RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Loss REMAINING: X:XX
It’s that old favorite bedtime story about Ripperstealskin, the tale that is grimmer than the Brothers Grimm. Except that it is based on a true story. Somehow it doesn’t seem right to be enjoying this so much.
Jack is back and he puts the cape in No Escape. You have heard the tales, now join the yard as you investigate the grisly murders of Jack the Ripper. Guests will be part of the experience as they attempt to solve the riddles before it is too late to catch happy Jack red-handed.
We have joined forces with complete strangers and put our fate in their hands as we barge into a murder scene and proceed to touch and tamper with every single bit of evidence that could possibly be used to catch Jack the Ripper, prove his guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt, and put him away for good. Instead, we’ve opted to contaminate the entire latest crime scene because of our morbid curiosity. Luckily for us, the Scotland Yard bobbies have allowed us to join their forces without any training or proof of investigative skills. Unluckily for them, we are not that great at searching shoes.
Busch Gardens No Escape revisits one of the most popular and timeless horror mysteries of all time. Players are thrust into the thrilling and unnerving story and must uncover the secret identity of Jack the Ripper before time runs out and he makes us the latest victims of his grisly blood-lust. The theme is masterfully executed throughout the experience and brings about feelings of impending danger and the looming sense that time is truly running out.
Entering this room, we found ourselves in a flat much like we’d expect to find in old London. The space was decorated with vintage furniture and antiquities with wallpaper that seems to have come straight from the appropriate era.
Authentic-feeling trinkets and old-fashioned knickknacks were placed and spread out about the room, allowing all members of the group to spread out and be in their own bubbles during gameplay. We were pleasantly surprised to find a secret passage to an adjacent area, because the space seemed rather small at first glance. Judging from the outside, we assumed we would not have much room to work inside the game.
In the smaller room, we found a number and variety of boots and shoes. Who knew the Ripper had a thing for shoes? Well, apparently he did for good reason. More on that later…
Much like the Case of Mr. Karver room, the majority of our time was spent in the discovery phase. We spent a great deal of time looking through old newspaper clippings detailing his attacks around town and trying to make some sense of the information we obtained.
A good many of the antiques proved useful and served a purpose in the gameplay. While we were busy investigating evidence and clues, the Ripper was apparently right outside and at any moment seemed very close to bursting into the room. The level of nervousness and excitement definitely elevated each time we heard him pounding on the walls and yelling insults, such as how he would enjoy killing us.
These slight jump scares seemed perfectly timed and inserted to distract us from what we were doing at the time. As the minutes flew by, we were frantically searching for the key to escape before he caught us, all the while being taunted by his close, threatening presence.
In the end and after our very disappointing loss, he bounded into the room and revealed where the key had been hidden all along: in the exact shoe I just happened to be holding at the time. The worst part was that several team members had already checked all the shoes in the room but had never produced the key. We all let out a cohesive “ughhh” when we learned its location – very frustrating.
Case of Jack the Ripper was very fun to play and we had quite an enjoyable time. We felt the theme and scenery were very well-executed and wed to the storyworld. In the end, we would have liked to see a tad more polish and punch in the overall perception and experience, just enough to take it up that short distance to the next level. While it was definitely a great room, we think this adventure – with a little extra something here or there – could easily earn 5 keys if Busch Gardens ever decides to take another “stab” at it.
Venue: Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 30 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: This game has since been retired.