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Review: The Ransom

RATING: 4 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 6:31

With our mentor kidnapped, it’s naturally up to us to find him. Wait – this internship is unpaid?


Renowned author and world traveler, Daniel Mckenna, has enlisted the help of several interns to assist him in his research for his final novel. However, once inside you will find out you are there to do much more then just assist him in his research. 

Eager to begin our internship with the famed Daniel McKenna, we arrive for our first day of work only to find his office empty – except, of course, for the ransom note left by the door. It would seem as though our assignment has shifted from researching old books to that of a rescue mission.

The Ransom’s story is light, but it’s present throughout the experience. It quickly becomes apparent that perhaps Mr. McKenna knew he was in danger, as he left encoded clues throughout his office and in his works to help us along the way.

We’ll do our best to find McKenna, but after all, we’re only interns. Perhaps we can at least secure his final novel as a means of ensuring his legacy lives on forever, even if he himself does not.


The Ransom is set within Mr McKenna’s office – so on paper, yes, this is “an office game,” so to speak. However, jaded players that long for more in an environment will be pleasantly surprised. This office is far more than four plain white walls.

Daytona Escape Room Experience truly does go the extra mile to make McKenna’s office feel “lived in.” Shelves are lined with worldly items he’s collected over the course of his travels around the globe. Novels and encyclopedias are stacked in rows – exactly as one might expect to find in the office of a renowned author.  Personal objects like Daniel’s jacket and shoes are left behind so as to imply his exit may have been swift and unexpected.

The mood is set perfectly to draw us into McKenna’s eclectic world thanks to an antique radio playing old-timey music sitting atop his credenza. This subtle touch does wonders to bring the scene to life and separate us from “just another office.”


The Ransom’s puzzles are generally of the lower-tech variety, but that is by no means to imply they weren’t entirely fun to tackle. A healthy mix of hidden object discovery that evolves into deducing clues left behind helps bring an authentic “detective” mood to life, which in turn furthers the narrative of Daniel’s disappearance.

As our sleuthing builds towards its inevitable climax, clues directly connect to our mentor himself. Doing so helps keep our mission feel authentic, and not just “puzzles to get out of an escape game.”


We weren’t sure what to expect prior to tackling The Ransom. It’s no secret that we’re generally not the biggest fans of “office games.” But the thing is – our aversion to the theme typically connects directly to the cliché that an office game frequently equates to a very plain room with very plain puzzles and very little – or in some cases no story to speak of.

None of those points of contention apply to Daytona Escape Room Experience. The Ransom takes a somewhat mundane theme – on paper – and executes it in a way that has a character of its on, infused with the mystique of a worldly traveler. The end result was an experience we genuinely enjoyed.

Daytona Escape Room Experience has multiple games – and in small way the story of each one is interwoven with the others. Some of these examples are minimal easter eggs while others are a bit more prominent – but all link back to the family name of our mentor, Daniel McKenna. As such, it made a lot of narrative sense for us to begin our coverage with The Ransom – which also happens to be the venues first game. But like every good novel, things only get more exciting with each page we turn – and further chapters in the Daytona Escape Room Experience to come impressed us even more than this great first room. To be continued…

Venue Details

Venue: Daytona Escape Room Experience

Location: South Daytona, Florida

Number of Games: 5


Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity: 6 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost: $28 per person

Escape Authority readers save 20% using code EA20

*Not valid for Smash Rooms.

EAR Disclaimer

We thank Daytona Escape Room Experience for inviting us to play this game. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, that in no way impacts the opinion included within this review.

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