Backstage Escape Games – The Legend of Atlantis [Review]

Poseidon’s Puzzles

Location:  Myrtle Beach, SC

Date Played:  September 28, 2021

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $36 per player

Ticketing: Public

Accessibility Consideration: at least one player has to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

It’s an interesting experience visiting an older game with a strong reputation. We know more than a few people in the community who fell in love with escape rooms because they played The Legend of Atlantis, and I can see why.

The set was gorgeous and joyous. I imagine that if I had seen it 5 years ago, it would have been an arresting experience. It truly was a lovely space to spend an hour in 2021. Aesthetically it absolutely held up.

A hallway with torches and painted portraits. At the end of the hallway is a painting of Poseidon holding a trident spear.
Image via Backstage Escape Games

From a gameplay perspective, The Legend of Atlantis showed its age. Most of the puzzles were fun, until they weren’t. On multiple occasions we found ourselves wishing that a puzzle were about 25% shorter; the point had been delivered and all that remained was process.

Additionally, the game was glued together with a single small journal that provided supplemental clue structure… and that journal wasn’t doing this game any favors. When surrounded by such a beautiful environment, this item was not the thing we wanted to be looking at.

Finally, there was a general lack of work surfaces or space around large set pieces… which makes it hard to recommend a team size for this game. The space was tight, and the early game was linear. However, once we reached the lengthy process puzzles, additional players would have been helpful.

Overall, I’m glad that I finally got to visit this game. It also managed to stand out in the Myrtle Beach region. If you only have time for one game in the area, I’d suggest starting with The Haunting of Hyde House. If you’re playing a second, make it The Legend of Atlantis.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • Magnificent set
  • The first act is really strong

Story

Archaeologist and explorer Hathaway Wren had sent a message claiming he’d discovered Atlantis. Then he disappeared. Following in his footsteps, we found ourselves in the Atlantean Temple of Poseidon. It was time to delve deeper into the ancient temple and learn its secrets.

A wooden crate with a lantern and a vase on top.
Image via Backstage Escape Games

Setting

The Legend of Atlantis was set in a breathtaking ancient Greek temple environment. The set felt inspired by The Lost Continent at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. It was a sight to behold.

Stone walls and archways in the temple of Poseidon.

Gameplay

Backstage Escape Games’ The Legend of Atlantis was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty, derived from lengthy process puzzles.

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

Analysis

➕ The Legend of Atlantis looked magnificent. The set was impressive, and from the opening act, it set up a grand adventure. It was even impressive from the outside, attracting the attention of passerby at the open air mall, Broadway on the Beach.

Exterior entrance for The Legend of Atlantis.

➕ The Legend of Atlantis started gently with an elegant onboarding puzzle that would teach new players how to engage with escape rooms.

➖ The Legend of Atlantis relied heavily on a runbook. This prop, essential to almost every puzzle, pulled at least one player’s gaze away from the gorgeous set into the pages of a small, laminated journal. This prop alone shrunk the size of the game, and caused bottlenecks. The most important item in the game was by far the least exciting.

➖ While the set was large, The Legend of Atlantis struggled with functional spatial design. In one instance, not everyone could reach an interactive set piece designed around teamwork. Later, we lacked workstation space, and the only table-like surface turned out to be a liability for our collected treasures.

➕ We enjoyed when our actions impacted the magnificent set – for example, a layered puzzle that lit up the room.

➖ The Legend of Atlantis floundered in the second half with lengthy process puzzles. One relied on color differentiation in low light. Another required us to transcribe and decode. We frequently found ourselves liking a puzzle at first… and then later feeling that it had overstayed its welcome.

A person looking dubiously over his shoulder as he solves a fish puzzle.
Image via Backstage Escape Games

➕ The set opened up in surprising ways, revealing new depths.

➖ The culminating sequence lacked gravitas because rather than celebrate our triumph, one person slipped our spoils in a nook in a door frame. We couldn’t even all see this take place.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • Backstage Escape Games is located at Broadway at the Beach, a shopping center and entertainment complex. There’s plenty to do here.

Book your hour with Backstage Escape Games’ The Legend of Atlantis, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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