RATING: 2 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 10:00
Death sentence or not, much better jails than this one have tried and failed to keep me captive. Much better.
Ah, Escape The Quest. You’ve managed to craft a story befitting the originality of your game’s theme.
I suppose it’s worth noting the slight Death Row deviation from the typical prison cell theme. In Stay of Execution, groups begin their game split between two separate rooms, but unlike most jail games, here we start with half locked in our cell while one unlikely member of the team is chosen to be strapped in to the electric chair.
Calling the scenic production value of Stay of Execution to be “bare bones” would, in a sense, be the equivalent of us being generous. As we’ve stressed before, jail themed games by their nature should be on the minimal side – but there is theming a room to a cell and then there’s sticking some bars up in the doorway of an office space and pretending.
Guess which route Escape The Quest takes.
Even the electric chair itself, which on paper is this game’s only notable feature – is at its core a bad haunted house prop.
Ugh. Sometimes I wish venues would just quit trying to have games start by splitting teams. The problem is, it can work really well if it’s done right. But it’s almost never done right. And Stay of Execution was perhaps one of the worst examples.
Of our team of two, the member chosen to begin in the electric chair basically spent the first portion of the game literally just sitting there with nothing to do while the other solved puzzles to get out of the jail cell. I don’t think I need to tell you that that’s not good.
The only way split team games work is if 1) there is an equal amount of activities to engage both parties and 2) activities are structured in such a way that will not prove a hindrance to any or all parties if one of the groups is less experienced than the other. And while there are fine lines to skirt here, the unquestionable non-option is leaving one person with nothing to do for any period of time more than a few seconds.
Once reunited, we were able to work together to solve a series of rather uninspired puzzles – most of which were the very definition of puzzles for puzzles’ sake. This game lacked a single “ah ha!” moment that would have given us any sort of sense of accomplishment.
On all levels, Escape The Quest failed to impress us on our first visit. Stay of Execution, as a game, was in itself uninspired. Its split team structure ensured Taylor would receive roughly two-thirds the experience I did. There’s just a lot wrong here.
The unfortunate truth is none of that is what I remember as the venue’s biggest negative. At least on the day of our visit, the staff here was absolutely terrible. Completely rude and unprofessional – each interaction with her came with a very condescending tone. We felt like we were wasting her time by being there.
Sometimes I think venues don’t realize how much of an impact their staff can have on the overall guest experience of their product. At the end of the day, while Stay of Execution was nothing at all special, we would have considered extending our visit to give Escape The Quest a second try in another room, with hopes of leaving with a better impression. The sad truth is that their employee’s condescending attitude continued even after we escaped, leaving us both immediately unwilling to even entertain the thought of immediately giving them more of our money.
With time passed, I’d like to think that bad apple is no longer employed by Escape The Quest, and as such we’d consider returning in the future – if we have time to spare and no immediately better choices available. We caution you to book your visit with our experiences in mind, and probably choose a game other than Stay of Execution if Escape The Quest is your only option.
Venue: Escape The Quest
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida
Number of Games: 6
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $120 per group (up to four), $17.99 per each additional person