Bane Escape – Captive [Review]

Captured by a serial killer. Again. Why does this keep happening to us?

Location: Livingston, NJ

Date played: April 23, 2017

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $30 per ticket

Story & setting

We were locked away by a serial killer and made to play his game in order to survive.

Although Bane is one of New Jersey’s most well-known haunted houses, Captive was not a horror experience. The setting was dark and creepy in that polished way that haunts so often achieve. In spite of Bane’s primary business, however, this escape room did not instill terror.

In-game: Closeup of tally marks scrawled on a concrete wall.

Puzzles

Captive had a large number of challenges to complete. The vast majority of these required us to make connections between props and set pieces rather than puzzle our way through them.

Standouts

The set looked great. It especially stood out within the New Jersey market, which doesn’t have many escape rooms that are aesthetically impressive.

Bane used the space cleverly.

The puzzling, while not particularly complex, flowed well.

Shortcomings

So much of Captive bunched up in one in one segment of the experience. I would have loved it if Bane wove the puzzling and interactions throughout the escape room a little more.

Bane’s website sets up some expectations that they do not meet: ”Welcome to Bane Escape, the largest most immersive Escape Games on the East Coast.” If one were to include the massive square footage of their entire haunt facility, it very well might be the largest business with an escape room. However, I don’t think that Captive is even the largest game in the state of New Jersey. Yes, Bane did a great job of creating a thrilling ambiance, but was it the “most immersive escape game on the East Coast?” I can comfortably dispute that claim as well. These boasts led me into the escape room with false expectations. For me, Captive would have been more enjoyable if I wasn’t expecting something gigantic and over-the-top.

Should I play Bane Escape’s Captive?

Captive is an approachable but difficult room escape for less experienced players looking for a thrill without terror.

Experienced players should go for the atmosphere and set design, but not if you’re  seeking a puzzley game. There was no shortage of things to do, and there were a couple of brilliant moments, but at its core, Captive was about the feeling.

On the drive home, I found myself wishing that Bane had made Captive into a true horror game. I understand the drive for haunts to produce escape rooms with mass market appeal, and Captive was absolutely that… but it left me feeling like it was incomplete and missing the thing that makes Bane special: fear.

Book your hour with Bane Escape’s Captive, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Allow your thoughts to escape

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