Odyssey Escape Game – Towering Inferno [Review]

Fire drill.

Location: Alpharetta, GA

Date Played: March 25, 2018

Team size: up to 12; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Towering Inferno was dramatic. It had stakes. Despite some tedious early puzzles, it built excitement.

If you’re in the area and looking for adventure, go put out this fire.

In-game: The Theron Tower office. It looks very corporate.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The unique staging
  • Setting off the fire alarm
  • Escalation

Story

It was the grand opening of Theron Tower, a new skyscraper. As Chief Engineer, we’d detected electrical hazards throughout the tower, but the Chairman of the Board had refused to push back the opening. With the event in full swing, and fires starting throughout the tower, from our top floor office we needed to enable fire suppression, shutdown electrical junctions, and escape to the roof for a helicopter rescue.

In-game: The tower's rooftop.

Setting

We occupied an office on the top floor of Theron Tower. It had white walls, bright lights, and computer stations in cubicles. Our office had various diagrams of the facility as well.

The set nailed the big corporate office aesthetic far better than most of the office escape rooms we’ve played. As the game pushed forward, we found ourselves working through more unusual sets.

In-game: A cubical with a computer desk.

Gameplay

Odyssey Escape Game’s Towering Inferno was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

Analysis

+ Despite the office decor, we were energized by the unique theme. We’ve played as Firefighters, but never as engineers fighting fires from our computers, working towards a roof-top helicopter rescue.

+ The escape room gave backstory to the impending disaster. It created our character, as well as the others at Theron Tower, with context and motives. The story made sense and our role in it was clear.

+ Our gamemaster clearly stated that we would have to push the fire alarm as part of the game. I can’t overstate how important this pre-game preparation was.

In-game: A fire alarm push button locked behind a clear plastic casing.

– The firefighting puzzles were computer-based, tedious, uninteresting, and inaccessible to most teammates.

– The computer station puzzles were imbalanced. One could be completed much more quickly than the other. Because of this, the flow was disrupted. We spent a lot of time waiting on our teammates.

– The computers presented repetitive-task puzzles. Once we’d determined how to solve them, we had to play along as the computer continued to present versions of the scenario so that we could repeat the same solve logic. Unlike computer games, however, these didn’t reward mastery with a harder version, nor did they offer a “speed up” button as we set each version to solved. 1 person continued to plod away with this, with 1 other giving input, and the rest of the team looking on. These mini-games dragged.

+ Odyssey Escape Game had built a neat graphic to show our progress through the suppression of the fire.

– While we liked the idea for this escape room, the fire extinguishing scenarios didn’t make any sense in light of human and machine capabilities and fire safety. Narratively, it didn’t hold water.

+ The culminating scene was dramatic and exciting. We enjoyed the set juxtaposition: bright and dark, ordinary and unusual. Towering Inferno escalated well.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with Odyssey Escape Game’s Towering Inferno, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Odyssey Escape Game provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

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