Mastermind – Escape the Air Raid [Review]

Sound the alarm. It’s a puzzle raid.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Date played: April 2, 2017

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

Our squad had received warning of an enemy bomber raid and we had to puzzle our way through our own equipment to trigger the air raid siren and warn the nearby city… The story didn’t make a ton of sense.

The set’s quality was strangely uneven. Some set pieces looked great, while others were simply puzzles and army surplus gear bolted to the floor. The aesthetic, much like the story, lacked logical cohesion.

In game - A wall of sandbags and barbed wire with a rifle.

Puzzles

Escape the Air Raid was loaded with puzzles. Most of them weren’t overwhelmingly challenging, but they were numerous and many were entertaining.

Once again, as with the story and set, the puzzles didn’t come together to form anything beyond a large collection of military-ish themed puzzles.

Standouts

Some of the set design was interesting and well-used.

In game shot of a weathered metal door and corrugated aluminum walls.

There was a lot of content in Air Raid. It was loaded with puzzles.

Shortcomings

The puzzles didn’t fit into a narrative; some of them barely fit the theme. It was simply a mess of puzzles of varying quality. Much of the content was uninteresting. It felt as though it were simply there to fill space.

Late in the experience, we had to contend with poor lighting. It wasn’t clear how to focus ourselves towards turning on the lights, which meant we spent a lot of time frustrated by the environment.

Mastermind relied on a tablet & QR code-based self-service hint system. In this way, you could easily call for a hint that penalized you without giving you any additional information. While this style of hinting reduces gamemaster duties and is probably efficient from a business standpoint, it also results in weak game oversight and completely shatters any immersion.

Should I play Mastermind’s Escape the Air Raid?

If you’re looking for a military-themed room escape filled with puzzles, Escape the Air Raid is just what the commander ordered. It’s a straightforward, by the numbers escape room.

It’s a perfectly solid game for newbies, so long as they aren’t too reluctant to take hints. They will likely be pleasantly surprised by a few moments.

Experienced players should also be able to enjoy Escape the Air Raid, so long as they aren’t expecting to be blown away by anything.

Book your hour with Mastermind’s Escape the Air Raid, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Mastermind provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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