Amazon Escape – Grease [Review]

“It doesn’t matter if you win or lose, it’s what you do with your dancin’ shoes.”

Location: Holon, Israel

Date Played: May 15, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 150 NIS per player for 2 players to 100 NIS per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Game Breakage: One puzzle was broken at the time of playing

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Grease was a groovy depiction of classic American rock & roll culture.

Themed more around the era than the film of the same name, Grease guided us through various iconic settings with a lighthearted balance of family-friendly puzzles and fun interactions. Our ultimate goal: to restore the rock & roll music for our high school dance so we could fit in with the cool crowd.

Grease demonstrated the importance of cultural context in escape room markets. This room consistently ranks highly amongst Israeli enthusiasts, and while I had fun, Grease didn’t blow me away. What is important to acknowledge, though, is why this room ranks so highly, which is in large part due to the novelty of a real-life American diner for Israelis and the novelty of certain non-puzzle interactions that are rare amongst Israeli escape rooms.

In other words: I grew up in suburban America with classic diners as a persistent element of vintage nostalgia. I’ve also played a good handful of diner-themed escape rooms around the US, so standard diners are an enjoyable but not uncommon setting for me. But for many non-Americans, the diner setting provides a unique escape to a far-off place only seen in movies.

An American 50's style diner with a jukebox, a coke machine, and milkshakes on the counter.

Grease was a delightful, if slightly dated, experience that was shaped by the experimentation, playfulness, and care that characterizes many Israeli escape rooms. If you are visiting Amazon Escape, make sure to play their newest room Kofiko for a more ambitious and polished experience. If you have the time, Grease would make a fun addition to your itinerary.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • American nostalgia seekers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The diner
  • The vintage car
  • The rock & roll

Story

We were students at the coolest 1950s high school, but in order to fit in with the cool crowd, we had to prove ourselves. It was the day of the big school dance, and the music had gone missing! We were tasked with recovering the rock & roll record and returning it by the time of the dance.

Setting

Grease was set across a montage of 1950s snapshots: a classic diner, a car repair garage, and a high school social hall. Each scene was playfully rendered, with bold colors and plenty of salvaged ephemera from the era.

Gameplay

Amazon Escape’s Grease was a standard escape room with a low-to-moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, solving puzzles, and making connections.

Analysis

➕ The set of Grease reproduced some iconic scenes from 1950s America, as stylized in “Grease” and other films of the era. A classic diner looked especially nice, with retro colors, a full-scale jukebox, the illusion of neon lighting, and, of course, plenty of milkshakes.

➕ The gameplay included some delightful interactions that are uncommon for escape rooms, especially within the Israeli escape room scene. A messy interaction with an actor was particularly fun.

➕/➖ Interactions with an old vehicle were amusing and diegetic, though being a real car, we wished components and compartments that were not used for puzzles had been better fixed in place.

➕/➖ An unexpected hiding spot was cool and original. Once we’d unlocked it, we wished it had been spring loaded as it was not intuitive how it was supposed to open up. 

➖ We were effectively skipped over a broken puzzle, without clear indication that the puzzle was out of play.

➕ Once we’d finally returned the rock & roll music to the gymnasium, the escape game ended in joyous celebration.

Tips For Visiting

  • English playability: The game was fully translated into English.

Book your hour with Amazon Escape’s Grease, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Amazon Escape 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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