Quicksand Escape Games – The Diner [Review]

“Come on, Yolanda, what’s Fonzie like!?”

Location: San Diego, CA

Date played: December 4, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $40 per ticket for 2 players, $33 for 3-4, $30 for 5-6, $28 for 7-8

REA Reaction

The Diner would be a solid entry into escape rooms. We appreciated its retro charm and puzzle flow.

The Diner combined pretty standard gameplay with puzzle depth and a few more unexpected interactions, all as part of an adorable 1950s restaurant set. While we would have preferred a more dynamic final puzzle, we appreciated how the gameplay moved the narrative.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • 50s diner aesthetic
  • Themed puzzles
  • Being the bad guy

Story

We thought that we had escaped our lives of crime, but an accidental run-in with our former mob employers dragged us back in. The job: rob a diner. We weren’t sure why were hitting a diner, but we were told that if we could get away with it, we’d be free from our commitments to the Family.

In-game: A 1950's diner with red and white furniture an old jukebox, and records on a sky blue wall.

Setting

From the bright walls with celebrity photos to the checkered floor and vinyl seating, Quicksand Escape Games captured the classic diner look.

Gameplay

The Diner was a straightforward, cleanly executed, low tech escape room.

We puzzled through the various diner props and decor. These were primarily layered puzzles that led to locks. The Diner included a few exciting and less straightforward interactions.

Standouts

The Diner looked and felt the part. From the vinyl to the wall decorations, the set was on point. Even the menu pricing was era appropriate… inflation is crazy.

Quicksand Escape Games worked the most exciting diner props into the puzzles. We felt resourceful using one diner prop to puzzle advantageously.

One sweet moment involved a small prop that clearly clued a well-hidden and exciting interaction.

At the onset of the escape room, the story seemed downright silly. It all came together, however, as we shifted the narrative by solving the puzzles. It worked well.

The puzzles flowed well and achieved opens. While most solutions led to a lock, it never felt like there were too many locks.

Shortcomings

While locks and puzzles generally connected well, we still solved for a lot of 4-digit numbers. The gameplay would have been more intriguing with more variation of solution types.

The later act of The Diner consisted primarily of a process puzzle. Once we knew how to attack this, working it killed a lot of that scene’s drama.

Although The Diner built towards a dramatic conclusion, the excitement petered out. The final puzzle was anticlimactic.

Tips for Visiting

  • Quicksand Escape Games was located in a neighborhood that looked exactly how I had always imagined San Diego.
  • Bring quarters for street parking.
  • There were plenty of restaurants and other shops around Quicksand Escape Games.

Book your hour with Quicksand Escape Games’ The Diner, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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