60 Out – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle [Review]

The elephant in the room.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: August 24, 2018

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $38 per ticket Sunday – Thursday, $40 per ticket Friday – Saturday

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

I was really excited to play Jumanji. It was clear that 60 Out had put a lot of effort into creating this game. I wish I could say that effort correlated directly to quality… but I can’t. I’m pretty sad about it.

The Jumanji escape room was a beautiful mess filled with interesting toys and striking set pieces. Far too many puzzles were broken; the game seemed littered with the remains of removed or adapted puzzles. The character/ special ability feature was too opaque to allow for deliberate character moments. Unfortunately, the problems overshadowed a number of great puzzles and interactions.

Finally, it looked like a jungle, but it didn’t feel like Jumanji. There weren’t moments of overcoming deep-seated character flaws… nor were there many meaningful references back to the film (the original or the sequel).

In-game: a monkey statue holding a torch flanked by two rhino statues.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • A detailed, unusual set
  • Nifty interactions
  • Some beautiful set pieces

Story

This licensed escape room loosely interpreted the story of the recent film sequel Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Our group had all been sucked into a cursed jungle adventure video game.

Once we were in the video game, we each selected a character and received an ability based on that role.

Finally, we had to complete Jumanji before the game destroyed us.

In-game: a TV and game console in a 90s bedroom.

Setting

Jumanji kicked off with us hanging out in our friend’s bedroom. After we started the video game console and booted up Jumanji, we found ourselves in a jungle environment.

The bedroom was a fairly accurate recreation of Alex Vreeke’s ‘90s room from an early scene of the movie.

While the jungle setting didn’t specifically reference anything that I could recall in the film, it was a solid tropical jungle setting.

In-game: stone walls and pillars beside a collection of tree stumps.

Gameplay

60 Out’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

One key feature was the role-based play. This created situations where only a specific player (or at least their wrist band) could complete a specific interaction.

In-game: a leather bracelet labeled "Dr. SB."

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, and making connections.

Analysis

+ There were some beautiful, eye-catching set pieces.

– An awful lot of interactions were broken, including some key moments that should have been badass. Looking around the set, it seemed riddled with ghost puzzles. This was frustrating.

In-game: a Jumanji board.

+ I kind of wanted to keep the Jumanji board.

– The character superpowers (activated with the wrist bands) were clunky. It was often difficult to tell which bracelet applied to which interactions and why. It was difficult to connect the characters and powers; everything seemed abstract. This whole portion of the game felt hollow.

In-game: a tree in a forrest.

+ The jungle setting looked pretty good. While it wasn’t perfect, wooded environments are some of the most difficult to create and 60 Out clearly put a lot into the set. I have to give them credit for this creation.

In-game: a TV and game console in a 90s bedroom.

– 60 Out put a lot of emphasis on Alex’s bedroom. This was a bafflingly faithful recreation of a set that received about 15 seconds of screen time in the movie.

+ There were a number of fun puzzles and interactions including a teamwork puzzle, a physical interaction, and one that wasn’t particularly challenging, but was beautiful and a delight to complete.

– The finale was overflowing with potential, but it fizzled when it barely worked. I’m still not sure how it was supposed to have functioned.

– To me, the core of any Jumanji story is a group of individuals helping one another overcome their weaknesses to discover their true strengths. It’s supposed to be personal, not just a jungle adventure. This was absent from 60 Out’s Jumanji escape room. I could forgive this if 60 Out had nailed other big moments from the movie, but it didn’t really do that either. Maybe they didn’t get to see the movie before having to design the game, if that’s the case, then this failure is on the studio as well.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with 60 Out’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: 60 Out comped our tickets for this game.

60 Out – Flight of the Pandorus Revisited [Review]

Our first ever re-review.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: August 24, 2018

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from starting at $40 per ticket for 2 players, to starting at $26.66 per ticket for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

We weren’t planning to replay Pandorus. After hearing that it was essentially a different game within the same set that we knew and loved, however, we decided to give it another shot… and we were glad that we did. The new Pandorus was a significant improvement over its predecessor.

The basic information for this game exists in our previous review. In this re-review, we address the improvements, as well as some new areas to potentially refine.

