RATING: 2 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 9:19
Oh boy did we need a drink after playing those first two games, but because nothing at this venue went well for us, we found ourselves in the middle of the prohibition!
The story is a bit vague. This creates a scenario where players could have become a bit more immersed in the narrative, but have difficult doing so without purpose that makes them active participants. To the contrary, Prohibition Pandemonium is left feeling more like a passive experience more about others who have come through this speakeasy than about us.
If I may be snarky for a moment, Escape Entertainment had a great opportunity to immerse return players to a whole other level, albeit for all the wrong reasons, thanks in full to their other two completely uninspired games, Manhattan Mayhem and Alien Attack. Speaking as someone who actually doesn’t even consume alcohol, this place almost drove me to drink by the end of my visit.
And you know what? Maybe it’s the booze talking, but Prohibition Pandemonium was their best game yet; still a 2.
Though the majority of its scenic details were merely painted onto the flat walls, it worked “well enough” to create an environment at least recognizable to the world it’s trying to create. This is in stark contrast to their other two games, each of which were complete flops when it came to telling decor, and as such, I suppose rings true as a positive.
This game is split between two rooms – essentially the first multi-room game Escape Entertainment has. The opening space is set to be the speakeasy itself, while the remainder attempts to represent back of house spaces suitable for the more nefarious mob activity that kept the place a float. A handful of bottles and glasses try their very best to create the mood of a vintage prohibition-era pub, but ultimately this game environment just barely squeezes by as not good but “good enough.”
At times, Prohibition Pandemonium made an honest effort to connect to its vague storyworld, linking some of the puzzles to the drinks themselves or the unseen mobster characters who supply them. At other times, it felt more like puzzles for puzzles sake as a vehicle for obtaining yet another four digit numerical code with which we’d open yet another padlock.
A stark contrast to Alien Attack, this game was a low tech affair. In truth, that’s probably a good thing for Escape Entertainment, as nearly nothing in Alien Attack actually worked as designed for us.
The puzzles on their own were fairly intuitive, but in truth none were memorable. While other venues in town left us talking about some of their outside the box puzzles for months the months that would follow, Prohibition Pandemonium was essentially basic escape room fare, nothing more, nothing less.
Escape Entertainment came highly recommended to us from another review site which we will not mention. As such, this was a venue we were in truth excited to see – as evidenced by the fact that we booked all three of their games back to back. Unfortunately the end result showed us why sometimes it’s best to try just one before deciding if we should extend our visit.
We’re not entirely sure how this venue receives overly positive postings. Perhaps its a matter of fluffed reviews in exchange for complimentary admission. Perhaps it’s a matter of a less informed opinion. But what we are sure of is this – there are some extremely high quality venues in New York City full of some of the most clever and compelling games we as a team have seen across the United States. Escape Entertainment is assuredly not one of them.
Venue: Escape Entertainment
Location: New York City, New York
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 10 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $29 per person