Hoodwinked Escape – Military Mission Room [Review]

I was expecting a battle.

Location: New York, New York

Date played: February 20, 2016

Team size: 2-12; we recommend 3-5

Price: $28 per ticket

Theme & story

The game was introduced with a story – something about nukes, dog tags, and striking all of the targets. The room was military themed. Every object was on-theme, but after the introduction to the game, a story never unfolded.

Photo of a shooting target. The target depicts the silhouette of three men with pistols. The target has a number of bullet holes in it.

One great toy

Military Mission included a particular piece of technology that I have been waiting to see appear in an escape room. It was fun to play with it, but I found myself wishing that Hoodwinked Escape did more with it.

I will say no more on the subject.

Structurally similar to Spirit of Harlem

Military Mission was remarkably similar to Hoodwinked Escape’s Spirit of Harlem.

At first glance the games appeared different: They had different themes and Military Mission was two to three times larger than Spirit of Harlem.

However, they were much more similar than they were different: The puzzles flowed in the same linear pattern and they repeated puzzle types, mechanisms, and styles.

For more about the structure of Military Mission read our review of Spirit of Harlem.

When new companies open with multiple rooms, each room has the tendency to feel like the first room the company created. This happens because the company hasn’t had the chance to learn from one game and evolve their approach to game and puzzle design. Military Mission felt like it could be wonderful, but it wasn’t fully baked.

12 people?

From a floor space perspective, Military Mission can easily fit 12 people. From a gameplay perspective, I cannot imagine 12 people remaining fully engaged throughout this game.

It may be physically large, but the puzzles and gameplay kept the experience narrow.

Photo of an illuminated LED American flag beside a military propoganda poster that says, "Teamwork wins"
… and really great teamwork wins faster.

Quick mission

We escaped Military Mission in about 12 minutes.

We obliterated their record. As we understand it, our experience was not indicative of the norm.

That said, as good as we have become, we have never finished an hour game in under 15 minutes. We were all shocked when we realized the door was open and the game was over.

The $28 price tag is steep for any high performing team.

Should I play Hoodwinked Escape’s Military Mission Room?

Military Mission is tough to recommend. It had some strong moments, but there wasn’t enough of a game there.

The game had more complex elements than Spirit of Harlem, but it wasn’t a more advanced game. It also lacked the charm and cultural roots of Spirit of Harlem.

If you’re looking to play a game with Hoodwinked, of the two games we’ve played, I’d strongly encourage you to play the Spirit of Harlem.

Full disclosure: Hoodwinked Escape comped our tickets for this game.

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