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Review: Hostage

RATING: 0 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 26:23

It’s Game Time – What are two words that should never start your escape room experience? Oops – time’s up. The answer we were looking for is “Praise Allah.”


Welcome to Central Florida- home of the world’s most family friendly attractions, including Walt Disney World’s iconic Magic Kingdom, Universal Orlando’s equally magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter, and the escape room that glorifies being captured by a militant Islamic Terrorist group calling for the death of America.

Because you know. Family friendly.

In Hostage, you’ve been taken prisoner by a group of walking stereotypes intended to be Middle Eastern terrorists. You’re handcuffed to a bench in front of a TV while they praise Allah and call for death to America far more times than I cared to encounter in one day.

The owners of this venue prove they are so impossibly out of touch with the Entertainment Industry that they somehow, shockingly don’t even realize how incredibly racist this comes across.

Yes, ladies and gentleman, this abomination of a game is the most tasteless escape room theme I’ve ever encountered, and we haven’t even gotten to how terrible the scenic and even worse the game play is.


Oh boy. Scenic.

Hostage proves that a venue can simply go to Lowes’ discount aisle, buy a few pieces of dry wall and prop them up and call it an “immersive environment.”

Or, rather, proves that while a venue can attempt to pass that off as acceptable, few will be dumb enough to actually accept it.

I’ve never in my life seen something so shoddily constructed. It looked terrible. And frankly the owners should be ashamed of themselves for even taking money from their customers and putting them in that space.

The dry wall has no corners. It literally butts up against itself with a gaping hole in the joint. Like – I’m not sure how they could have possibly even passed inspection.

If you can get past how poorly constructed it is, I promise you won’t get past how terrible the quote “scenic” looks. Three white walls. One black wall. Are you ready for this? Bright red base boards (where there even ARE base boards) and a Palestinian Flag.

That’s it.

Literally, that’s it.


Most of the very few puzzles this game actually even had were decoding symbols written in Sharpie on the white walls.


$29 per person to decode Sharpie on a wall.

But don’t worry – there’s a secret room you’ll get to venture into – if you can make it through the plywood door frame without it literally collapsing on you first. And once inside – all black walls, a chair and a tripod.

For those of you not following along, this is supposed to evoke the spirit of the room terrorists often decapitate their captives in while filming it to show the world.

Because escape room.

Because family friendly.

Because I try to be professional and not use swear words on this site, but this game is really, REALLY making it difficult for me to maintain that integrity.


We played Escape Game Time’s first two games earlier this year, when they had just opened. At the time we were impressed by how passionate the mom & pop owners seemed, and as such we tried very hard to not judge how terrible the other two games were.

We tried. We really, really tried.

The promise was that their next games would just keep getting better, and as a designer myself I can believe that. Except in this case we learn that is not always going to be true.

Hostage proves that Escape Game Time doesn’t care even a little bit about the quality of experience their paying guests receive. It’s clear that all that matters is they have something to sell tickets to – whether or not they should be selling tickets to it.

Escape Game Time *claims* that “the immediate feedback is that this is our best game yet!” They *claim* it’s been described as “intense fun” and “wow!”

Well this is no claim. This is a fact. That hype is complete BS.

Space Station Crisis and Judge’s Quarters were two absolutely terrible games (which we will review down the road) but they look like a shining pot of gold under a rainbow surrounded by leprechauns dancing on the backs of unicorns compared to Hostage.

Venue Details

Venue:  Escape Game Time

Location: Cocoa Beach, Florida

Number of Games: 3


Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

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

Cost: This venue has permanently closed.

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