Extreme Escape Games – Mad Scientist [Review]

Trapped in a room with a mad scientist.

Location: Franklin, TN

Date Played: February 10, 2018

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per ticket

REA Reaction

Mad Scientist was Extreme Escape Games’ take on Trapped in a Room with a Zombie. If you’ve played that escape room, you’ll know exactly how to play this one. Mad Scientist improved upon that concept: from puzzles to scenery, to prop/build quality, it was more polished. While not everything made sense in the gamespace, this was a lively and playful escape room.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who want to play
  • People who want to move around
  • Families

Why play?

  • The mad scientist
  • The humorous, playful vibe
  • Physically active

Story

A scientist accidentally exposed himself to an agent that drove him insane. He realized what was happening and chained himself up in his lab so that he couldn’t harm anyone while he worked on a cure for himself. Unfortunately, he didn’t finish in time.

We entered his office infecting ourselves with the hope of finishing his cure and saving his life and ours.

In-game: a portrait of a mad scientist framed with an oxidizing metal frame.

Setting

Mad Scientist trapped us in the rundown lab of a rabid mad scientist. The floor was padded so that the infected doctor could crawl at us with comfort. The walls and props were weathered and detailed such that nearly everything felt like it belonged in the set… even when the props should have felt a bit random.

In-game: A detailed and rundown lab with a desk in a covered topped with a large geared contraption.

Gameplay

Mad Scientist had two core goals for us to achieve:

First, don’t get tagged by the chained up doctor. Getting tagged would banish a player to an X on the floor along the periphery of the gamespace. Tagged players could speak and interact with items within their reach, but they couldn’t move. At the onset of the game it was easy to avoid the doctor as he had limited mobility, but as the game progressed, this became increasingly challenging.

Second, solve the escape room. With the exception of the chained up doctor, Mad Scientist played like a fun, early escape room with lots of searching, a wide variety of puzzles (many unthemed), and lots of locks to pop.

This room escape format is inherently chaotic. This is neither a strength, nor weakness. It is, however, a matter of preference.

In-game: A detailed, weathered lab device.

Standouts

The actors in Mad Scientist were outstanding. Our infected doctor was entertaining. The scientist’s assistant was observant and involved. Both actors engaged the entire group – in their different roles – in this silly adventure, upping the energy level of the group.

Mad Scientist was silly. It never pretended to be realistic. Whether players focused on the infected doctor or the puzzles, there were a lot of laughs.

In the trapped in a room with a zombie (in this case, mad scientist) structure, the actor can control the difficulty level, and thus the game clock. Our actor did just that, ensuring that we didn’t escape before the final minutes, and in doing so, building our adrenaline.

Extreme Escape Games built a compelling set for this adventure. It was office-esque, but designed, and grungy without being dirty.

Shortcomings

Many of the most interesting props had do-not-touch stickers affixed to them. This felt like a tease. Maybe they should have been worked into the gameplay.

The puzzles in Mad Scientist were pretty random. While some late game puzzles were thematic, most of the puzzles were just… puzzles.

Mad Scientist included a few standard paper and tavern puzzles. We recommend that Extreme Escape Games substitute these for more situationally-based puzzles that cannot be easily solved at home.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Extreme Escape Games’ Mad Scientist, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

 

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