Missing Pieces Escape Games – Ruin Raiders [Review]

“We named the dog Minnesota.”

Location: Edina, Minnesota

Date played: August 21, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

Story & setting

Renowned adventurer and archeology professor Minnesota Gunderson (a name so Minnesota that it held a door for us and then thanked us) had disappeared into the jungle. As his favorite students, we had taken it upon ourselves to follow his research into the legendary Temple of the Golden Serpent.

We began our hunt for Minnesota (Minnie? Mindy?) in his university office.

While it is difficult to describe Ruin Raiders without spoilers, suffice it to say that, much like the legend of the Temple of the Golden Serpent, there was more to this mystery than met the eye.

In-game: The cracked door of Minnesota Gunderson's office. His blue walled office with artifacts hanging on the wall are visible beyond the door.

Puzzles

Ruin Raiders had a mix of puzzles ranging from physical to cerebral. These puzzles were fun collaborative solves.

In-game: A shelf with assorted artifacts and an image of a Mayan temple with the moon eclipsing the sun.
Ironically, we were playing this just hours before the eclipse… but it was cloudy in Minneapolis, so this was the best eclipse view we got.

Standouts

The puzzle design integrated well with the set. It made me think about everything in the space and forced collaboration with my teammates.

I enjoyed the triggered interactions.

“Minnesota Gunderson” was an amazing name.

The environment became increasingly intense and attractive over the course of the escape room.

Some portions of Ruin Raiders looked fantastic.

Shortcomings

Missing Pieces Escape Games overlooked details in the set and setpieces. This led to a escape room where many components looked great upon initial inspection, but didn’t visually hold up to scrutiny. In some cases the triggered state of an interaction wasn’t as designed as its resting state.

At times, Ruin Raiders felt a little too empty for its physical footprint.

The gameplay didn’t carry the narrative particularly well.

Should I play Missing Pieces Escape Games’ Ruin Raiders?

Ruin Raiders was a joy to play. It had great reveals and fun puzzles. It leaned into teamwork.

This room escape was not a pushover. While newbies could probably pull through Ruin Raiders, I would encourage them to start with a more basic, beginner-friendly game like Missing Pieces Escape Games’ first room escape, Diamond Dilemma (review to come). While Ruin Raiders was the more exciting game, it will be best enjoyed by players who are at least comfortable with the basics of escape room puzzling.

Experienced players will find a lovely homebrew, puzzle-centric escape room with a fun atmosphere. It had some rough edges, but it nailed much of what makes escape rooms fun.

Book your hour with Missing Pieces Escape Games’ Ruin Raiders, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Missing Pieces Escape Games comped our tickets for this game.

 

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