Confusion Escapes – The Last Job [Review]

Without a hitch

Location:  San Bernardino, CA

Date Played: January 7, 2022

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per adult, $28 per child

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: all players must climb a few steps

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Confusion Escapes’ The Last Job stood out for a very big reason: the room was filled with a full-size semi-trailer truck, impressively passing through multiple walls. This bold calling card was also echoed in Confusion Escapes’ lobby, where the front end of the truck appeared to be breaking through a brick wall. This brick wall and a nearby street scene were beautifully painted murals, and the illusory transitions from painted to real bricks and a painted to physical lamppost showed off Confusion Escapes’ cleverness in engineering and design.

From the moment we entered the room, we were taken by the sheer mass and realness of the truck. This carried over into a handful of puzzles that got us to engage with the urban environment and truck cab in enjoyable ways.

Yet as we spent much of the game reading papers and inputting numerical combos, the puzzles failed to really fill or take advantage of the vast physicality of the space. It seemed that more time had been spent building this cool truck than devising equally cool ways to engage with or transform it. Even the company’s lobby, with its intricately painted brick wall mural, functioning headlights, and a hidden smoke effect on the truck, somewhat outpaced the room itself in overall visual effect.

The Last Job‘s central feature, the truck, was undeniably awesome. It’s precisely because the truck was so great that I craved more magical interactions, more physical things to move and manipulate, and more unexpected twists in the space. The creators at Confusion Escapes have demonstrated some of their fabrication chops with their lobby and The Last Job. With a bit more attention to interaction design and player experience, they have all the skills to create some truly unique escape rooms.

The front end of a truck protruding through a heavily damaged brick wall.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Vehicle enthusiasts

Why play?

  • A full-scale truck in the room
  • A cool truck-related special effect
A large white truck that has crashed into the side of a building.

Story

We had been approached by a famous thief to pull off a big heist. We were tasked with obtaining some questionable goods from a warehouse and escaping before the cops arrived.

Setting

There was a full truck in a room. We started off on a street outdoors and made our way through the truck’s trailer into a warehouse loading area.

A no parking sign against a brick wall.

Gameplay

Confusion Escape’s The Last Job was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around puzzling and searching.

Analysis

➕ In case you skipped reading the review up to this point, there was a big truck in a room! It was very well fabricated and just as cool as it sounds. This large set piece dominated the space and guided most of the gameplay. The substantial effort that went into moving and constructing this vehicle really showed.

➕ Urban elements surrounding the truck — including street signs, a hedge, and a sidewalk curb — felt wonderfully real.

➖ Other parts of the set dressing didn’t match the build quality of the truck itself. Brick wall wallpaper felt flat and fake compared to the imposing physicality of the truck. A sheet of laminated paper looked out of place.

➕ A few early puzzles led us to interact with the truck and urban environment in interesting ways.

➖ Overall, the puzzles felt somewhat uninspired relative to the coolness of the truck. I would have loved to have seen more tactile puzzles that took advantage of the unique physical environment. While we learned post-game that certain puzzles were designed around Easter eggs personal to the designers, this didn’t come through in the game itself, and a stronger narrative could have helped these threads stand more on their own.

➕ We got good vibes from an impressive set transition that was implemented better than I’ve seen almost anywhere else.

➖ There was an over-reliance on standard padlocks and buttons that didn’t all quite make sense for the theme or space.

➖ Uneven lighting made a search puzzle harder than it had to be.

➕/➖ A puzzle that involved moving things was fun and fit the space. The extraction for this puzzle, though, felt a bit anticlimactic, and this seemed like a missed opportunity for a more visual or physical reveal.

➕ Confusion Escapes had an especially selfie-worthy bathroom.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was a parking lot.

Book your hour with Confusion Escapes’ The Last Job, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Confusion Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

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