Doldrick’s Escape Room – Super Bomb Squad [Review]

The Sonic the Hedgehog 2 of escape games.

Location:  Kissimmee, FL

Date Played: November 17, 2019

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Super Bomb Squad was fast paced and frenetic. Doldrick’s Escape Room merged classic video game design with elements of laser tag and escape room gameplay to create a unique beast unlike anything else we’ve encountered.

The story was a riot and the music was fantastic. What really set this game apart, however, was how great it felt to play it quickly. In my experience, once you get past the thrill of setting your first couple of records, most great escape rooms aren’t better when you play them quickly, they are just shorter. Super Bomb Squad made speed feel engaging and necessary.

In-game: A large laser maze in a mirrored room.

There were a few places where the puzzle and tech design threw some unnecessary and frustrating friction into the mix. It was not game breaking by any stretch of the imagination, but it did feel like there was some unrealized potential in this otherwise genius creation.

I loved this game. I really did. It sparked a child-like glee in me that few escape rooms ever even flirt with.

If you’re a fan of 8-bit and 16-bit-era video games, Super Bomb Squad is a must play. If you’re not so familiar with that era of video games, there’s still tons to love about this game – you just won’t be in on all of the jokes (sorry Lisa). I’d love to see other companies play with some of the ideas that Doldrick’s Escape Room introduced in Super Bomb Squad.

Captain Spoopy Bones is their creation that gets all of the attention and adoration from the escape room player community and that’s really well earned; Captain Spoopy Bones was freaking fantastic. But don’t ignore Super Bomb Squad. This game wasn’t as refined, but it was startlingly innovative.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Classic video game fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Frenetic action
  • Hilarious characters and story
  • A unique twist on the laser maze
  • There’s nothing else like it

Story

When a weapon of mass destruction must be eliminated, whom do you call? The elite group, Super Bomb Squad: Commandos Awesome!

In-game: A piece of machinery with an illuminated blue biohazard symbol.

Setting

Super Bomb Squad had us infiltrating an enemy base… so of course we began in the elevator. The beating heart of this experience was the crazy laser maze room that looked badass and felt unique from the many, many, many laser mazes we have traversed.

Overall, the quality of the set build was strong. Everything felt like it belonged and the parts that stood out really looked great.

In-game: A locked refridgerator filled with an unknown substance.

Gameplay

Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Super Bomb Squad was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, puzzling, and shooting.

In-game: An assortment of wallmounted machinery and a flashing red alarm light.

Analysis

Super Bomb Squad was a high-energy escape room. With its cheeky, comedic tone, chip tunes music, and video gaminess, we couldn’t help but rush from puzzle to puzzle.

➕ That music. Doldrick’s, pretty please put your music on Spotify.

➕ The intro video was too damn funny. I loved the characters. Please sell merch!

➕ Doldrick’s modified a favorite relic of my childhood into the thing that my imagination always knew it was.

➕ In Super Bomb Squad the majority of the puzzles required coordinated teamwork, often across different props, and even different gamespaces. This added to the excitement.

❓ At the top of this review, I compared Super Bomb Squad to Sonic The Hedgehog 2, a game that was at its best when played as quick as possible. I don’t think that playing fast improves most escape rooms, but I wholeheartedly believe that it is true of Super Bomb Squad.

There were a couple of moments in this game that ground to a standstill. They didn’t add to the tension; they broke the intensity. I think that this game would be better with fewer points of heavy friction and a shorter game clock.

➖ Doldrick’s Escape Room could cut down on unnecessary frustration by fixing a case sensitivity problem.

➕/➖ Super Bomb Squad had us dodging, searching, and shooting in a high-energy segment that brought video gameplay to life. However, without clear feedback, we spent time resolving where we’d succeeded instead of refocusing our efforts on the action. This sequence was at the same time a high point of play, and the point of our greatest frustration with the cluing, feedback, and pacing.

➖ Super Bomb Squad lacked a final boss fight. It wouldn’t take much for Doldrick’s Escape Room to transform the conclusion of this game into a masterpiece. Most of the elements are already in place.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Super Bomb Squad, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Doldrick’s Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.

Doldrick’s Escape Room – Red Sled Redemption [Review]

When Santa crashed into New Joysey

Location:  Kissimmee, FL

Date Played: November 18, 2019

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

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $29.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Red Sled Redemption was the most genius inexpensive and small escape room build that we’ve ever seen.

In-game: Wide view of the sleigh repair shop with Santa's red sled in the middle.

It was small. 70% of the props were repurposed toys. We have to imagine that every escape room creator who plays it will walk out wondering why they didn’t build this game… and the answer to why they didn’t build it is because they aren’t Doldrick’s.

A unique blend of humor, storytelling, and craft goes into Doldrick’s productions… and it’s topped off with a dollop of insanity. They are making magic over there. In this case, it was Christmas magic.

If you’ve ever uttered “I hate single room games” or “I need more than a traditional puzzley escape room” go try Red Sled Redemption to see what this looks like at the top of the craft. Is this game as intense, innovative, or over-the-top as Captain Spoopy Bones or Super Bombsquad (review coming soon)? No, but that’s a high bar. Is it a fantastic escape room? Absolutely.

If you’re anywhere near Orlando, Doldrick’s Escape Room is a must visit escape room company. As far as we’re concerned, if they’ve made it, you should play it. 3 games in, they’ve earned our trust.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • It was equal parts adorable and hilarious
  • A fantastic take on the classic escape room format

Story

It was Christmas Eve and Santa had crash landed his sleigh into the The Holly Jolly Holiday Hubcap Repair.

