You’re actually allowed to hack this escape room.
Location: Seattle, Washington
Date played: April 8, 2016
Team size: 4-12; we recommend 6-8
Price: $28 per adult ticket
Theme & story
“Your team of Ninja puzzlers are dropped into the office of Mr. Hancock – a rogue member of The Kraken – our ancient enemy. He has stolen billions of dollars from our client. Can you solve the mysteries, recover the account, and escape before The Kraken return? Yes you can, if you are Ninja enough. ”
Ninja Escape had a charming 1980’s action flick vibe. They play 8bit video game tunes as lobby music. The story was bit campy. They also had an unusual and refreshingly tongue-in-cheek “our players are ninjas” thing going on that mocked the faux reality of escape rooms, while still presenting a serious game.
Hack Attack’s puzzles contained a mix of lock and key and technologically driven interactions. The challenges themselves offered a mix of your more typical escape room puzzles and cyphers, but presented them in a fun, compelling, and ultimately intense manner.
The name of the game was Hack Attack; it lived up to the name.
The “steal the files” techno-thriller story notwithstanding, Ninja Escape embraced puzzle circumvention in a player-friendly manner.
We were allowed to use our phones (not that they were a huge help) and when we defeated their puzzles in unexpected ways, they praised it in our postgame (instead of getting indignant as some escape room companies do).
They even told us how some other teams have creatively circumvented the game’s challenges.
Their “it’s 2016, everyone has a phone, of course you can use it” attitude was really levelheaded and pleasant.
Bugs and Fixes
During our play-through, the computer we were “hacking” experienced some difficulties of the non-responsive variety.
This should have been a big problem, but it wasn’t because Ninja Escape’s gamemasters were incredibly attentive (and engaging). Our gamemaster appeared immediately with backup materials in-hand. We never even had to call for assistance.
It was a disruption to the flow of the game, but it wasn’t a disaster.
There came a point in Hack Attack when we entered a dusty locale. It seemed deliberate, and part of the ambiance, but for me, Hack Attack swiftly became Allergy Attack.
Should I play Ninja Escape’s Hack Attack?
In Hack Attack, Ninja Escape has created a strong escape game. Early on it came across as simplistic, but as the game progressed, it revealed a deeper complexity than we had anticipated.
The gamemasters at Ninja Escape truly elevated the player experience. They were fun and funny, but also commanded respect. They zeroed in on safety and they didn’t burden us with unnecessary rules and regulations.
Hack Attack wasn’t a mind-blowing game. The technology, puzzles, and story didn’t push boundaries, but everything gelled well.
I can’t help but look back on the game and feel that it was far more than the sum of its parts.
Book your hour with Ninja Escape’s Hack Attack (and save $5 with the promo code “NINJASTAR”), and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Ninja Escape comped our tickets for this game… They also gave us a pair of t-shirts with their awesome logo on it.