Operation Escape – Gold Rush [Review]

Let’s blow this joint

Location:  Williamsburg, VA

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Gold Rush was a solid game in every aspect, including polished game flow, satisfying solves, neat set design, and an exciting end sequence.

With Operation Escape’s bland office building exterior, they were able to transform the space that Gold Rush was set in to transport players back to 1887. While the rooms the game mainly took place in were polished and thematic, there was a hallway players were required to traverse that felt like an afterthought, lacking decoration and the small details we loved in the other game spaces. 

Including twists on some classic escape room puzzles along with a plethora of fun, tangible interactions, Gold Rush was a charming experience that would be fun for the whole family. 

Ramshackle, wooden, old west, mining building labeled, "Danger. Tunnel Closed."

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Wild West fans
  • Any experience level

Story

The year was 1887, and the local sheriff had just locked up a gang for stealing gold from the treasury. We suspected the sheriff had taken the gold for himself and was hiding it away, but the sheriff knew we were onto him. Locked up, we had to break out of jail, prove our innocence, and find evidence of the sheriff’s crimes.

Setting

Gold Rush begins players in a thematically lit jail cell with the sheriff’s office visible from the start. The set details felt period appropriate, with weathered wood and paneled walls.

A barred jail door, the sherif's office is visible beyond the bars.

Gameplay

Operation Escape’s Gold Rush was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ The set was great, especially considering its location in a drab office building. It’s always wonderful to see how small attention to detail can elevate a game’s immersion. 

➖ With the polished set, we did not expect to see unused holes in the wall that were not part of the game, especially when an object seemed to fit perfectly in them, causing confusion and wasted time. 

➕ Gold Rush had a fun, heart-pounding dexterity challenge that was a clever way of passing time. While we had seen similar interactions before, the large scale of said interaction made it even more enjoyable. 

➕ A mid-game interaction that appeared to be straightforward was more complex than it had appeared upon initial inspection. This puzzle, along with many of the other puzzles, felt satisfying to solve and gave instant gratification through partial confirmations. 

➖ One of the puzzles solved with an unclued and unnecessary anagram. While the first half of the puzzle was strong, the implementation of an extraction order would improve this sequence. 

A small wooden table with a lantern, a pen, and a few wanted posters.

❓ This game included a number of dexterity challenges. Although they were not overly difficult and were fair, they may not be for everyone. 

➖ An object we found early in the game caused us to break sequence. Whilst this was not an issue in the overall game flow, we ended up using this object twice, including once for an unintended purpose.

➕ Operation Escape was able to add time pressure to our experience even when we were going quickly. This timer was calibrated correctly, and did not feel unfair.

➕ The finale went off with a bang. We loved the overall excitement of the explosive ending. 

Tips For Visiting

  • There plenty of parking directly outside of Operation Escape
  • We recommend Masala Craft Indian Kitchen for some fantastic food!

Book your hour with Operation Escape’s Gold Rush, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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