RATING: 1 Key RESULT: Win REMAINING: 4:03
Thank you Mario! But all of your fond childhood memories are in another castle. And they’re about to die right before your very eyes.
Mario has gone on some pretty exciting adventures through the years – but none quite like this one!
Because his other adventures were fun.
Super Mario Room Escape, now permanently closed, had everything we loved from the classic Nintendo game growing up: Mario, low quality 2D graphics, question mark block cubbies with padlocks, more math worksheets than your collective years in elementary school combined and a Princess in need of saving. Why, there was truly only one thing missing from this adventure:
A license to legally utilize its intellectual property.
I’m sure it was just waiting for you in another castle.
The room’s scenic and decor were of embarrassingly amateur quality. Vinyl wall graphics “immerse” you into the classic world of Super Mario Bros. “like never before” (thankfully for our childhood) setting a mood that evokes fond memories of your dentist office’s waiting from back when you were a kid.
In the center of Super Mario Room Escape’s very small single room space is a floor lamp, a futon and a TV with a classic NES Console hooked up – because, you know, that classic moment in Super Mario Bros. where Mario sits down on a futon to play the video game he lives inside of.
On the walls are three cubbies posing as question mark blocks, each sealed with padlocks. It’s actually a little known fact to everyone but Square Room Escape’s “design” team that when Mario jumps under them in the game, he enters four digit number codes really quickly.
In the opposite corner, though, is Square Room Escape’s true pièce de résistance – the actual castle Princess Peach has been trapped in all these years – complete with everything you’d expect to find, except, you know, a castle. But this IKEA bed frame should clearly be just as good for telling the story. Besides, no one will ever remember the missing castle after recreating that iconic scene from the video game where Mario drives a remote control fork lift in to rescue up his bean bag girlfriend.
I’m sure it comes as no surprise that the puzzles were as poorly thought through as their business choice to open a game blatantly ripping off a well-known Nintendo IP without a license.
Inconsistencies which would have been easy to avoid with some internal testing and review prior to opening hinder game play and frustrate guests, further proving how little planning exists behind Square Room Escape’s operations.
Any one of those reasons would be enough to elect not to pay money to play a game here – but I’ve not even touched on the game’s cinematic climax, wherein players opened the final question mark block to collect Mario’s ultimate power-up: three full top-to-bottom 8.5″x11″ sheets of math homework.
Because you know, “Thank you Mario! But our Princess is in another castle guarded by a math test!” Just like the iconic moment from the classic video game we all grew up with.
See? They nailed it!
Everything about Square Room Escape is simply insulting on every level. Their complete disregard for misuse of intellectual properties created a black mark on two world-renowned iconic brands (in the short time they managed to operate them before presumably receiving Cease & Desist letters.)
Both Super Mario Room Escape and Harry Potter: Escape from the Chamber of Secrets prayed on our nostalgia to get our ticket money, and then promptly proceed to defecate on our fondest childhood memories one after another.
But honestly – probably worse than their blatant disregard for international copyright law was the fact that these games – both of them – were simply among the very worst we had ever seen. Illogical puzzles, some that made so little sense that it literally would have been impossible to progress without a hint (or multiple hints at times) and puzzle steps that were way more homework and busy work than any kind of fun left us, in a word, angry.
There was no redeeming quality about our experience at Square Room Escape. I’ve said of some of the worst venues that we would “never say never” about returning, but for perhaps the first time I will make this definitive statement: We will never return to Square Room Escape, and neither should you.
Sure, I’ve made each of their games an enjoyable read in the form of a much more “rageview” than a “review” – but make no mistake that there was just nothing fun about actually playing these games. Square Room Escape is simply one of the worst venues in the United States, on every level, and cannot ever be redeemed.
Venue: Square Room Escape
Location: Irvine, 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: This game has permanently closed.