RATING: 2 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 6:18
Where in the world did the designers of Beach Escape Game’s other rooms go while this one was under development?
Phil Gates has recently hit it big playing the lottery, and lucky for you, he has set out on a trip around the world with a few additional tickets that he’d like to share. Word has it that he’s down to his very last one. Can you track him from continent to continent in hopes of finding that last lucky ticket?
I certainly appreciate Beach Escape Game’s attempt at crafting a unique story that doesn’t fall into the typical industry tropes, but this time it doesn’t quite pan out as well as their others have.
At its core, Where in the World? should be marketed as a game geared towards kids, not the venue’s hardest game. Once inside the game, the storyworld takes an almost cartoony childlike turn – which, don’t get me wrong, would be a lot of fun if it was the design intent.
Beach Escape Game certainly is not a venue with a high budget, but there’s no shame in that. You don’t need to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a game that is fun and engaging- as is exhibited by their other two rooms we’ve previously reviewed. In both The Honky Tonk and Lost Treasure, Beach Escape Game does the most with what they’ve got to craft settings that, while are certainly not elaborate, create the spirit of the storyworld they’re aiming for.
First impressions are everything, and when returning to Beach Escape Game for this one, we were honestly surprised at how much less detailed Where in the World? is. It honestly feels more like an elementary school geography classroom than a globe-trotting adventure.
And here’s the thing – as I mention about, had the intent been to craft a game geared towards kids, they would have absolutely nailed it with Where in the World?; but, when you market this as your hardest game yet, you create a certain expectation that this one is for advanced players, and in all likelihood their expectation, as was our own, will be for more than a classroom flare.
Where in the World? wasn’t a particularly difficult game, but that’s not a bad thing at all. It makes us question why it would be marketed as their hardest – but to us, as long as the puzzles are fun, we’re happy one way or the other.
In that department, Where in the World? was a mixed bag – several, in fact. And the bigger problem is those bags contained mundane jigsaw puzzles one would – again, and I know I’m harping on this – expect to find in a game geared towards kids, not advanced players.
Again, I cannot stress enough that having a kids game in a venue is a brilliant business move that I fully support. Far too many companies only cater towards adults, really leaving out that family dynamic. But this game is not marketed as a kids game, regardless of how much it looks and at times plays like one.
Where in the World? also includes what we refer to as a “destructible puzzle” – one where if you move it from the way it’s initially set for you, you can create a scenario where in you may never be able to solve it. And while to Beach Escape Game’s credit they clearly alert guests of that risk, it’s still never a good thing to include from a design perspective.
We’ll start by copy/pasting this bit from past Beach Escape Game reviews to address the 800 pound gorilla in the room. We spoke with Beach Escape Game on our most recent visit requesting to arrange getting a few press photos to include in our reviews of their games. They assured us that would be no problem, and we offered to reach out via email once we were ready to post. I was very disappointed to share that this venue, who we have a lot of good things to say about, would become the first to ever adamantly refuse to participate in our site, even after enthusiastically assuring they wanted to while we were face to face. As a site, our mission is to review every single game that we play, so we’re not ever going to leave one out – even if it means our first (and hopefully only) review to ever go online without photographs. It is our hope that Beach Escape Game reconsiders this position so that we can edit this post in the future to include photos that literally every other venue in the US has been more than happy to provide.
Although Where in the World? proved to be a bit of a miss for us, Beach Escape Games does have some other clever and enjoyable rooms worth visiting. And the truth is even Where in the World? – our least favorite outing from the venue – is an ok game. Because Escape Game continues to offer a product that is both family friendly and (speaking generally) appealing to experienced players like us. As a site, we remain interested in following their growth into the future to see how they continue to improve their brand.
Venue: Beach Escape Game
Location: St. Pete Beach, Florida
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 8 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $28 per person