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Review: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

RATING: 6 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 8:33

An escape room about a movie about a book about a game that comes to life, now in real life. How meta. (What, you didn’t think I could resist another “Welcome to the Jungle” pun?!)

Story

An extension of the films “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” and the original “Jumanji,” this 4 – 8 player experience begins with you sneaking into your friend’s room, but he doesn’t seem to be coming anytime soon, so you start snooping around a bit. After uncovering a series of puzzles you get sucked into the world of Jumanji and need to do whatever it takes to survive this new, wild world you’ve discovered.

When you are eventually cast into the jungle, you will embody a role and each of your teammates and yourself will use your unique strengths and band together to help your team survive Jumanji.

60out instantly immerses curious video gamers into its exotic world from the moment *before* they even step foot inside.  Sneaking into Spencer’s bedroom by quite literally climbing through a window in the hallway, players leave the venue – and the real world – outside as they prepare for an epic adventure unlike any other.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle offers an entirely unique story structure that permeates through all layers of its experience, giving gamers the ability to harness their own destiny – because after all, before getting drawn in to the fantastical world of Jumanji as seen in the two blockbuster films, we must first, of course, play the game. And before playing the game, we’re going to need to select our avatar.

Although Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – the movie – features four main playable characters, 60out’s escape game of the same name features eight in an effort to accommodate the range in group sizes common for the genre. The four main characters are joined by four new ones, each who mirror their skillsets:

Ruby Roundhouse and Clench Sanders
Fighter – Killer of Men

Franklin “Moose” Finbar and Nora McKensie
Zoologist – Expert in Weapons

Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Jada Simms
The Strong One – International Explorer

Professor Shelly Oberon and Dr. Kirsten Van Allsburg
Cartographer – Code Breaker – Curvy Genius

Choose your avatar wisely, because it will shape the experience you’re about to have inside the very real world of Jumanji. Every  group of gamers must have at least one of each skillset to participate, meaning you won’t be able to choose duplicate roles until each has been accounted for once. This brilliant story device makes every member of the group vital, giving each player a specific talent that will be required to further the team as a whole toward victory.

Scenic

True to the films, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle encompasses two very distinctly different worlds. Beginning in Spencer’s bedroom, gamers encounter everything one might expect to find in the collection of a typical high school kid. Action figures, model planes and, of course, a large entertainment center adorned with a tv and video game console create a true authenticity to the notion that we quite literally climbed through a window and ended up in a teenager’s room. (And for those worried about being potentially unable to climb, 60out has a brilliantly hidden, fully accessible passageway into the room.)

Once pressing start on the console’s controller, a magical transformation connects our world to that of Jumanji – naturally accompanied by the infamous drumming sound effects that often cue impending danger in the films. A secret passageway transports gamers from the mundane normalcy of Spencer’s bedroom and drops them right into the center of the world of Jumanji itself.

Surrounded by carved rock walls inscribed with mysterious markings, this world is clearly full of secrets to hide. Tribal totem-like pillars raise toward the sky, while grass spreads from the base of a large leafy tree across the jungle floor. The opposite wall is dominated by a large circular stone portal that is certain to instantly evoke a sense of wonder.

Once that disc door rolls open, deeper secrets of Jumanji await gamers-turned-adventurers. Inside it, a forgotten stone temple adorned with ceremonial statues of several prominent jungle beasts further the sense of immersion that this world belongs to the animals, and it is us who are trespassing within it. Every second within Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle feels authentic and real – from the moment gamers climb through that bedroom window to the moment they hold the actual Jaguar’s Eye jewel – there is no doubt that each member of the group has been drawn into a storyworld that absolutely comes to life.

Puzzles

60out artfully creates a puzzle flow as distinct and authentic as its storyworld immersion, instantly drawing guests into the world of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and keeping them there for the duration of the hour to follow. In a brilliant opening act, the puzzles in Spencer’s bedroom actually feel like a highly engaging preshow for the main event to come. Their tone is distinctly different from the challenges that await in the jungle – appropriately focusing on interacting with both the Jumanji board game from the 1995 film and the video game from the 2017 sequel.

After each gamer selects their avatar, the next step on their journey to become real-life adventurers is collecting their leather armbands – each inscribed with the initials of their chosen character. But this is far from some clever storyworld prop; those bracelets quite literally give each player their own unique special abilities, determined by the strengths inherited by the avatars they’ve selected.

You see, throughout the course of Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, there are several puzzles that can only be completed with the necessary skillsets – and the technology implemented by 60out behind the scenes actually gives them the ability to know if the right person is attempting the challenge. What results is a uniquely flowing game with distinct layers that actually, in a sense, might make it somewhat replayable – something certainly not common in the escape game world.

The role-based team structure of Jumnji: Welcome to the Jungle makes it a mostly non-linear experience. Milestone puzzle steps must be completed by each character player to ultimately get the group as a whole into the temple for the boss battle, so to speak. Every puzzle along the way is logical and intuitive, with a clear flow from one to the next that results in a very satisfying player experience. Challenges range widely from logic-based to more physical tasks – some requiring timing and aim while others will benefit more from a keen attention to detail and ability to search the jungle for hidden clues. There’s even a very close encounter with an actual hungry, hungry hippo!

Overall

We know what you’re probably wondering; many times before we’ve talked about games “inspired by” films. Ones that may or may not have (read: definitely not have) obtained the licensing rights to legally use the intellectual property they’re piggy-backing on. It also probably comes as little surprise that in most cases, those games fail to bring that world to life. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is not one of those games – on any level. Not only does this game do the best kind of justice in its execution of the Jumanji storyworld, but it was developed in a partnership between 60out and Sony Pictures, allowing them to deliver a product that exceeds even their own lofty standards.

It’s no secret that we’ve long been fans of the 60out brand – and over the years they’ve certainly wowed us with many high-tech, uniquely story-driven attractions. But among them all, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle might just be 60out’s crown jewel. A perfect blending of storytelling, intricately detailed scenic and clever, original, tech-driven puzzles makes this not only a must see game in the already rich Los Angeles market, but a destination attraction worth traveling for.

Welcome to the jungle, to the iconic world of Jumanji, and to a whole new level of immersive escape game adventure!

 

Venue Details

Venue:  60out

Location: Los Angeles, California

Number of Games: 6

GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:

Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 8 people

Group Type: Private  / You will not be paired with strangers.

Cost: $38 per person (Sunday – Thursday) / $40 per person (Friday / Saturday)  A minimum of four people are required for booking.

Escape Authority readers save $10 using code 60OUTEA 

 

EAR Disclaimer

We thank 60out 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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