RATING: 2 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 28:34
Mind-Boggling – the room implied to be the ultimate challenge would be much better suited with a novice-branding.
Your team find themselves in the hidden and mysterious recesses of your minds. Will chaos or order rule your thoughts and actions? Will you find light or darkness inside? Sterile emptiness on one side, hectic movement of life on the other side. These two distinct territories are linked together by a series of interesting, challenging and fun puzzles which you can only solve if you work together. Are you ready to overcome the perplexing puzzles to set yourselves free from the boundaries of your minds within sixty minutes?
Basically – the story of this game is that this game has no story. Nothing within Mind-Boggling connects to *anything.* It is not immersive, and it does not give you – the player – any sort of active role beyond, well, escape game player.
If story is important to you, Mind-Boggling may not be your game.
Let’s be blunt – scenic just isn’t American Escape Room’s strongest suit – and Mind-Boggling is their weakest example. First off, much like with the story, this game’s scenic – in execution – just has no connection to the storyworld at all. Allow me to explain in more detail:
The first room is all white.
The second room is all colorful (with a very limited primary colors palette.)
The third room is all black.
And that’s it folks. Oh – but that third room? It had a filing cabinet! (But here’s the thing, literally an entire room was 100% empty, with *only* a filing cabinet in the corner.)
If scenic is important to you, Mind-Boggling may not be your game.
Contrary to its name and as we touched on earlier, Mind-Boggling’s puzzles were of the considerably easier variety. This is not a game to visit if you’re looking for your next greatest challenge. To us, the biggest issue with this is not that the game is simply, but rather that implications from its name and theme would lead one to believe it was very much the opposite.
This game tried its best – to varying degrees of success – to mix some physical puzzles in with its logic and riddles. One involving a spoon was fun for about a split second and then dove into obnoxious territory at record speed.
On the positive side, Mind-Boggling’s puzzles were all fairly clear and intuitive, expect, perhaps for its final step involving a series of numbers – one of which could easily be misread to be a different number entirely, effectively screwing up the entire exit code in the process.
Make no mistake – Mind-Boggling is unquestionably a beginner’s game – something that we truly believe there is a solid place for within our industry. The problem comes in when you do not make clear just who the game’s target audience should be. Although American Escape Rooms *does* list Mind-Boggling as their easiest on the official website, they still rank it as 3/5 on a challenge level. I would suggest that is not an accurate portrayal of what to expect here.
Our team finished with north of 28 minutes left on the clock – and here’s the thing – on it’s own that is a lot, but to be clear, Jeff and I “fell back” on several occasions to give our friend the chance to be very hands on and learn the ropes, so to speak, in her first official escape game. Had we played as our usual party of two, at our usual pace, I would suggest we’d have far more than 28 minutes left when we sat down to write this review.
That being said – Mind-Boggling left our friend wanting more, and at the end of the day, that truly is what matters most. It’s proof that easier games serve great purpose at inspiring newer players to fall in love with our industry. Understanding the truly difficulty level of Mind-Boggling is key to appreciating Mind-Boggling. The game unquestionably has its merits – but they are not what many will hope or expect to find if you book your ticket based on the name or description alone.
Venue: American Escape Rooms
Location: Orlando, Florida
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person