RATING: 5 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 17:30
A fantastical choose your own adventure flavored journey draws us straight into the pages of an epic storybook, and leaps from them as a sign of an even more epic future for our favorite-named venue!
In the serene and tranquil village of Oakenshire, devastation looms on your horizon. A great Garzon dragon has wrecked havoc across your lands. You find yourself, as volunteers on a quest for Oakenshire, standing at the door of Lord Montague; the man in the mountain most known for his studies of magical creatures. He perhaps possesses the key to your survival.
Venturing into Lord Montague’s cottage, we immediately become active participants in this fairy tale come to life. With each turning page, every single action we take flows organically within the storyworld of what is certainly Escape Goat’s most immersive game to date.
But the story of The Quest is not yet set in stone. Like a classic choose your own adventure book, players ultimately have the ability to control the outcome by selecting which ending they most believe in!
The Quest replaced the venue’s original offering, a Sherlock-themed room, 221B The Study. Although Escape Goat utilized the same physical footprint, they surprised us with a completely different layout.
Walking in, The Quest left a really solid visual first impression. The walls are treated with exposed timber and plaster texture. It feels like you walked right into a storybook cottage. The many furnishings made of rich wood and rustic lumber fit really well within the space.
A stone fireplace on one wall was a major focal point which was also cleverly acted as the game timer.
There was a good amount of decor that wasn’t part of the gameplay including some real weapons, making the space seem more lived-in and realistic, all the while not being a diversion from our objective. As a treat for returning players, a few hidden easter eggs provide a throwback to 221B The Study. It’s always fun when venues include these subtle nods to past games.
The Quest began with a mysterious hooded figure giving us an objective before casting a spell on the fireplace to magically transform it into our game timer. From there forward, at no point did having a character in the room distract or take away from our experience.
Once the timer started we immediately split up into three different areas of the room search for clues. We soon realized that the game was broken down into four major parts – the four elements – each with their own puzzle track. This provided a satisfying milestone-type game play that is sure to work well with bigger groups, giving everyone something to do.
In one corner of the cottage was a seemingly random pile of crates and animal cages that was very well disguised as a physical puzzle. At first glance, it seemed like it normally would require two players to do it efficiently although it could be done with one if needed.
Another task that we really enjoyed was a very unique form of “jigsaw” puzzle in which the clue was revealed only when you put it together correctly. It should be noted that this was “jigsaw like,” but definitely something you probably won’t find in your own home, making it another compelling and interesting addition to the The Quest’s experience.
Everything in the room flowed fairly well, without any leaps of logic required to get from one thing to the next. While The Quest had its fair share of hidden technology to unlock certain items, there were still quite a few physical combination locks as well offering a healthy balance.
Perhaps the biggest pay off in the game was when we arrived at the final puzzle and we had to “choose thy fate” as it were. I would love to see more games where the player can choose their own adventure in a way that can have multiple outcomes. It should come as no surprise that Chris, our resident consummate villain, made us choose the path that could potentially put the villagers in danger.
A visit to Escape Goat is a lot like opening the pages of a classic fairy tale. While the venue might be tucked away in a small, non-descript strip mall on the edge of Winter Garden, looks can be very deceiving. Turning open the cover and flipping through its pages drops you into a wonderful world not found elsewhere in the Orlando market.
The Quest really packed a punch and left us very satisfied in the end. Escape Goat was always a venue we enjoyed, but there’s simply no question that they have come a long way since their more humble beginnings with 221B The Study. Each subsequent game, beginning with Camp Echo and then Area 51 has been better than the one that came before it, but The Quest is the veritable jewel in their crown.
After we destroyed the village (probably), they let us in on a little something they will soon be incorporating into The Quest; A completely new feature, entirely unique to any game in Central Florida, will change the gameplay entirely, giving each player an assigned character role with its own special skill, ability, or in some cases, detriment that could play a part in whether they win or lose as a team! This type of innovation and improvement to a what is already their very best game shows just how determined Escape Goat is to create magic in the Central Florida market – and is further proof to us why a visit here always ends with a Happily Ever After!
Venue: Escape Goat
Location: Winter Garden, Florida
Number of Games: 3
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Private / You will not be paired with strangers.
Cost: $28 per person
We thank Escape Goat for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.