Steal and Escape – The Missing Season [Review]

Summer is coming

Location:  San Diego, CA

Date Played: October 1, 2022

Team Size: 2-5; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: $37 per player with a 3-ticket minimum

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  One player will need to crawl. At least one player will need to be able to pick up approximately 10 lbs.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Steal and Escape is truly pushing the boundaries of story- and narration-driven gameplay in The Missing Season with an intense, booming narrator and use of lighting, sounds, and effects. Guided by the guardian of the seasons, our team was taken on a journey through many vastly different settings, which were beautifully decorated from floor to ceiling with surprise puzzle integrations at every turn.

The lighting and sound cues also linked puzzle solves to satisfying payoffs. It was possible, however, for multiple audio cues to trigger at once if we solved multiple puzzles simultaneously. When this happened, the overlapping audio confused our team. That said, integration of story delivery through audio tech with both technical interactions and a few typical locks that fit the setting almost always worked seamlessly to deliver satisfaction for both puzzles and story.

A winter space with snow adorning trees and park benches.

The Missing Season utilized the space in a creative way, and did not just integrate spatial traversing for the sake of it. Steal and Escape also used some interesting technology we had never seen in an escape room setting before, blowing us away with a tangible communication puzzle. We loved the number of exciting reveals specific to this experience that felt larger than life.

Steal and Escape has a knack for creating unique experiences, and The Missing Season is no exception. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out their other games, The Neighbor and The Lost Expedition, as well for their vastly different, fun, and interactive experiences. If you only have time for one game, you can’t go wrong with any of them. Pick whichever theme you like best!

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Overarching goofy narrator who was along for the journey 
  • Beautiful and varied set transitions 
  • Incredibly fun interactions

Story

The world has three seasons: Winter, Spring, and Fall. We had been called on by Strategos Enterprises to travel through the seasons and convince the guardian to create a new season full of relaxation and rejuvenation. 

A white room with black seating a yellow locker, and a wall mural of a tree depicting leaves in different seasons.

Setting

The Missing Season began in a cliché waiting room full of goofy escape room memes. While the beginning of the game blurred with reality, the rest of the experience traversed us through the beautifully decorated seasons. 

A winter space with snow adorning trees beside a park bench.

Gameplay

Steal and Escape’s The Missing Season was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty. 

Core gameplay revolved around puzzling, observing, making connections, and communication. Some interactions required moving large, impressive objects throughout the space. 

Analysis

➕ The narrator guided us through our journey, giving us direction, story, and a few chuckles along the way. The story elements delivered by the narrator elevated the gameplay in multiple ways by utilizing sound, lighting, and visual effects along with a deep, booming story overhead.

➖ While our team loved the narration and story aspects, the audio cues acted as a sort of runbook – telling us what to do next. They were a little too guided and overbearing, removing some of the aha moments from the game.

➕/❓ The intro sequence was hilarious and fun, setting the tone for the rest of the experience. This sequence had our players completing an action that could have had consequences, or at least tied into the gameplay to some extent, but never did for all but one of our team members. We wish this was more extensively integrated into the later gameplay.

➖ We solved two puzzles in succession too quickly, causing audio cues and story elements to overlap and play at the same time, rendering both audio clips inaudible.

➕ Every element of the gameplay was just plain fun. Interactions felt meaningful and large. We had to flex some muscles to interact with a rather large, unique set piece.

➕ Every single tiny set piece was adorable and well crafted. The design choices shined in each season, revealing breathtaking spectacles, both large and small.

➕/❓ The ending posed a choice to players, which felt like a satisfying conclusion, yet the choice was quite obvious. One option was quite unrelated to the story, and we questioned why anyone would choose this one.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is plenty of parking on-site.
  • We recommend Rustic Root for some delicious local food and YoungBlood for a uniquely curated cocktail experience!

Book your hour with Steal and Escape’s The Missing Season, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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