RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 13:23
Another diamond has gone missing, and since no one has stolen back more diamonds than us at this point, we were the logical team for the job!
Escape Room Entertainment takes a common heist theme and gives it a bit of a fresh spin. The “White Star” diamond has been stolen. The owner has (naturally) hired our private investigative services to recover it for a reward.
(I just want to say as a quick aside – with as many diamonds as I’ve retrieved by now, I’m beginning to think there never will actually be a reward.)
Anyways, being experienced PIs, we have reliable intel that indicates it is on the premises of Mancinelli’s Construction Company – a known front for criminal activity.
As we’ve become quite good at doing, we’ve lured the security guard away from the property and begin the search in Mr. Mancinelli’s office.
What I like most is the unique spin on where the diamond is being stolen from. So often it’s just another bank or museum setting. Putting it into a construction contractors office opens up a whole new slate of opportunities for both mood and activity along the way, and Escape Room Entertainment utilized this to great success.
At its core, this single room game is a basic “office” theme, however one that is fully justified in its story set-up. Giving it the construction site overlay really does give a fresh take on an otherwise more common premise.
The room is full of toolboxes, lots of tools, hard hats and parking cones. There’s no question this is a job site.
Blue prints for major projects further the scene by giving the impression this job site is still a very much active one. There’s even fresh paint samples on the wall and a vast collection of color swatches on the desk. Little things like that may not seem like a big deal, but they represent a great attention to detail in an effort to turn a common theme into a more unique attraction.
Perhaps most satisfying to our experienced group – at first glance there’s no obvious spot the diamond might be hiding – a trope in itself that is often instantly evident in other games of similar theme. I certainly won’t say where its safe hiding spot is – but I’ll tell you this – it’s not in the places I would have guessed at first glance.
Being honest, we had a lot of trouble starting off in this game. In fact we probably went roughly 20 minutes with little-to-no forward momentum, and that’s not exactly good news. However, once that forward momentum started (after a helpful clue) this game become a rapid fire sequence of really enjoyable, unique, clever puzzle steps.
Diamond Heist keeps all of its puzzles connected within the story world – something that is no secret we hold in high regard. Everything connects in some way to the construction site setting.
True to spirit, there are also several puzzles that require some physical interactions – building and connecting things to give you your next clue. There’s also moments that require you to use actual tools found around the room to complete your objectives.
Stuff like that is always instantly enjoyable, and in this game, it’s done in an organic way that makes it both fun and thematically logical. It creates the kind of moments that stick with you in your memory when you walk out of the room – a goal every puzzle everywhere should strive to achieve.
One highly story-driven puzzle moment was so clever that we’d honestly never seen it before in another game. It really made us quickly warm up to this experience!
It’s no secret that an original theme is something that is very important to me as a player, and something I do try to look for when planning a game to visit. Escape Room Entertainment’s Diamond Heist was the third game of that exact name we’ve played, and among probably at least 15 or so that had me holding a diamond in the end. It was difficult to be excited walking in – but the sign of a true game is how excited it leaves you when you’re walking out.
Diamond Heist is a super fun experience, from (just after) start to finish. If the rocky beginning could be ironed out just a tad, this game would only become even more solid – but even with it, we loved it for its original story-connected puzzle steps and clever approach to the game play.
We’ve quickly come to love Escape Room Entertainment. Their zombie game – The Undead – is one of Central Florida’s best games hands down, and we had a blast in Diamond Heist and CSI: Homicide. The venue is very scenically appealing from the lobby to even the hallway between game rooms. The staff is hands down wonderful. They’re so friendly and enthusiastic, while also highly attentive and prompt when monitoring your game play.
Over two visits, we actually had the same game master for all four rooms – and at this point, Cassandra has somewhat become what feels like our personal Escape Room Entertainment concierge. Not only did she remember us immediately upon our return, but was thrilled to get to host us again. This type of guest service is sadly rare in this (or any) industry – and simply cannot go unnoticed.
Though we’ve now escaped from all four games currently offered in their Melbourne location, we eagerly await their new Orlando venue opening up soon. We’ll be first in line, but you definitely should aim to be second!
Venue: Escape Room Entertainment
Location: Melbourne, Florida
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: This game has ended its limited run.
Escape Authority readers save 20% at either location using code EA-FAN
We thank Escape Room Entertainment for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.