Captured LV Allentown – The Island [Review]

Jurassic Plot

Location:  Allentown, PA

Date Played: July 5, 2021

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28.50 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  without spoiling, I would recommend mentioning to your gamemaster if you’re unsteady on your feet

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Island was the type of escape room scenario that felt like a child had an assortment of unrelated toys and smashed them together in a burst of imagination. It combined unlike ideas into a fun adventure. It worked.

A jungle set with colorful tribal drum props and puzzles.

Captured LV Allentown put a lot of effort into the ambiance of this world, especially for the main set. They are not masters of set design or technology, but they put in the work to learn and construct an exciting adventure. Although they couldn’t capture this vibe from start to finish, they punctuated it with memorable moments and that goes a long way.

If you’re in the mood for a tiki island of puzzles and dinosaurs, and you’re in eastern Pennsylvania, do yourself a favor and visit The Island.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Jurassic Park fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A playful and vibrant setting
  • Lots of solid puzzles with varied inputs and interactions
  • It’s a mighty game for a smaller market

Story

Renaissance Laboratories had been conducting questionable research with dinosaur DNA on a remote tropical island. Last week, they’d reported a security breach. We’d been flown in by helicopter with the mission to retrieve the DNA samples and avoid contact with the native population.

Setting

The Island had a tiki-meets-Jurassic Park dynamic that was delightful. The construction felt homebrewed in a good way, with opportunity for refinement.

Overall, the space felt amusing and engaging, until there was a drop in quality near the end where the set shifted from playful to blandly traditional.

A dinosaur cage in a jungle setting.

Gameplay

Captured LV Allentown’s The Island was a non-linear game with a high puzzle density, but an approachable level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved primarily around searching and puzzle solving.

Analysis

➕ Captured LV Allentown made the gamespace come to life. They used light, sound, and other effects to build drama in this adventure.

➕ The main set of The Island gave off great party vibes. It would be a fun space to hang out in, even without the puzzles.

➖ As much as we enjoyed the mood of the space, the construction left room for refinement.

➖ Captured LV Allentown struggled with reliability in their tech. We experienced consistent latency, and some triggers that took a bit of fiddling before they’d engage.

➕ We especially enjoyed some extra prop complexity for the sake of spectacle.

➖ We struggled with one puzzle because of the lighting.

➕ The puzzles flowed well. The gameplay was largely non-linear, but never overwhelming. While there were a lot of puzzles, they varied in difficulty and would be approachable to newer players. The Island could also engage a larger group.

➖ In the final act, we felt a drop in energy from the set and the interactions. It was a fun idea thematically, but it didn’t live up to what had come before, and ended up feeling more like an afterthought.

➕ The Island especially shined in the transitions. These made memorable, full-group moments.

Tips For Visiting

  • Captured LV Allentown is located in a shopping center with ample free parking.
  • Between games, you can grab a froyo next door at Yofresh.

Book your hour with Captured LV Allentown’s The Island, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Captured LV Allentown comped our tickets for this game.

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