Frozen for science
Location: Orlando, FL
Date Played: February 28, 2023
Team size: 3-6; we recommend 3-4
Duration: 90 minutes
Price: $57.99 per player
Accessibility Consideration: If any player cannot crawl or climb, their experience will be extremely hindered.
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
In The Escape Ventures’ newest game, they really stretched out, leaning even more into their strengths: quirky settings, fantastic actors, and engagement with gamespaces. In Operation Arctic Storm, this turned out to be quite a large space to explore.
From a gameplay and set-build standpoint, Operation Arctic Storm was The Escape Ventures’ most expansive and impressive production. If it were at any other company, it would be the best game in the facility, unequivocally.
For us, what was lacking was the personality that shined through in their earlier work. This wasn’t entirely missing from Operation Arctic Storm, but rather the characters – both actor-driven and otherwise – had unrealized potential that could push this experience even further.
With this unique theme, and the incredible effects that brought it to life, Operation Arctic Storm is a must-play for any escape room players traveling to Orlando.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Any experience level
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- A unique theme
- Surprising interactive set-based interactions
We were at our station in the Arctic when a severe storm began forming off the coast of Siberia. The storm vehicle would be able to withstand the winds and keep us safe, but it had been dormant for a long time. We’d need to get it up and running in order to survive.
We began in the compact barracks of the station. After the alarm sounded, we began making our way through the station toward the storm vehicle. The sets grew – in both scale and intrigue – as the game progressed.
The Escape Ventures ‘ Operation Arctic Storm: The Final Meltdown was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, solving puzzles, and communicating.
We also needed to traverse the game space, which required some physical maneuvering.
➕ Operation Arctic Storm: The Final Meltdown used this space creatively. It felt cramped where tight quarters were appropriate, but it opened up later on with a couple of dynamic reveals. The vertical space added excitement and authenticity.
➕ The Escape Ventures used an effect we rarely see that heightened our experience in their Arctic world. Plus, they gave us (much appreciated!) props to endure the climate.
➕ The Escape Ventures balanced actor-interaction with classic escape room gameplay. We were not alone on the base, but neither were we distracted by our companion, who only appeared with purpose, for example, to diversify gameplay. The in-character gamemastering also enhanced the opening sequence.
➖ Visibility was a repeated challenge. Color differentiation hindered us on multiple occasions. In one instance, a player had to swap out because he could not differentiate the shades of blue and purple, and even the (fully color-sighted) player who swapped in struggled. In one sequence, glare on a glass surface added challenge, but not in a fun way.
➖ Some of the tech needed finesse. For example, in one puzzle the sensors demanded too much precision and written instructions tried to mitigate for their double reading. The tech issues put the difficulty on the execution rather than the solve.
➕ We enjoyed the puzzles that blended naturally into the environment. They were complex, but they were exciting ahas. And because we’d entered an unusual game space, they felt especially novel.
➖ The AI at this station missed the mark; it felt like an afterthought. This is where The Escape Ventures’ voice could really shine, as the humor in Operation Arctic Storm: The Final Meltdown wasn’t on the level of that in Neighborhood Watcher or Bros for Life. We wanted the silliness dialed up to make the AI a compelling and essential part in the game world.
➕ The final scene delivered on the promise of the adventure. It was an exciting finale.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- There are many restaurants close by.
Book your session with The Escape Ventures’ Operation Arctic Storm: The Final Meltdown, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: The Escape Venture comped our tickets for this game.