Bust Out Escape Room – Camp Crystal Lake [Review]

Camp with the fishes

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: June 3, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

We’ve already reviewed Bust Out Escape Room’s newer games. We played Camp Crystal Lake mainly to see where this company started. Plus, this game caterers to fandom and still quite popular.

Camp Crystal Lake was a fun old-school escape room. The jump scares created fun moments (and not terrifying ones) and with each act, the scene changed in ways were didn’t see coming.

We expect that the third act impresses many newer players, for whom the novelty outweighs the lack of polish in execution.

Camp cabin interior with a furnace, a sleeping bag, and a fishing net.

Play Camp Crystal Lake for the theming, but know that it doesn’t quite capture the Friday the 13th slasher horror vibe that well. It’s an escape room through and through, with a bit of adventure tossed in. It’s was a strong early outing from a company who went on to up the caliber of both puzzles and adventure.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Friday the 13th fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Dramatic scene changes
  • Playful mid-game sequence
  • The jump scares

Story

Camp Crystal Lake was finally reopening after being closed for 16 years. We’d volunteered to help with the reopening… when the wrath of Jason Voorhees descended upon us.

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Bust Out Escape Room – Curse of the Mayan Temple [Review]

Curse of the Mayan Temple is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

Adventure by torchlight

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: June 3, 2022

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Curse of the Mayan Temple shouldn’t be a particularly challenging game. It had less content than Bust Out Escape Room’s other experiences. The puzzles were varied in style and well clued.

That said, two unusual game design decisions make this a rather variable escape room. Either one can sink a team of even experienced players (we’ve seen it happen), causing them to spiral into the depths of frustration.

Our advice for Bust Out: add gating for one early solution so that a team cannot progress to the next unusual section without completing it.

Our advice for players: If the game feels inordinately frustrating, it probably doesn’t need to be. Search harder.

A large human skull surrounded by plants.

We enjoyed Curse of the Mayan Temple because it looked great, played well, and took risks. Although Rattlesnake Bend and Jumanji are our favorite games from this company, if you have time to add on another adventure, we recommend Curse of the Mayan Temple.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Indiana Jones fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who communicate well

Why play?

  • The unexpected mid-game introduction of a new mechanic
  • Momentum-building final sequence

Story

Legend told that the temple had been cursed… but we were determined to uncover the truth of whatever lay within.

A glowing torch hung from the wall.
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Bust Out Escape Room – Doomsday Bunker [Review]

Doomsday Bunker is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

Launch Sequence

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: December 15, 2021

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Doomsday Bunker was one of Bust Out Escape Room’s earlier games… and it has held up quite well.

The strength of Doomsday Bunker was in its set and interaction design; there were a lot of engaging and unusual moments to enjoy. A few of these stuck in my memory in a great way. And often enough, I found myself thinking, “huh… I can’t believe that I’ve never seen anyone do that before. Cool.”

An elevator in a bunker. An envelope is labeled "Top Secret."

As an earlier game, Doomsday Bunker’s gameplay was rooted in more traditional puzzle play. There were a lot of lightly themed puzzles and search challenges scattered throughout this game. Overall, it was a great representation of a classic escape room, and if I had played this when it was brand new, it would have blown my mind. I still got a lot out of it.

If you’re visiting Bust Out, I’d strongly urge you to play Rattlesnake Bend first… and if you’re looking for another game, this is a great one to add to your itinerary.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • An unusual approach to the bunker setting, with cool props and interactions
  • A lot of challenging puzzle content

Story

Our team had been assigned to prevent the start of World War III. We had to infiltrate a bunker, activate a missile, and neutralize the threat.

A closeup of a glowing green light within a metal container.
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Bust Out Escape Room – Jumanji [Review]

Jumanji is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

When you play the game of Jumanji, you win or you die.

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: December 15, 2021

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $31 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: To fully experience this game, you need to be able to go up and down stairs.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

This was the strongest representation of Jumanji that I’ve seen in an escape room.

Bust Out Escape Room started with an Indestroom game and heavily modified it, making it their own. The mid- and late-game effects within Jumanji really sold this adventure.

A living room with a fireplace and a painting an elephant.

The early game wasn’t especially engaging… which is a common trait of Jumanji escape games. There was also an opportunity for Bust Out to add some spot lighting in key areas to facilitate gameplay.

Beyond that, this was a fantastic game. When we visited Bust Out at 8:30pm on a Wednesday night, this was the only game on our schedule… after playing it we ended up booking two more games. Needless to say, we had a great time. If you’re in the area, I recommend Jumanji, especially if you’re already a fan of the book or movies.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Jumanji fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Wonderful Jumanji-inspired props
  • Engaging effects sequences

Story

We entered a home where a game of Jumanji was already in progress: the drums beat, the jungle was alive, and the animals were hungry. The only way out was to finish the game.

Closeup of a Jumanji board game.
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Bust Out Escape Room – Rattlesnake Bend [Review]

Rattlesnake Bend is one of the best games in Albuquerque. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Albuquerque.

Have your run of the town

Location:  Albuquerque, NM

Date Played: December 15, 2021

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $31 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock (One small section was locked at the time we played, but we believe this will be changed even before this review publishes.)

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The thing that makes escape rooms special is their ability to suddenly transport you to a place and time that you never expected. At Bust Out Escape Room we stepped out of their hallway… and into Old West Santa Fe. And it was joyous.

A street in the old west.

Rattlesnake Bend blended realism with cartoon… and we couldn’t get enough of it.

Additionally, the puzzles were layered and brought a level of complexity that wasn’t brutal, but really made us work for the wins. This was difficulty done right.

There are a few regional standouts in Albuquerque that make it a fantastic escape room destination, and Rattlesnake Bend is one of the top offerings.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Western fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A brilliant intro sequence
  • They built a whole Western town!
  • Layered puzzle play
  • Memorable sequences and interactions

Story

We stepped into a town in the Old West where our new friend Cactus Jack needed some help freeing himself from jail. In return, he offered to help us liberate some gold from the town’s bank.

Aces High Hotel exterior the old west.
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