate."
I think this is unfair and takes advantage of customers. There's no mention of it in the FAQ or the booking process. This is on top of the fact that the game is already very expensive compared to other escape rooms, and the fact that when I booked it initially, I got charged a $3.71 transaction fee that was apparently unavoidable unless I had a prepaid voucher. So that's another ripoff. Basically, this company is trying to find little ways to sneak in hidden charges and it's unethical.
The game itself was enjoyable. Really good atmosphere, mostly good puzzles, though there's two puzzles that are of the exact same type--I don't like the kind of puzzle that was represented at all, and two was definitely too many. Especially as one was the last puzzle of the game. When I gave feedback on that, I was just told by the GM that they agree. It was clear that they were not empowered at this chain to actually provide feedback on the design. But overall, the GM was perfectly nice.