The Maze – Action! [Review]

I’ll be back.

Location:  Petah Tikva, Israel

Date Played: May 15, 2022

Team Size: 3-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 120 NIS per player for 3 players to 100 NIS per player for 6+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Crouching for all players

Emergency Exit Rating: We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Action! opened with a hilariously off-kilter answer to a simple question: what’s the biggest mistake humanity has ever made?

Responding through Hollywood-tinted lenses, The Maze concocted an exciting adventure in a whimsical style that felt akin to what might emerge from an escape room jam, yet executed with stellar production value and puzzle panache. The plot will especially appeal to fans of certain popular 1980s films.

Action! was appropriately action packed. As we were whisked from film to film, each segment of the game had its own distinct style of gameplay and aesthetic. The puzzles were dynamic and thematic, playing to a range of player strengths. The transitions between segments were especially delightful.

An ancient temple with stone card walls.

To note, Action! is not the only Hollywood-themed escape room in Israel. Hype Esc’s Hollywood 117 also presents a Hollywood montage, yet the two rooms have completely different approaches, puzzles, and featured films. If you have the time, I highly recommend visiting both.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • 1980s cinephiles

Why play?

  • The puzzles
  • The time machine
  • You love The Terminator and other 1980s films

Story

A film studio had discovered a strange artifact in their prop department that gave us the ability to travel back in time. We returned to a pivotal moment in film history to reverse the worst mistake ever made.

A wall with 80s movie posters including Terminator, Back to the Future, and TRON.

Setting

Action! started off in a Hollywood film studio before time traveling back onto the sets of some classic films. Each area of the set used widely varied construction techniques, and the level of production and attention to detail was consistently high throughout.

Gameplay

The Maze’s Action! was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and making connections.

Analysis

βž• Action! was based around a humorous premise that was just ridiculous enough to work. The game traversed multiple distinct worlds picked from popular 1980s filmography.

βž– Action! felt like multiple distinct escape rooms chained together, with loosely thematic connective tissue. A more concrete throughline β€” whether an object that we kept with us between scenes or an ongoing objective β€” could have better tied the game’s themes together, as they were all strong individually.

βž• The set looked fantastic. Faithfully reproducing the general aesthetic of certain classic films, each set felt like the film set, with just enough of the behind-the-scenes showing through.

βž• The puzzles creatively utilized cool physical props and effects. A wide range of puzzle mechanics will appeal to a wide range of players. One particular tech-centric puzzle interaction aligned especially well for us.

βž• A magical transition between spaces was beautifully implemented, with perfectly synced sound and lighting for optimal effect.

βž•/βž– A visual reveal was really cool and thematic, though it didn’t quite work as intended. We were still able to make out enough meaning to move forward.

βž• The game ended with a bang. A clever twist forced some self-reflection and provided a satisfying conclusion to the story.

βž•/βž– Action! was filled with Easter eggs for fans of the 1980s film franchises featured in the game. The gameplay was designed such that knowledge of these films wasn’t required. However, just a bit more narrative background on each of the films could have evened the playing field for players who either hadn’t seen or didn’t remember the films.

Tips For Visiting

  • English playability: The game was fully translated except for a small note that was useful for solving one puzzle.

Book your hour with The Maze’s Action!, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Maze provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Update November 15, 2022: To hear more from designer Gai Bosco, check out this interview on The Reality Escape Pod.

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