The bottom-line: Pandorus went from a good game to one of the strongest games that we’ve seen in 60 Out’s substantial collection of games in Los Angeles.

In-game: the cockpit of the ship with green and red glowing lights and a countdown timer.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A brilliant sci-fi set cobbled together from unlikely and recycled components
  • Humor
  • Memorable sci-fi interactions

Analysis

+ We still loved the unique aesthetic of Pandorus. This time around, the game had been modified such that we always knew what was set dressing and what was an active set piece.

+ Gone were the repetitious activities from the previous game. There was one larger process puzzle, but it was brilliantly designed and didn’t stick around long enough to grow old.

In-game: a strange contraption with tubes running to it.

+ We had been a little perturbed last go around when we had unwittingly made a moral decision. 60 Out had cleared that up. Now we clearly understood our options.

– We encountered muddy audio. The various aspects of the soundscape clashed. This was particularly challenging when we received hints.

In-game: a small robot.

+ The tiny hint robot was adorable and strangely compelling.

– The diminutive droid’s scale was off for the room; it was easy to forget about him. This was a problem because talking with the robot was integral to both the gameplay and the humor of Pandorus.

In-game: green lasers emerging from the ship.

+/- 60 Out kept the best puzzle from the earlier version. We were thrilled to hang back and watch our teammates solve this one. Watching with another year’s worth of experience, however, we realized that this puzzle could have benefitted from some visual feedback.

Tips for Visiting

  • If you’ve already played Pandorus in an earlier version, it is now different enough that you can play it again. Bring some teammates who haven’t played the earlier iteration so that they can solve the 2 or 3 puzzles that reappear.
  • There is a parking lot around back.

Book your hour with 60 Out’s Flight of the Pandorus, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: 60 Out comped our tickets for this game.

60 Out – Cartel: DEA Undercover [Review]

I am the danger.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: August 24, 2018

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from starting at $40 per ticket for 2 players, to starting at $26.66 per ticket for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

Cartel: DEA Undercover was at its best when it asked us to MacGyver our way through unfortunate circumstances, using situational clues. Although it sometimes felt hokey, 60 Out built tension through immersive design and delivered an exciting adventure.

If you play escape rooms for the adventure and you enjoy circumstantial puzzling, visit Cartel: DEA Undercover. Know that the scenario has some adult themes including drugs, violence, and torture.

In-game: a white van that protrudes from a steel wall.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Breaking Bad fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Sense of adventure
  • Badass moments

Story

We were undercover agents who had built a partnership with the Juarez Cartel. The Cartel took a liking to the product that we were supplying them, and wanted to meet. Things went… poorly.

Our backup was too far away to help us. We had to escape.

In-game: A blood-soaked sheet beside a steel wall with blood and a water spigot.

Setting

Our first impression of Cartel: DEA Undercover was a van that was protruding through a wall in 60 Out’s lobby.

We found ourselves in a large and visually impactful outpost of the Cartel. This was one of those games where the reveals really mattered, so spoiling them would do a disservice to the player.

What you need to know is that it looked great… and in case you can’t tell based on the photos that we took, the subject matter of this game won’t be for everyone.

In-game: coke on a balance.

Gameplay

60 Out’s Cartel: DEA Undercover was an atypical escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, reaction time, and “hacking” our way through the problems we encountered. Most of the challenges were presented as real-life problems in need of a fix, rather than puzzles in need of a solution.

In-game: a steel door with a series of valves.

Analysis

Cartel: DEA Undercover surprised us early.

+ The adventure-style gameplay required us to make connections as we would in a real-life danger scenario. In these instances, gameplay was at its best.

– The more standard escape room puzzle gameplay was weaker. In one instance we experienced misleading cluing.

– One finicky piece of tech wasted a lot of our time even though we understood the goals of the interaction.

+ One late-game interaction built tension and upped the immersion of the experience as it added a feeling of desperation.

– Cartel: DEA Undercover needed a longer late-game audio track. Each time we heard it loop, it diminished the intensity built by the other interactions in the space. The mood flipped from tense to hokey… and the more we thought about what we were hearing, the worse the stereotype caricature sounded.

