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Review: Bank Heist

RATING: 5 Keys          RESULT: Win           REMAINING: 4:07

Join a team of professional heisters eager to break into a tightly sealed bank vault housing an incredible amount of precious gold!

Story

“You will score big on this bank heist. Can you break into the bank and get into the vault before 60 minutes? Get your crew ready, it’s show time.”

Before entering the room, players are introduced to the story through a very professionally done video. The film reports on a string of bank robberies that has plagued the town. Details throughout the game will call back to this intro and tie everything together perfectly.

Although the obvious inference is that we only have 60 minutes before the police show up, the urgency is not clearly built in to the story. On that note, police departments responding to bank heist escape games really need to improve their response time.

The bank that is about to be robbed is set in Cherry Hill, NJ in the storyworld, which blends gameplay with the real world very nicely.

 

Scenic

To begin the heist attempt, crooks enter the back alley behind the bank. They can see into the bank through a window, but have no clear way of entering. The alley is dimly lit, has a grimy feel to it, and is fully immersive. Brick walls, leaking pipes, rusty metal fencing…it’s all there. The design team at The Great Escape Room Challenge has created a top level aesthetic that throws you deeply into the game.

When robbers finally figure out how to break into the bank they will assuredly be wowed. This was a hilariously fun transition and came as a big surprise. Totally believable, and very exciting. The attention to detail makes this area fantastic.

The production value of the scenic inside the bank is equally as impressive as the alley we started in. Small details go a long way in making this game extremely immersive. They’ve also included some impressively real looking counterfeit money!

After successfully breaking into the bank, bandits will eventually make their way into the vault. It will come as no surprise that this space looks exactly like a real bank vault. The Bank Heist demonstrates top notch set designs from start to finish.

Puzzles

The flow from one step to the next is entirely logical, yet creative. A fantastic variety of challenges keeps players on their toes for the entirety of the heist.

Not once were we stuck aimlessly wondering what to do next. We had mostly clear goals, and the two hints we used were more along the lines of just telling us where to locate a certain piece of information. There were a few combination locks involved, but with this being a bank heist they actually made perfect sense and were fun to solve.

Technology is beautifully intertwined in the puzzles and set design, creating several memorable “ah ha!” moments. The surprises hidden throughout this robbery had us laughing, shouting, crawling, and running around in excitement.

There were also a few more classic escape room style puzzles that didn’t rely on any fancy tech. A few times we couldn’t help but smile and laugh after finding some crucial piece of information. Certain things are almost hidden in plain sight, yet players have to think outside the box to find them. Slowing down, taking a step back and really thinking about what each item is and why it would be in the room really helped us through this game.

The ending puzzle sequence was high paced, high action, adrenaline pumping fun! We were coming down to the wire and in order to get the gold and escape before we got busted, we had to work our way through a simple but complex puzzle. It was perfectly designed to be stressful yet manageable, and all three of us were able to contribute. The puzzles all stayed true to the storyworld and worked together in such satisfying ways that we won’t soon forget.

Overall

Bank Heist will undoubtedly be an all-time favorite escape room experience for many people. The Great Escape Room Challenge sets the standard for what all escape games should strive to be. If the industry got up to this level as a whole, escape rooms would become America’s new favorite activity.

Although this game is technically one of The Four Unforgivable Themes, it is done so well that it is a very worthwhile experience.

It felt like we were in there for well over an hour. There were so many different puzzles and challenges to complete. This game is rated as “intermediate” compared to their “advanced” Mayan Tomb room. The differences seem to be that Bank Heist has a greater number of slightly easier puzzles where as the puzzles in The Mayan Tomb are fewer in number but a bit more abstract in nature. Both are excellent in their own right.

This game left us with an escape room high that carried for hours afterward. There wasn’t one dull moment. There wasn’t one puzzle that made us roll our eyes or get annoyed. There were many great reveals and there was a very satisfying feeling of accomplishment in completing this room.


Venue Details

Venue: The Great Escape Room Challenge

Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Number of Games: 4

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: $28 per person (Adults) / $22 per person (Ages 5-17)

 

 

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