Escape Room 60 – Outbreak [Review]

A charming lab of death.

Location: Williston, Vermont

Date played: August 6, 2017

Team size: 3-7; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

Story & setting

An evil doctor released a humanity-ending plague upon the world. It was up to our team of agents to break into his lab and secure the cure before time ran out.

In-game: Lab setting. A balance with weights resting upon it. Beyond the balance is a piece of wired equipment.

The set had a fairly typical escape room lab aesthetic: off-white walls, bright fluorescent lights, scientific equipment, and lab coats. It wasn’t an intimidating or inspiring space, but it conveyed “lab” and presented the puzzles well.

Puzzles

The puzzles in Outbreak became increasingly involved as the game progressed. Many puzzles had unexpected – and welcome – layers of complexity.

Standouts

Outbreak’s puzzles were well-themed and complex. The puzzles flowed well and created a few terrific moments.

Outbreak included both standard locks with different designs and digit structures and more advanced technology. This variety made each unlock exciting and usually helped us identify which lock would accept a solution.

Two particular puzzles were implemented beautifully. These moments really stood out to our team.

In-game: An x-ray print of a sull wearing goggles.
Boo!

Escape Room 60 didn’t take itself too seriously. The audio introduction to the game was humorous and occasional in-game props included unobtrusive and amusing pop culture references. Our gamemaster was hilarious and witty; she was fantastic. “Feel free to laugh at our rules video… it gives me hope.”

Escape Room 60 had a hygienic, safe, and branded approach to blindfolds.

Shortcomings

Given that the strength of Outbreak was in the puzzles and not the set design, the blindfolds seemed unnecessary. They didn’t add much to the experience because when we took them off, we hadn’t been transported to another world.

While the puzzles were on theme, they didn’t convey narrative or the urgency of our situation.

A couple of moments needed a bit more in-game cluing.

There was an auditory clue that we wished could have been replayed or looped. Thankfully our gamemaster promptly displayed the relevant information on the hint monitor.

Should I play Escape Room 60’s Outbreak?

Outbreak was a fun puzzle game. The puzzles were complex and flowed well. The puzzles created the memorable moments in this escape room.

Outbreak would be a challenging escape room for new players, but doable. More experienced players will have an easier time and will likely find a few of the puzzle implementations enjoyable.

Puzzles are the root of an escape room and Escape Room 60 has got that down. We hope they can take their escape rooms to the next level, integrating more set design and narrative elements into their solid puzzle game. They’re certainly on the right track.

Book your hour with Escape Room 60’s Outbreak, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Room 60 comped our tickets for this game.

 

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