Sixty minutes of hard time.
Location: Arlington, MA
Date played: December 10, 2016
Team size: up to 6; we recommend 4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $28 per ticket
Story & setting
Amaze Escape was located in a former municipal building that used to function as the local jail. Escape from Death Row was set in the retired jail cells. The walls, bars, and locks were real.
There wasn’t a story, but there was a goal: get out.
Escape from Death Row‘s puzzles started strongly. They were fairly typical escape room-style puzzles, and they were fun, especially when mixed with the setting.
As the game progressed, the puzzle quality degraded. By the time we opened the exit door, our team was literally chatting about other things.
The set was truly amazing because it was real. It seemed like Amaze Escape only had to make minor tweaks to gamify it.
I may have fallen in love with the jail cell lock & key; everybody has a weakness.
In this room escape, the goal-based setup with minimal story worked well.
The early puzzling was good fun.
Escape from Death Row fizzled hard.
The late game interactions were weak and at times confusing. It was “I’m not sure if I should do this” confusing, not “this is a challenging puzzle” confusing. There’s a difference.
Amaze Escape leaned too heavily on the drama coming from the set and failed to do much of anything to heighten the experience.
Should I play Amaze Escape’s Escape from Death Row?
Escape from Death Row’s set was unique and the puzzling started strong. This set the game in a great direction. As time wore on, the puzzles became less interesting and the novelty of the jail cells diminished.
I found myself wishing that the folks from Amaze Escape did a little more to capitalize on their exceptionally cool location. It’s not a bad game by any stretch of the imagination, but it could be so much more.
Escape from Death Row was a solid game for beginners. The intensity of the set wasn’t overwhelming and there was plenty for newbies to sink their teeth into.
Experienced players will need to decide if escaping from a real jail cell is enough of a draw when the puzzle and gameflow are not, but I am happy that I decided to play.
Book your hour with Amaze Escape’s Escape from Death Row, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Amaze Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.