All in Adventures – Superhero’s Adventure [Review]

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Location:  Austin, Texas

Date Played: February 2, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 50 minutes

Price: $20.32 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Escape The Mystery Room Mystery Room All in Adventures builds out escape rooms in malls. The walls partitioning the games don’t reach to the ceiling. The decor is minimal and the puzzles are bolted on rather than integrated into the props. Superhero’s Adventure was full of paper-based puzzles that more or less worked, and locked props, roughly on theme.

In-game: A brick facade, a newspaper vending machine, a handheld stop sign, a blue mailbox.

Going in with the right (low) expectations, the right attitude, and a fun group of friends, we found some enjoyment brute-force solving our way through all these locks. Your mileage will vary.

All in Adventures is a value question. Is this type of low-budget escape room experience worth $22 for 50 minutes? If yes, go in with the right attitude and find your own fun. If you’re looking for higher production value or more meaty puzzles, look elsewhere. For just a bit more money, you could buy a lot more investment in design and gameplay from another escape room company.

While we were there, our gamemaster/ facility manager had expressed frustration that past escape room enthusiasts hit them with negative reviews, but didn’t understand that All in Adventures was striving to do something different. At the end of the day, the biggest flaw with All in Adventures isn’t their approach to game design, but that they want to be viewed as serving a different niche, without labeling themselves as such.

There’s nothing inherently wrong with a company attempting to target a lower quality and price point. That said, there is no way for a first-time player to realize that All in Adventures is the O’Doul’s of escape rooms. Their tagline is, “Your Ultimate Escape Room Destination,” and by that standard, well… let’s just say that they are no Cutthroat Cavern.

Who is this for?

  • Walk-ins
  • Deal seekers

Why play?

  • To get your escape room fix
  • You’d rather not be shopping

Story

The intergalactic hero known as the Golden Skateboarder had stashed his spare board on Earth before taking a vacation in the cosmos. Unbeknownst to the hero on holiday, his board was disrupting Earth’s magnetic field.

We had to find the location of his skateboard and send a message, summoning the Golden Skateboarder back to Earth so that he could permanently rectify the problem.

In-game: A yellow cage labeled "flammable materials" a garbage can, an orange traffic cone, and an oversized wall decal of a screenshot from the Batman from Arkham Knight video game.

Setting

Superhero’s Adventure‘s gamespace was a single room surrounded by 3/4 height walls. Two of those walls were covered in full-sized decals.

The few props were supposed to evoke a city environment: a blue post office mailbox, a parking cone, a garbage can (filled with garbage), etc.

The set was bare-bones. It served as a container to hold the game’s locked boxes and puzzle content, while evoking a vague superhero theme.

In-game: A trunk with 20 super hero logos on the top, sealed with two combination locks.

Gameplay

All in Adventures’ Superhero’s Adventure was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ The staff at All in Adventures were energetic, friendly, and engaging. They welcomed everyone entering their doors.

➖ All in Adventures used a call-button hint system. We could ring for help. Unfortunately, the few staff had to oversee the entire facility including the lobby and the teams in the other games. It could take a long time to get a hint, which wasn’t cool in a timed game.

➖ Because the walls weren’t floor-to-ceiling, we could hear everything going on in adjacent games. This was distracting. (We could also hear when the staff were otherwise preoccupied helping another team.)

❓ It was strange seeing a massive wall decal of a Batman: Arkham Knight press screenshot.

➖ The props were simply containers to gate the gameflow. They looked cheap. Most of the cluing was on laminated paper and not worked into the surroundings.

➖ The puzzles weren’t well thought out. Potential puzzle solutions were just that: possibilities. We never had confidence in our answers, even the ones that did pop locks. The solutions could be overly obvious or ridiculously obscure.

➖ We spent most of our time trying potential puzzle solutions in every lock in the game. Most of the locks had similar digit structures. Because the majority of props and locks weren’t logically connected to puzzles, potential solutions could go just about anywhere. Our gameplay experience felt like a giant brute force.

Superhero’s Adventure included a bonus puzzle. We applaud this effort to make sure that teams who were solving quickly got to spend more time playing. We enjoyed the puzzle. Note that it was far more complex than we’d been conditioned for, based on the rest of our experience in the room, which threw us off for quite some time.

Tips For Visiting

  • This escape room is located in The Domain.
  • Park in the adjacent garage.

Book your hour with All in Adventures’ Superhero’s Adventure, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: All in Adventures comped our tickets for this game.

6 thoughts on “All in Adventures – Superhero’s Adventure [Review]

  1. Perfectly fair (and funny) summation in your last paragraph of the REA Reaction section. When you get an O’Doul’s instead of the Heineken you were expecting, there is a WTF moment as you realize you’ve been “had”.

    To be fair, these types of buildouts/games are for some people, I just don’t know who they are unless we are talking about kids.

    1. Yeah, I think a lot of the problems here have to do with expectation setting.

      At the same time, we’ve encountered some low budget games that we’ve loved. This could have been better even without additional financial investment.

  2. The biggest issue I have with this company is its usage of electric sockets in a particularly terrible puzzle, which used the hint of “Don’t stick this key in electrical sockets”. It appeared as though there was a clear lack of motivation for providing a safe and enjoyable experience for the players, moreso using the industry to cash in on a trend (athough a small consolation is the memetic status of the company’s abysmal quality amongst the team).

    1. Yuck. That wasn’t an issue in our game, but the use of an electrical outlet would have pissed us off too.

      And yeah, we’re not exactly fans of All In Adventures’ approach to escape rooms. We try to give every game a fair shake, and some are considerably more difficult to enjoy than others.

  3. I agree with your take on All In Adventures. They can be a relatively fun, less-expensive game for people looking for a puzzle fix, especially if you go in with the right expectations. Though, your experience may vary by location and the staff.

    It would be good for user expectations to let newbies know the experience they’re getting is a “fast food” version of a real escape room.

    It might be worth noting that All In Adventures changes over the puzzle/story in their rooms periodically (I think they’ve said it’s every 3 months or so). Though, structurally, of course, the room does not fundamentally change in terms of decoration and theme.

    + This means that you can go back again and have a different set of puzzles

    ? The next iteration of puzzles may be better or worse

    – Some of the decor may be ghosts of puzzles past (or yet to come) and thus not relevant to the current iteration

    1. These are all great points.

      Although I think that fast food doesn’t inherently imply low quality. I have yet to see All In Adventures make something on-par with Popeye’s spicy fried chicken.

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