Cartel: DEA Undercover concluded with us as the heroes in a remarkably cinematic shot.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a small parking lot.
  • Cartel: DEA Undercover involved adult themes including drugs, violence, and torture. If you can handle a modern cable TV crime drama, then you’ll be fine with this game.

Book your hour with 60 Out’s Cartel: DEA Undercover, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: 60 Out comped our tickets for this game.

60 Out – Da Vinci’s Secret [Review]

That’s one big cryptex.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date played: December 1, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: It’s complicated

REA Reaction

We enjoyed Da Vinci’s Secret’s interesting and inventive puzzles. We wished 60 Out had focused a little more on evening out the scale of the space and conveying adventure. That said, we puzzled through some neat devices, which felt appropriately da Vinci.

Da Vinci’s Secret came highly recommended; it was a good escape room, but it didn’t quite live up to the hype.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with a least some experience

Why play?

  • Inventive puzzles
  • Giant cryptex
  • Tongue-in-cheek tone

Story

Upon the death of Leonardo da Vinci, his final mystery was bequeathed to his favorite student, Salai: a room filled with unusual puzzles. Could we unravel the clues and learn the secrets left behind by the Renaissance master?

That's one big cryptex.

Setting

The setting of Da Vinci’s Secret was earthy in tone. It had an assortment of artwork from Leonardo and a gigantic cryptex-like device under a glowing stained glass window. Most other props were small, made from wood, and frequently laser cut with intricate patterns.

Gameplay

Da Vinci’s Secret ran 75 minutes and was entirely focused on puzzling. While there wasn’t much adventure or intensity to speak of, it did offer a wide range of puzzle types.

Standouts

Da Vinci’s Secret included some intriguing set pieces. There was the giant cryptex, of course, as well as a few other interesting pieces to manipulate or observe.

When we solved puzzles, Da Vinci’s Secret responded with fanfare. We enjoyed this playful feedback. We’ve played many da Vinci-themed escape rooms, but never one as tongue-in-cheek as 60 Out’s.

60 Out created some challenging and satisfying puzzles that encouraged teamwork and cooperation.

We enjoyed the cohesive, laser-cut aesthetic of most of the props in Da Vinci’s Secret.

Shortcomings

The linear gameplay in Da Vinci’s Secret became frustrating because the escape room wasn’t appropriately gated. Many of the most interesting props were available for exploration long before we had the clues to solve them. New players, especially, will likely get hung up spending too much time on items they can’t yet solve.

The scale of this game felt off. The space was large, but the majority of the props were small. Especially when juxtaposed with something like a giant cryptex, the other props felt dwarfed by the largely unadorned gamespace. The set looked fine, but somehow it seem imbalanced.

Tips for Visiting

  • This 60 Out location has free parking around back.
  • There weren’t a lot of great food options in the neighborhood. Plan accordingly.

Book your hour with 60 Out’s Da Vinci’s Secret, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: 60 Out provided media discounted tickets for this game.

60 Out – Wizard’s Workshop [Review]

Bending the elements of gameplay.

Location: Marina Del Rey, California

Date played: June 2, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26-40 per ticket depending upon team size

Story & setting

During our time as wizard’s apprentices, our teacher had made a grave mistake and became lost in time and space. It was our job to recover his body and soul.

Wizard’s Workshop was staged within a wizard’s study with a medieval-magic-meets-steampunk feel.

In-game: A wizard's study with strange books,a wooden desk, stone walls, and a strange telescope.

Puzzles

Wizard’s Workshop was a challenging game. Of the 8 games that I’ve played with 60Out, this was the first one where the connections didn’t come quickly and easily for me. It was all solvable, but a step up in difficulty from 60Out’s usual “experience > difficulty” approach to room escape design.

Standouts

There were a few puzzles that were both challenging and especially satisfying to solve.

The escape room felt large, which added to the sense of adventure.

There were a number of great interactions.

Parts of the set looked stellar.

Shortcomings

The set was a little uneven. Parts of it looked exceptionally compelling, while other bits looked like they didn’t receive quite the same level of attention or budget.

