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In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

Review: Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive

RATING: 5 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 6:26

Back in time for a gunfight with the nefarious Dalton Gang – but only after we pick up some groceries so the wife doesn’t kill us herself.

Story

It’s the morning of October 5th 1892 and your group of weary travelers just spent the night in The Boarding House in Coffeyville Kansas. Your first stop of the day is the local saloon to whet your whistle for the long dusty ride ahead of you The streets of Coffeyville are full of shopkeepers starting their day, and residents busy with errands. Five horsemen are just riding into the far end of town.

As you’re enjoying your grub and drink you suddenly hear shouting in the street. Alex McKenna, storekeeper, has noticed the five horsemen and, even though they are wearing disguises, he recognizes them as the local band of outlaws – the Dalton Gang. As he watches them split up and head for the two local banks, he knows what is about to happen and sounds the alarm – shouting out “The Daltons are robbing the banks!!”

The residents of Coffeyville are going to need your help to stop Bob, Grat and Emmett, Bill Powers and Dick Broadwell – the Dalton Gang. Can you relive the true story of the Dalton’s last ride in Coffeyville? Help the town stop them from escaping as they head down Death Alley.

Daytona Escape Room Experience shows some great attention to detail in this historical-retelling-in-game-form of an actual true tale from the wild west. On that faithful day in 1892, five members of the Dalton Gang set out to make history by robbing two banks at the same time. Four of the five Daltons lost their lives at the gunfights in what would become known as Death Alley. Emmett Dalton, the lone survivor of that group earned twenty-through gunshot wounds and a prison sentence in the Kansans State Penitentiary.

The story of Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive cleverly connects to our lost author from The Ransom, Daniel McKenna. It’s one of his early relatives, Alex McKenna who spots the Daltons riding into town. Now it’s up to us to band together with the other townspeople by defending Coffeyville, you know, with an escape room.

Scenic

Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive boasts some of the venue’s very best scenic attention to detail. Beginning in the old town saloon, we find all the requirements we’d expect in such a setting. A bar lined with liquor, an old piano and a poker table. Come on – it’s the wild west, what more would you want?

But it’s from there that Daytona Escape Room Experience takes a very unique approach to a multi-room game. There’s no finding a hidden key or deciphering a numerical code to open the door; to the contrary, the only thing stopping you from exiting the this old watering hole are the swinging saloon doors to the outside.

Passing through them, we find ourselves standing right in the middle of Death Alley – an “outdoor” space in the center of Coffeyville, KS. All the “modern” conveniences are available to us – from the general store, a stable, the two banks targeted by the Daltons and, of course, a modest old jailhouse that still holds the last survivor behind bars.

Puzzles

In their most immersive game to date, it should come as no surprise that every action within Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive directly connects to the storyworld. From tending the bar, to shopping for sundries to playing a hand of poker with the Gang – and maybe even a shootout with them after that, it all feels theatrically authentic. Perhaps even more importantly, each step is intuitive, and flows smoothly from one to the next in such a way that we never felt unsure of our next direction.

And those open saloon doors have a direct benefit to Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive’s puzzle flow. With the ability to freely pass back and forth between both the Saloon and the Alley, Daytona Escape Room Experience is able to craft a complexly non-linear puzzle flow – allowing may tasks to be completed in any order. More importantly, this allows groups to split up, leaving something for each member to work on pretty much at all times.

Overall

Although there’s not a single game we disliked at Daytona Escape Room Experience, without question Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive was our favorite. Being one of their newest offerings (at the time of our visit it had only just opened) it should come as no surprise that this game upped the bar for the on all fronts. Significant improvements in story, scenic, and puzzles truly made Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive their shining sheriff’s star.

With its fully non-linear nature, Death Alley 1892 – Dead or Alive is one game that could actually work really well with a larger group. Oftentimes we find that there’s just not enough for everyone to be working on, but down here in the old town of Coffeyville, there’s more than enough to keep every member of your posse on their toes before riding off victoriously into the sunset.


Venue Details

Venue: Daytona Escape Room Experience

Location: South Daytona, Florida

Number of Games: 5

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 10 people

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

Cost: $25 per person

Escape Authority readers save 20% using code EA20

*Not valid for Smash Rooms.

EAR Disclaimer

We thank Daytona Escape Room Experience for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.

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