Team vs Time – Gangster’s Gamble [Review]

Losers swim with the fishes.

Location: Berlin, CT

Date played: December 12, 2016

Team size: up to 6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

2016 RoomEscapeArtist.com Golden Lock-In Award - golden ring around the REA logo turned into a lock.
2016 Golden Lock-In Winner

Story & setting

In Gangster’s Gamble, our team of undercover investigators was digging up evidence on a mob boss in the 1950s.

The setting felt pretty real. The folks from Team vs Time told us that they had brought in someone from the local historical society to make sure that all of their props and furnishings were of the era, and most of it was, with the exception of locking mechanisms. This rang true to us. Gangster’s Gamble wasn’t flashy; it simply felt right.

In-game: A large red leather chair in a 1950s livingroom. A rotary phone sits on an endtable beside it.

While there weren’t actors in the game, there was a strong presence of other people outside of the room. This ongoing presence served to ramp up the intensity of the situation.

Puzzles

The puzzles and interactions made great use of the historically accurate props, mixing them with clearly modern tech and locks to produce some magical effects.

The puzzles didn’t really carry the narrative, but they were fun nonetheless.

Standouts

The look, feel, and intensity of Gangster’s Gamble caught us by surprise. From the moment we were led into the gamespace, we were immersed, to an almost surprising degree. It felt like there were stakes, like getting caught or messing up could get us into trouble. I found myself cleaning up the room after we solved puzzles to cover our tracks.

There was no clock and we lost all sense of time. This didn’t bother us at all.

The attention to historical detail throughout the design was refreshing.

The intensity remained through the Gangster’s Gamble‘s conclusion.

Shortcomings

While most of the props felt of the era, the interactions frequently did not.

The puzzles could have better carried the narrative and upped the immersion and intensity further.

There were a number of nit-picky ways that things could have been hidden a little bit more, or the set might have crafted just a little bit better to really sell the fiction.

Should I play Team vs Time’s Gangster’s Gamble?

People often ask us if we get tired of playing so many room escapes, but it’s the hidden gems like Gangster’s Gamble that make it so interesting. We literally never know when a company is going to come along and shock us. In this particular instance, it was a company that nearly no one had recommended in the middle of Connecticut.

In Gangster’s Gamble, Team vs Time set out to build a historical puzzle adventure and they succeeded. We bought their fiction and we couldn’t recommend it more.

If you’re a newbie, do know that Team vs Time’s approach is a little atypical, but it will still be fun and approachable.

If you’re an experienced player, go in knowing that the puzzles are a little light, but the adventure is strong. Suspend your disbelief and enjoy.

Book your hour with Team vs Time’s Gangster’s Gamble, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Team vs Time provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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