A late-game set piece should have offered better feedback. We burned a lot of time when a correct action failed to register properly. This became frustrating.

We left with a few cuts and splinters. A number of props needed some sandpapering and finishing.

Should I play 60Out’s Wizard’s Workshop?

If you’ve played a bunch of escape rooms with 60Out and you’re looking for their take on a more challenging one, then Wizard’s Workshop is your boss battle. It’s not brutal, but it’s more challenging than their norm.

Wizard’s Workshop will be most enjoyable for players who are at least fairly mobile, as mobility plays a heavy part of one of the more memorable interactions. That said, you only need one smart and mobile person to make things work.

Wizard’s Workshop was a solid escape room made by a reliable company. While I think that 60Out offers other more interesting and innovative experiences, this one was still fun. Play this one for the puzzles; play it because you want to take on the challenge.

Book your hour with 60Out’s Wizard’s Workshop, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: 60Out provided media discounted tickets for this game.

60 Out – Doctor Psycho [Review]

I can’t imagine his malpractice insurance rates.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Date played: June 3, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26-40 per ticket depending upon team size

Story & setting

We were patients trapped by a doctor/serial killer. It was time to make our escape from his gruesome practice.

The doctor’s facility was a large space containing various basic furniture and assorted props, some more medical-ish than others.

In-game: A dark and bloody medical lab with a bag of AB blood hanging in the foreground.

Puzzles

Doctor Psycho relied on observing and connecting more than prolonged puzzling.

Although many of the inputs were locks, Doctor Psycho was largely driven by set-based interactions.

Standouts

From the hallway of 60Out, Doctor Psycho looked enticing. This was an excellent design detail. We’d been wanting to play it since we had walked past the door last year.

One prop required an interaction that made our team jittery, in a fun way. It was a surprising inclusion in an escape room, perfectly safe for all involved, and worked well with the psychotic doctor theme.

The implementation of one late-game puzzle added excitement to a well-themed, fun puzzle.

Shortcomings

In one instance, the order of information distribution, coupled with a particular set of props, led us to spend a lot of time on something that ultimately proved irrelevant.

David and I played Doctor Psycho in different groups. His team experienced a tech failure on one of the more exciting interactions in this escape room. They knew something wasn’t working right and the gamemaster got the room back on track, but this deflated part of their experience.

Should I play 60Out’s Doctor Psycho?

60Out leans heavily into set-based interactions in building their puzzles. Doctor Psycho was grounded in those same design decisions, but relied more heavily on lock inputs and typical escape room puzzles than some of 60Out’s other offerings.

Doctor Psycho was another gritty medical lab / murder scene escape room. While well-executed, 60Out didn’t bring any additional drama or intrigue to this theme… Los Angeles has a lot of these types of room escapes.

Moreover, as with many such escape rooms, Doctor Psycho was a tad gross, a little dark, and sometimes deliberately off-putting, but it wasn’t horror. In Los Angeles, where horror-themed escape rooms excel, Doctor Psycho is an escape room with an identity crisis. It wasn’t really scary and I don’t know if it meant to be.

If you enjoy 60Out’s design style, you’ll enjoy Doctor Psycho. It has solid gameflow and a few fun and surprising moments. I think this is balanced enough to support new players, but also entice more experienced players, for whom it will be a quicker playthrough.

If you like the mad scientist murder lab-type escape room, you’ll have a lot of fun with this one.

Book your hour with 60Out’s Doctor Psycho, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: 60Out provided media discounted tickets for this game.

60Out – Flight of the Pandorus [Review]

[At the time of this review, this game was operated by Countdown and has since been acquired by 60Out.]

That’s it, man. Game over, man. Game over! … Oh… We won!

Location: Los Angeles, California

Date played: June 2, 2017

Team size: 1-6; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

As mercenaries flying about the galaxy doing work for pay, a new client had hired us to create a weapon that would wipe out a hated parasitic species.

Pandorus Mission was set in a magnificently hacked together starship. Made largely from found objects, the set looked like a gorgeous mixture of technology and biology.

In-game: A cockpit glowing green with red accents. It looks like a mix of technology and biology.

