Project Escape – Nautilus [Review]

Keep talking and nobody implodes.

Location: Marietta, GA

Date Played: March 24, 2018

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Public or Private

REA Reaction

Nautilus looked great and played well. It was challenging, and the challenges were interesting. One communication design flaw notwithstanding, it was a ton of fun.

If you’re anywhere nearby, it’s worth a drive to visit to Nautilus.

In-game: A hard helmet diving suit.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Jules Verne fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Interesting puzzles
  • A great set
  • Surprises
  • Cohesion

Story

A sea monster had attacked our submarine. As the vessel began to come apart, we’d been separated from half of our crew. We needed to make repairs to reunite and regain control of The Nautilus or become sea creature food.

In-game: big metal binary switches.

Setting

We began split between two different rooms: the parlor and the engine room. Each room had an eye-catching hardhat diver suit on display.

The parlor looked like a Victorian living room with book shelves, an easy chair, and soft brown hues. It was relaxing. The engine room had a knobs-and-buttons aesthetic. Everything was very Jules Verne.

In-game: A porthole in the side of the ship.

Gameplay

Project Escape’s Nautilus was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty and a split beginning. Teams were separated into two different rooms at the start of the escape room.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling with a heavy emphasis on communication.

Analysis

+ The opening sets of Nautilus looked as intriguing as they were different. Presided over by hardhat diver suits, the sets felt appropriately submarine-esque and Jules Verne-ian.

+ The gamespace was a part of the experience. The large and intricate space was fun to explore and manipulate. It continued to surprise us as we progressed through the escape room.

– The opening communication puzzle was needlessly frustrating. It was unclear whether a dedicated communication channel was absent or broken, but we had to shout to each other through a wall. With our teammates in the background in each room, solving other puzzles, the communication challenge was primarily in hearing the other person. This opening sequence was challenging for the wrong reasons, and therefore tedious.

? The communication theme persisted throughout this escape room. There was a lot to observe and connect. Our team of 8 experienced players suffered from too many engaged eyes, ears, and hands at once. However, I expect small teams would easily overlook important details. Your enjoyment of this puzzle style will likely vary significantly based on your team composition.

+ Many of the puzzles were tactile, environmental-driven solves. We had to search, observe, and make connections, as well as solve more complex, layered puzzles. The puzzles varied in degree of challenge and type of challenge. The gameplay flowed well. When we won, we felt like we had earned it.

+ This was a cohesive and well-realized design.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking out front.
  • Note that if you book multiple games at Project Escape, you might have to drive/walk around the building complex between games because they aren’t all located at the same entrance.
  • Food: We enjoyed the Marietta Diner.
  • Accessibility: At least one teammate needs to be able to crawl and maneuver in a small space.

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

Disclosure: Project Escape comped our tickets for this game.

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