Quest Zone – Alcatraz Escape [Review]

Where does everyone buy this metal toilet?

Location: Ridgefield, NJ

Date played: November 3, 2016

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29.95 per ticket

Story & setting

We were investigating a prison break from Alcatraz by going back into the escaped prisoner’s cell and recreating his escape.

In-game image shoth through the bars of a jail cell. A small kot and table rest in the room.Scratched into the cell's grey walls are the words, "God will give me justice."

The set had your standard unremarkable office-space turned prison look: barren and uninviting. There were components that were clearly out of place in the set.

Puzzles

The puzzles in Alcatraz Escape relied on standard escape room themes.

While a few of the puzzles presented interesting challenges, the hardest part was making the right connections between components.

In-game image of a combination steel sink/toilet.
I’m serious. Where is everyone buying this thing?

Standouts

One great puzzle culminated in a surprising set-based interaction that felt truly in character with the story.

Quest Zone repurposed some interesting technology into a game component. One of these hacks was at the end of the game. It was pretty funny to realize what they had used to build the interaction.

Shortcomings

Alcatraz Escape had an unusual layout due to the geography of the building. Quest Zone did their best to work with it, but the unusual layout felt like a missed opportunity. It wasn’t used to escalate drama.

The fiction was shaky and Quest Zone didn’t build it out enough to “up the stakes” of our investigation-turned-escape. As Alcatraz Escape advanced, it fizzled into a traditional, lock-heavy game with an uninteresting set.

Some of the puzzles relied on pretty random associations.

Should I play Quest Zone’s Alcatraz Escape?

Alcatraz Escape was a solid introductory game in a suburban market. Although located just 30 minutes outside of Manhattan, this northern New Jersey game caters to a hyperlocal audience. New players will enjoy this generally standard experience, complete with a few fun quirks.

For experienced players, Alcatraz Escape is not worth journeying across the river and through the woods, considering everything that New York City can offer. It was solid, but not outstanding.

Book your hour with Quest Zone’s Alcatraz Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Quest Zone provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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