We had to help Richie and Mikey, the world’s worst sleigh repair elves, get the big man airborne in time for him to complete his deliveries.

In-game: a red pegboard with green toy tools hanging from it.

Setting

Red Sled Redemption was set within an auto sleigh repair shop run by lazy elves on Christmas Eve. The tools were toys… because of course the tools were toys.

Everything about the set was deliberate, silly, and spot-on.

This was a small single-room, old-school escape game done right. It had intrigue, character, and surprise born of the props.

In-game: A toy gas pump painted like a cow.

Gameplay

Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Red Sled Redemption was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

In-game: closeup of a golden raindeer hood ornament.

Analysis

 Red Sled Redemption was jovial, whimsical, and fun. It was ridiculous, and we jingled and laughed all the way.

➕ The intro video was bonkers and set the tone for the experience. We were fully engaged from the moment the video started.

➕ Doldrick’s Escape Room repurposed plastic toys into escape room props. They modified the toys, integrating tech and fitting them into a playful repair shop aesthetic. While the build materials were inexpensive, the overall experience was high quality.

In-game: a toy workbench.

➕ The gameplay flowed well. Although there were a lot of puzzles within a small physical footprint, the signposting kept us on track.

➖ One puzzle had us spinning around, struggling against a little too much precision.

Red Sled Redemption included many layered solves that required coordinated teamwork. One was especially scrumptious. Another jacked up our excitement. Doldrick’s Escape Rooms got a lot of mileage out of their main set piece, as we continued to unwrap fun interactions.

➖ The workshop lighting made it hard to read small fonts. We struggled when tight areas of the set were especially dim. Stringing up a few more lights would add more holiday cheer and improve the usability of the space.

➕ One of the toy-based puzzles was an impressive feat of engineering. We’d love to know how they made it work consistently.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • At least one player needs to be relatively agile.

Book your hour with Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Red Sled Redemption, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Doldrick’s Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.

Doldrick’s Escape Room – Captain Spoopy Bones [Review]

And The Magnificent Quest For Some Other Pirate’s Treasure

Location:  Kissimmee, FL

Date Played: November 17, 2019

Team size: 2-12; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: $39.99 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Captain Spoopy Bones at Doldrick’s Escape Room in Orlando has been the most requested review of 2019… and it lived up to the hype.

Captain Spoopy Bones was a riot. If you don’t laugh during the opening video, you’re dead inside. Consult a doctor.

In-game: the brig inside of a wooden ship.

The gameplay, set, and tech were refined and fantastic. Interestingly, from a gameplay standpoint, a few of the puzzles weren’t anything special… but the execution of those puzzles made them feel mighty.

And the ending was a ball.

Look, I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, but if you’re in Orlando, Doldrick’s should be in the mix with your visit to Disney and Universal. I’d encourage you to play all of their games, but if you only have time for one, make it Captain Spoopy Bones.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • Clean execution of escape room gameplay
  • An exciting reveal
  • The humor… especially in the intro video
  • Highly polished

Story

Our comically cursed leader Captain Spoopy Bones needed help on his magnificent quest for some other pirate’s treasure.

In-game: The ceiling of a ship. A lantern hangs above cargo nets.

Setting

Our adventure began within the brig of a cursed pirate ship. Our dearly departed and then delightfully undead Captain Spoopy Bones introduced us to our situation with hilarity… and then we were off to escape our cells and explore the old ship.

The ship was quite elegant. As things progressed, they also escalated in wonderful and childish ways.

This was one of those sets where I stopped puzzling at one point and just walked around taking everything in.

In-game: The wooden interior of a ship, a large barrel in the middle of the shot.

Gameplay

Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Captain Spoopy Bones was a standard escape room with a split team beginning and a moderate level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ The introduction was amazing. Captain Spoopy Bones was a strong and an entertaining character. It set quite the tone.

➕ The story of Captain Spoopy Bones was ridiculous, funny, and charming. Doldrick’s Escape Room combined the typical “jail cell” with the popular “pirate ship”… and then layered on comedy to chart an unusual course to a different adventure.

➕ There was a ton of content in Captain Spoopy Bones. With our team of 4 players, we were solving with all hands on deck. We needed to be observant and communicative to tackle the majority of the puzzles. When we did this, it was smooth sailing through solves.

➖/➕ Although the puzzles were funny, thematic, and enjoyable, there was room to make them more story-driven. Many of them didn’t have any narrative elements. That said, given the cheeky tone, the gameplay didn’t feel like puzzles for puzzles’ sake. It felt like a part of Captain Spoopy Bones’ odd world. We frequently got a chuckle out of how things came together.

➕ Doldrick’s Escape Room used a lot of common puzzle types and props. The artistry was in their execution. One early puzzle was a type that we’ve long hated every other time that we’ve seen it, but Doldrick’s managed to make it fun. In another instance they took a pretty tired concept and executed it so perfectly that it was like it was the first time that we were seeing it.

➖ We struggled with the UI for one more explosive puzzle. Additional feedback should clarify function. Another modification to the tech would improve solution input.

Captain Spoopy Bones had an impressive late-game reveal that added energy and set up the exciting finale.

➕ The difficulty curve worked well, culminating in a fantastic conclusion.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Doldrick’s Escape Room’s Captain Spoopy Bones, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Doldrick’s Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.