RATING: 3 Keys RESULT: Win REMAINING: 20:25
The Zombie Apocalypse is real, and it’s apparently a scene straight out of Groundhog Day. Because I have to keep defeating it. Over. And over. And over. No matter where I go.
The world has gone crazy! Savage wars are turning the Earth into a wasteland of destruction and ruins. If that wasn’t enough a fanatical scientist has now developed a virus that could wipe out the entire remaining human race. This biological weapon has already been deployed, and the virus has mutated, turning almost every living creature into zombies.
It’s your team’s task to carry out experiments and find the remedy to this apocalyptic virus. This duty is not an easy one. There will be plenty of traps and difficulties to face and overcome along the way. Time is not on your side either, in one hour when the sun goes down, the living dead will crawl out of the shadows… This is your last and only chance to save mankind.
What can be said about a zombie-themed game that hasn’t been said in the other 450 zombie-themed games we’ve already reviewed? The story here is as clichéd as it gets; on the one hand, that’s not entirely the fault of American Escape Rooms, because there’s only so much you can do with a zombie theme – BUT – on the other hand, it’s entirely the fault of the venue for picking a theme that so many others have already run into the ground.
Scenic just is not where American Escape Rooms shines, and Zombie Apocalypse is no real exception to that rule. Like Cold War Crisis, this room’s decor is fine. Scenically, it’s incredibly basic.
Essentially, players should expect two square box rooms with minimal set dressing sparsely scattered about. The distressing of the scenic painting does wonders to at least bump this game up from “office” to somewhat slightly themed.
Zombie Apocalypse starts “outside” in a sort of alleyway next to the lab, however, this space hardly reads as actually behind outdoors. Some graffiti on one wall and a traffic signal… on the ground (?)… just don’t do much to add to the illusion.
The second room is the laboratory itself. Clearly very little scientific experimentation occurs in this lab, and it just doesn’t have very much in the way of tools or equipment cluttering its (few) shelves and table tops as one might expect if they pictured the lair of a fanatical mad scientist. At the end of the day, the space is good enough to at least give the flavor of a mood, but just not great.
Like Cold War Crisis, American Escape Room does a decent job of keeping this game’s puzzles true to the storyworld. As much as possible, things do connect to a scientific setting, with puzzles utilizing beakers and bottles, and various vials which we can only hope will help lead us to the antidote to this virus.
For the most part, this is another low tech / no tech outing by American Escape Rooms – though the game’s finale was a pleasant bit of very slight effect-based puzzle work. (Those of you who experienced The Repository at Halloween Horror Nights 26 will have a good idea of what to expect here.)
Again, the puzzles are a bit on the easier side, resulting in game times to be much less than the allotted 60 minute time frame. And while to us, this is not something that we think less of a game for, we feel it’s worth mentioning for those of you who hope to find a true nail-biter-type challenge.
Zombie Apocalypse was our favorite game at American Escape Rooms, but even it was essentially good-not-great. And while there is absolutely no shame in receiving a 3 Key score – after all – it IS still a GOOD game – we feel that a brand new venue in the Orlando Market of all places should strive to be so much more.
American Escape Rooms is the sister company of European chain, Exit the Room. Although they are brand new to the US Market, the games themselves are not “new” – a fact that comes across to players. The industry is forever evolving, improving and growing. Unfortunately, without evolving alongside the industry, American Escape Rooms – although a fun experience – feels instantly dated.
At the end of the day – did we have fun at American Escape Rooms? Yes – we honestly did. And if this venue were in the middle of no where, it would be much easier to send readers to. Unfortunately for them, the two US markets they chose to transplant their brand into – Tampa and Orlando – have some pretty fierce, high quality competition. American Escape Rooms – despite their enjoyable experience – simply becomes lost in the shuffle.
Venue: American Escape Rooms
Location: Orlando, Florida
Number of Games: 4
GAME SPECIFIC INFORMATION:
Duration: 60 minutes
Capacity: 6 people
Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.
Cost: $30 per person