RATING: 2 Keys RESULT: Won REMAINING: 8:51
Maybe it is a commentary on the monotony of office work, or maybe it is a lazy design element since it takes place in an office building?
What could be your worst day? You’re working late, everyone leaves and then boom- your door shuts and locks. Trapped in with no signs of escape, you must rally your team to solve puzzles scattered throughout the seemingly ordinary space.
How on earth will you get out?
Okay, let’s get this out of the way right up top. This section is labeled “story” because most games put some sort of effort into creating an immersive world for you to escape into and out of, not only in their scenery and puzzles, but also in their story. In other words: Why am I here? Understanding that often goes a long way to add more enjoyment into your experience. This scenario presented to us is wrong on so many parts. First of all, I can think of much worse days than being trapped in an office.
My biggest problem with what they list on their website is that it makes you think that there is some sort of team leader in the room that needs rallying. In reality, there is no team leader, which begs the question, who is the “you” they refer to in this presented scenario? My team of 6 read that but it surely wasn’t an office belonging to all of us since there is only one desk and one chair. I know this may come across as a bit nit-picky, but it just shows how little thought went into crafting a world for us to experience.
They describe this room as a “seemingly ordinary space.” I will give them credit for accurately describing the office you find yourself in, but maybe challenge yourself to design a better room than one that could be considered an ordinary space. Yes, offices tend to be plain, as is the nature of the beast, but I believe in designers for being able to elevate the ordinary.
With that said, they did try to do something to make the room stand out a bit, by spray painting colored dollar signs all over the wall – you know, like a real professional would do– but it falls so far from realistic that I can’t even call it gaudy, it’s just fake. So unreal, that you cannot help but know that you are in a mediocre escape room, and for sure not an office.
Besides that, everything else is nothing you haven’t seen before: a desk, a chair, a computer, a long wooden shaft attached to a mechanical box that protrudes into the office to hit golf balls into, a water cooler, etc… What’s that? Your office doesn’t have a long wooden shaft attached to a mechanical box that protrudes into the office to hit golf balls into? Oh, right, because you live in the real world, and not in an escape room world like this one.
If it hasn’t been made clear yet, I really didn’t like the way this room looked. It was ordinary to the point of boring, but more than that, the things they tried to do to improve it, just made no sense in the real world.
The puzzles in this room were fine. This room had a mixed bag of things to do, which is the best thing about it. If you like starting your room by rummaging through things, you get a few minutes of that. There were plenty of locked drawers, which led to empty drawers save for one clue on how to unlock another drawer – you know, like in a real office.
To their credit, there was a decent small dexterity puzzle that took a while but was easily the most fun I had in the room. There were some obvious things that in retrospect I should have figured out sooner. And there was a broken piece of tech (the aforementioned long wooden shaft attached to a mechanical box that protrudes into the office). So, like I said, a little bit of everything.
The thing this room was really missing was a good wow factor. I really cannot think of a better word to describe the puzzles than just saying they were fine, which is not a great word to describe anything.
Before I say anything else, there are two things I want to address that I really felt only belonged in this last section. First of all, this was actually the first room escape I have ever done. As such, I had a much higher opinion of it at the time. I walked out thinking “that room was really fun!” and my friends and I talked about the room for the next several hours. So, as a starter room, this one is obviously not the worst. It wasn’t until I started doing other rooms that I realized in retrospect how mediocre this game actually was. It’s not bad, but for sure not great. I guess one could call it….fine.
Knowing that this room works well as a beginner room is its saving grace as far as my scoring goes. This room may have gotten a pass in the past because it was one of the first ones in Tampa, but with the hobby growing in popularity, and even having at least one great game at their location, it is time to retire this room and use the space for something better.
There is one last thing that needs to be discussed, and I am putting it here at the end because I want this to be the last impression you get from this whole review: For the love of everything that is good in this world, how can they justify simply painting on cheap plywood as their “sign?” I mean, seriously, scroll back up to the image at the top of this page. Do you see that? That is real. That is somehow an acceptable first impression. You know what, I’m even breaking the rules of this site by putting another image below this to show their other “sign.”
The best thing I can say about that image is that it seems like they moved on from spray paint on plywood, to at least using a stencil. How is it acceptable that this is the best you can do to represent your brand? #JeremyLostHisPic
Venue: Can You Escape?
Location: Tampa, Florida
Number of Games: 5
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 2-8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person.