RATING: 4 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 2:49
The original Super Bomb Squad is missing – so we’re here to save the day! But first, we need a name. And since “Substitute Super Bomb Squad” isn’t quite the hook we’re looking for, meet your new Commandos Awesome!
As part of an elite group of commandos, The Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome are on a mission to find and deactivate a newly developed weapon of mass destruction, capable of obliterating the entire planet! Only the Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome have what it takes to break into the evil corporation and deactivate the explosive!
There’s been no communication from the original Super Bomb Squad, so it’s up to us, the rookies, to find out what happened and finish the job. Commandos Awesome, activate! (I promise it will catch on if we keep saying it.)
From the introductory video to the gameplay itself, Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome! feels like a cross between a retro console classic and a so-bad-it’s-good 90’s action flick. Although it is, at its heart, another “defuse the bomb” story, the retro action video game vibe succeeds in creating something that feels completely different from anything we’ve played before.
There is a clear story present from start to finish as you infiltrate the lair of an evil corporation, discover the grisly fates of the previous bomb squad, and aim to complete the mission that they could not. I hope they had a few extra lives handy!
We begin our quest quite modestly in a large service elevator. While it is certainly difficult to make a small box-like area very exciting, the space admittedly feels – perhaps due to its size and ceiling height – a bit more like a room than an actual elevator, despite its split sliding doors and column of floor buttons.
The seemingly sparse scenic detail takes a dramatic turn, however, upon reaching our destination: a long and winding security hallway complete with fog, lasers and cameras which we needed to successfully navigate to make our way into the laboratory that houses the bomb. Mirrored wall paneling successfully gives the impression that the lasers – and the space itself – extend into infinity, greatly adding a sense of depth and exaggerated scale.
If the action doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping, the neon-green glow and upbeat 8-bit background music certainly will. It’s the kind of immersion that makes you feel like you truly are in the middle of a real life video game.
Scenically the laboratory and subsequent bomb chamber have a difficult time matching the “cool factor” of the laser hall, although they still manage to serve their purpose to both the storyworld and the gameplay.
While not overly tech-heavy, Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome! utilizes an impressive array of puzzles. At times, Doldrick’s Escape Room even manages to include things you’d mistake as obstacles at first glance as objects that you’ll need to go back to later for a second look.
The multitude of physical activities in the room is definitely its highlight, combining a game of mind with a game of skill and, in some cases, strategy. Everyone on our team felt like a ten-year old kid turned secret agent while holding some of the spy-themed toys we found, which also happened to be used for one of the most exciting puzzles we encountered – not just in Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome!, but anywhere.
Unfortunately, we did find several tasks that greatly outstayed their welcome, completely dissolving any momentum we had built up. Physically manipulating a given piece of tech is compelling in a game, but requiring players to pull off that same stunt nearly forty times does more than verge on tedious. While this particular puzzle might be the “final boss fight” of the game, it felt more like a battle of patience than one of intellect.
As if its name wasn’t a big enough clue, Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome! doesn’t take itself too seriously, almost becoming comedic at times – a fact that is not only refreshing, but highly successful for Doldrick’s Escape Room. We found ourselves laughing out loud more than once at the cheekiness of the game’s introduction. It’s something not many escape rooms dare to do, but certainly something we all – as players – would love to see more of in the future.
The amount of tie-in between the introductory video and the action itself – from the countdown timer being present throughout the video to your adorable cartoon robot sidekick giving you hints whenever you get stuck – was absolutely wonderful. Better yet, however, is the fact that in true video game fashion, there are actually two separate finales: one for those that successfully disarm the bomb, and another for those that failed their mission. We’re almost sad we didn’t get to experience the latter, as it sounds like it’s the perfect wrap-up to a comically tongue-in-cheek game.
It takes a strong passion to create a strong product, and it’s clear that the dynamic duo behind Doldrick’s Escape Room has the experience and trade knowledge necessary to make it work. We’re excited to pick up our controllers and press ‘continue’ to see if a few more experience points will take their next room up to a whole new level!
Venue: Doldrick’s Escape Room
Location: Orlando, Florida
Number of Games: 1
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $32.99 per person
We thank Doldrick’s Escape Room for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.