Puzzles

The puzzles in Pandorus Mission were baked into the set and its interactions. They generally required us to make connections that weren’t necessarily easy to see at first, but came together swiftly as soon as we understood.

Standouts

The set was beautiful and otherworldly. I loved how Countdown Live Escape Games constructed it largely from junk materials that combined to make something strangely beautiful.

In-game: Part of the ship with glowing green tendrils. Everything looks like a mixture of technology and biology.

Pandorus Mission was hilarious.

The interactions that were born of the set were the highlights.

Shortcomings

In some instances, the set was so busy that it was difficult to find the puzzles.

There were a number of tech failures that cost us somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes of gameplay.

A couple of puzzles repeated a few times; this was a wasted opportunity.

Pandorus Mission attempted to tell a serious story with consequences. This was completely lost on us until our gamemaster pointed it out at the end of the experience. The humor and some of the muddy interaction design completely undermined the narrative. We made a moral decision in this room escape without realizing that we were making a choice.

Should I play Countdown Live Escape Games’s Pandorus Mission?

Countdown Live Escape Games crafted a beautiful set and strong bones in Pandorus Mission. I love it when an escape room company builds a game from inexpensive parts and makes it look like it cost a fortune.

The downside here is that Pandorus Mission is essentially an incomplete game. It looks great, has a number of excellent interactions, and follows a narrative. It’s missing some content, and parts of the experience need additional refinement so that they can carry the narrative weight that they are supposed to.

As we exited Pandorus Mission with seconds on the clock, we had an unusual, and frankly refreshing, interaction with the owner, who pointed out everything that he knew was wrong with the escape room. It seems that this ship is in the shop for a lot of repairs over the next couple of months.

My advice: Play Pandorus Mission, but wait until after summer 2017. If Countdown Live Escape Games sees their iterations through, this will likely become a truly special escape room. It’s got so much going for it, but this ship needs a little more love if it’s going to soar.

Book your hour with 60Out’s Flight of the Pandorus, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Countdown Live Escape Games comped our tickets for this game.

 

60 Out – Titanic [Review]

I’ll never let go.

Location: Marina Del Rey, California

Date played: June 2, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26-40 per ticket depending upon team size

Story & setting

Trapped in steerage aboard the sinking RMS Titanic, we had to escape or lose our lives to the freezing North Atlantic.

Titanic’s set felt industrial and ship-like. The walls looked like metal lined with rivets. The ceiling was deliberately designed. All of the puzzles were born of set-based interactions.

In-game: A hallway with metal walls, doors, and pipes.

Puzzles

Worked deeply into the set, each interaction felt part of the ship. Most of the challenges weren’t all that difficult, but they were satisfying.

Standouts

The set and the interactions built into it were tons of fun.

Each solve felt large and frequently cinematic.

Early in the game I encountered a puzzle that I thought was truly out of place and silly… until later in the room escape its presence suddenly felt brilliant.

In-game: a locked door beside a stack of bunk beds.

Shortcomings

A few props and interactions had too much wear and tear. They could be refreshed with minimal investment.

Titanic felt a little light on content. It would have benefitted from another puzzle or two.

Given the exciting interactions along the way, I wanted a bigger, more intense ending.

Should I play 60Out’s Titanic?

Yes.

Titanic was a lot of fun. The puzzling and large set were wonderfully intermingled and satisfying to solve.

Titanic was a cinematic adventure that put the players in the starring role. We experienced the drama. While it wasn’t the most challenging of escape rooms, the journey was exciting and fun.

When my biggest critique is that I wished Titanic delivered more of what it did so well, it’s a room escape worth visiting.

Book your hour with 60Out’s Titanic, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: 60Out provided media discounted tickets for this game.

60Out – Krampus [Review]

[At the time of this review, this game was operated by Countdown and has since been acquired by 60Out.]

‘Greetings from the Krampus!’

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date played: October 18, 2016

Team size: up to 6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

2016 RoomEscapeArtist.com Golden Lock-In Award - golden ring around the REA logo turned into a lock.
2016 Golden Lock-In Winner

Story & setting

We were investigating the festive yet morbid apartment of the Krampus killer, which as Countdown’s description implies, was actually the demon-goat monster of Alpine folk-lore.

