RATING: 1 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 15:00
The only way out of the trees is by playing an unlicensed activity and yelling out the classic phrase “Jungle Game!”
Be careful, starting to play this game. Either you finish it, or get lost in the jungle.
I’ll state the obvious. This is a Jumanji themed escape room. For clear potential IP-infringement reasons the name has been changed to “Jungle Game”, but all the same major story beats are there. While playing a board game players are transported inside the game’s Jungle setting. To escape back to the real world, players must reach the end of the map and yell out “Jungle Game.”
There isn’t much of any narrative elements beyond the objective to escape from the board game. No sense of adventure or a journey through the jungle. Some lightly themed animal puzzles pepper the experience, but I would have liked to know more about this strange land we seem to have found ourselves in.
Jungle Game is decorated as a Jungle by way of a child’s bedroom. It’s a simplistic and cartoon-y take on the environment that could work on a conceptual level since we are meant to be inside of the board game. Instead, it feels like an underdeveloped space with only a few small pieces of set dressing and a large murals painted on one wall.
Scattered around are some generic plants and small meditation style waterfalls that don’t bring the environment to a believable place. They stand out as the unmodified store bought pieces of scenic that they are.
One potential cool element is the game board itself. Housed in a large custom box, the game board uses a tech-infused surface to track the movements of the player’s game pieces and react when the correct moves are made. It feels a bit finicky though because of a programming choice made to prevent guessing and to facilitate the multi-stage nature of the game—more on that in a bit. We were given explicit and frequent warning to be very careful when moving the game pieces so the tech wouldn’t get messed up and force a room reset.
The gameplay for Jungle Game is fairly simple, but presented in a complex manner. The game takes place over multiple “game stages.” Players must solve a series of puzzles in each stage to determine how many positions the individual player pieces move on the game board. A meta game would seem to form by having the game board in play, but since the board is only used to input the moves as answers it never really feels like players are actively affecting the “Jungle Game” portion of the experience.
An assortment of combination lock puzzles comprises the vast majority of the other steps. Most of these fall into basic logic puzzle territory. On several puzzles we sat stumped either looking for additional hidden information around the room or simply unable to figure out what leap we need to make to get an answer.
Jumanji is a great property that holds a lot of value for a potential interactive experience. However, it’s one probably best suited to a more physical style game, or at least one with game steps that make players feel like they are in a jungle. There’s a lot of missed opportunities in Jungle Game to do outside the box gameplay steps like Maze Rooms has in some of its other experiences.
Instead, this escape room feels very traditional with only the tech-based game board providing a unique element—and even that feels clumsy. Its traditional elements in and of themselves aren’t a negative, but the puzzles that support those steps often just don’t make sense and left us feeling lost in this jungle.
Venue: Maze Rooms
Location: Los Angeles, California
Number of Games: 2
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $33-$49.50 per person depending on group size