Bust Out Escape Room – Doomsday Bunker [Review]

Doomsday BunkerΒ is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations forΒ great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

Launch Sequence

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: December 15, 2021

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Doomsday Bunker was one of Bust Out Escape Room’s earlier games… and it has held up quite well.

The strength of Doomsday Bunker was in its set and interaction design; there were a lot of engaging and unusual moments to enjoy. A few of these stuck in my memory in a great way. And often enough, I found myself thinking, “huh… I can’t believe that I’ve never seen anyone do that before. Cool.”

An elevator in a bunker. An envelope is labeled "Top Secret."

As an earlier game, Doomsday Bunker’s gameplay was rooted in more traditional puzzle play. There were a lot of lightly themed puzzles and search challenges scattered throughout this game. Overall, it was a great representation of a classic escape room, and if I had played this when it was brand new, it would have blown my mind. I still got a lot out of it.

If you’re visiting Bust Out, I’d strongly urge you to play Rattlesnake Bend first… and if you’re looking for another game, this is a great one to add to your itinerary.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • An unusual approach to the bunker setting, with cool props and interactions
  • A lot of challenging puzzle content

Story

Our team had been assigned to prevent the start of World War III. We had to infiltrate a bunker, activate a missile, and neutralize the threat.

A closeup of a glowing green light within a metal container.

Setting

Doomsday Bunker took us into the depths of a nuclear missile silo. It sold the fiction through its olive drab, and metal aesthetic, along with some of its larger set pieces. The space was small, but it felt significant.

A nuclear missile launch computer.

Gameplay

Bust Out Escape Room’s Doomsday Bunker was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

A nuclear missile in a launch station.

Analysis

βž• The opening sequence was intense. Bust Out used set design to make it feel like change was occurring. It was a fun ride.

βž• The set design and build quality were solid. Bust Out even thwarted our expectations with a couple of opens.

βž• The gameplay worked well with multiple layered puzzles, a good hiding place, and a fun challenge-based solve.

βž–/❓ While much of Doomsday Bunker could be solved in parallel, one critical math puzzle could sink a team. To their credit, Bust Out called out this bottleneck in the pregame briefing. Teams know going in that when they see the math, they have to solve the math to move on. It was a perfectly doable puzzle. However, if you’ve never seen this type of thing before, it would be quite intimidating… and it is math.

βž• We greatly appreciated the Morse code implementation in Doomsday Bunker. The input mechanism was so clever and sacrificed a tiny bit of realism to solve the most common problem with Morse code inputs in escape rooms. I cannot believe that more companies aren’t doing what Bust Out did here.

βž– One puzzle would be more fun with a clear number of inputs clued within the space. Because of this layered puzzle’s foundation in searching, it could easily take multiple tries and become overly frustrating with this much variability.

βž– A few puzzles didn’t make a ton of sense in the world. A lot of the gameplay felt rooted in old-school design: lightly themed puzzles in an immersive environment.

βž• The sound effects and musical soundtrack added intensity to Doomsday Bunker. We liked how certain props triggered sounds.

❓ We saved the world, but we didn’t internalize the story of our experience. Doomsday Bunker was well themed, but not narrative-driven.

Tips For Visiting

  • Doomsday Bunker is located at the San Mateo location.
  • Parking: There is a parking lot.
  • Food: We recommend La Reforma for excellent tacos, beer, and cocktails.

Book your hour with Bust Out Escape Room’s Doomsday Bunker, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Bust Out Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.

Escape Immerse Explore: New Mexico

This game will be featured on our next escape room tour: Escape Immerse Explore: New Mexico 2022. If you’re looking to play outstanding escape rooms with other players who are just as excited about these games, we hope you’ll join us in New Mexico this June.

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