Krampus, the yin to Saint Nicholas’ yang, brings punishment (and in this case, murder) to naughty children come Christmas time.

gruss_vom_krampus

The set of Krampus was magnificently creepy. It was a dark and twisted home that was intricately decorated for a horrible Christmas. It looked great in a gross and foreboding sort of way.

Puzzles

While the haunted house-esque set was the clear star of Krampus, it had some solid puzzling.

Much of the challenge came from the difficulties of navigating a dark and morbid set, but once we made it past those hurdles, there were sound logic and observational puzzles to work out.

Krampus contained a bonus puzzle that will likely eat up the remaining time of fast-solving teams.

Standouts

The set was intense.

In-game image of a dramatically lit Christmas tree in a dark and creepy home.

The game kept our team on edge from beginning to end.

There was a moment mid-game that was incredible; I don’t think I’ll ever forget it. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it mimicked by other companies in future games.

Shortcomings

A little too much of the Krampus’ challenge was derived from the dark setting. There were more than a few things to read, and at times it was easy to make a mistake simply because lighting was barely present.

The bonus puzzle wasn’t particularly enticing. It involved a lot of reading and we decided to finish with a fast time instead of puzzling through it.

Should I play Countdown’s Krampus?

Krampus was a great horror escape room.

It was intense, creepy, and memorable. Watching one of our teammates (not Lisa) cling to a wooden stick for half of the game will remain a treasured memory. I don’t frighten easily and Krampus made me jump. It was a good time.

Krampus has some good puzzling, but I wouldn’t recommend it to players who are seeking a puzzle-focused experience.

This was a game for people who are open to feeling some fear, and don’t struggle with seeing and reading in low light. If that sounds right for you, then I highly recommend paying Krampus a visit.

Book your hour with 60Out’s Krampus, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Countdown comped our tickets for this game.

60 Out Escape Rooms – P.U.T.I.N. Bunker [Review]

No one makes fun of Russians like Russians.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date played: October 14, 2016

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26 – $40 per ticket, depending on the number of players

Story & setting

Vladimir Putin has been deposed and plans to take the world with him: he has activated Russia’s nuclear codes. We accessed his private bunker and had, you guessed it, 60 minutes to disable the launch sequence.

The entire game was a parody of Putin and many Russian stereotypes. It was strange, yet genuinely funny.

Putin riding a bear as it runs through a stream in the forrest.

The set was reasonably well-designed with solid props and construction. The game opted for a comical environment over an attempt at immersive storytelling, which worked well.

Close up of a big red button with a keyway next to it. There is a label with Russian written on it.

Puzzles

The puzzles were the star of the game. They were hands-on, inventive, on-theme, and funny. They didn’t tell a story, but they were interesting, unusual, entertaining, and approachable.

Standouts

The puzzles were a pleasure to solve. They were innovative, tactile, and humorous.

While the P.U.T.I.N Bunker was not as beautiful or immersive as some of the other games we experienced in Los Angeles, it brought a levity that we were starved for after a week of mostly horror and serial killer games. (LA has tons of these.)

60 Out dedicated a significant segment of the game to a single joke. It was a bold and unusual move that I truly appreciated.

Shortcomings

One prop was unusually finicky and required an unreasonably amount of care to execute.

This is one of the stranger criticisms we’ve ever had for a game: one of the puzzles was racially insensitive. It wasn’t a bad puzzle. It wasn’t at all hateful, but it seemed tone deaf in a year that is charged with racial politics. If I had to guess, this was more than likely the product of a cultural misunderstanding.

Should I play 60 Out Escape Rooms’ P.U.T.I.N. Bunker?

P.U.T.I.N Bunker was a ton of fun. It was quirky, humorous, tactile, puzzley fun.

This was our fourth game with 60 Out and they have consistently demonstrated strong puzzle and interaction design. Additionally, they understand how to build a puzzle-centric game with flow, which allows them to produce stellar experiences.

Play it for the puzzles, the humor, and the fun.

Book your hour with 60 Out Escape Rooms’ P.U.T.I.N. Bunker, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: 60 Out Escape Rooms provided media discounted tickets for this game.