Escape Goat – A Fisherman’s Tale [Review]

A Little Mermaid

Location:  Winter Garden, FL

Date Played: November 17, 2019

Team size: up to 5; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

A Fisherman’s Tale is Escape Goat’s new beginner-friendly game. It was approachable, sweet, and comfortable. It’s easy to recommend to first time players.

Escape Goat is the epitome of a family-run escape room business and a lot of companies could learn a ton from them. Their games were brimming with details, love, and personality.

A Fisherman’s Tale was their only game without an in-room character/ gamemaster. They replaced this with a clever hint system.

If you’re an experienced player, The Quest has quite a bit more to offer in terms of depth and complexity. That said, if you’re a fan of what Escape Goat is doing, A Fisherman’s Tale was a delight. We squeezed this one in with some found time and we were happy that we did.

In-game: Inside of a fishing boat, there are crates, and chests.

Who is this for?

  • Newbies
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A hilarious hint system
  • A cute story
  • Approachable gameplay

Story

While walking the beach we had happened upon a message in a bottle begging for help. The note had led us to a boat captained by an obsessive treasure hunter.

In-game: A captain's desk on his boat.

Setting

A Fisherman’s Tale was set within the beachside hut of a fisherman. We explored the small structure, which had a simple yet effective aesthetic.

Few items seemed out of place and few props jumped out at us as truly memorable… except for the genius hint system… and I’m not spoiling that punchline.

In-game: The wood and canvas walls and ceiling of the boat's interior.

Gameplay

Escape Goat’s A Fisherman’s Tale was a standard escape room with a lower level of difficulty.

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

Analysis

➕ A Fisherman’s Tale told a cute story.

➕ Escape Goat made the most of a small physical footprint with a detailed set. This made spaces distinct and added intrigue to the game.

➕ Although it was an easier escape room, there was still a lot of content to engage with at any given point. The puzzles were thematic, distinct, and well clued. The game flowed well.

➖ Escape Goat could refine the beginning with a gentler onboarding. This segment had potential, but lacked the clarity of some of the more complex, later puzzles.

➖ There was an opportunity to improve sound design in A Fisherman’s Tale. When speakers played, we mostly talked over them by accident. Additionally, not all sounds were accessible to the entire group.

❓ We worry about the durability of some more delicate props.

➕ The ending was fun. The final prop was enticing and although the story didn’t surprise us, Escape Goat made it special.

➕ With the playful tone of A Fisherman’s Tale, Escape Goat could add entertaining touches, like the adorable hint mechanism.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Escape Goat’s A Fisherman’s Tale, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Goat comped our tickets for this game.

Escape Goat – The Quest [Review]

Rolled a natural 20

Location:  Winter Garden, FL

Date Played: November 17, 2019

Team size: up to 6; 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

Escape Goat’s The Quest channeled a Dungeons & Dragons campaign to breathe life into a high fantasy world where a dragon needed defeating. I love this theme and I truly enjoyed Escape Goat’s execution of the concept.

The puzzles felt chunky and tangible. The challenges were thematic. The world had personality… and that last piece seems like Escape Goat’s superpower. They imbue simple things with life and charm that far exceeds what you’d expect.

If you’re near Orlando, I highly recommend visiting Escape Goat and rolling the dice with The Quest.

In-game: The mounted head of a dragon.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Dungeons & Dragons fans
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A delightful D&D-esque story and setting
  • Fun tangible puzzles
  • Loads of charm – this game has high charisma

Story

The village of Oakenshire had been living under the threat of a great Garzon dragon. We set out on a quest for the knowledge or weapons needed to save the town.

In-game: Wide view of the Quest's set, a wizard's study.

Setting

The Quest looked very Dungeons & Dragons. I can hear a dungeon master describing this wizard’s laboratory filled with books, potions, magical ingredients, and enchanted weapons.

It had a great look and feel about it with the occasional modern combination lock being the only overtly out of place item in the space.

In-game: Closeup of a wizard's potion desk.

Gameplay

Escape Goat’s The Quest was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

In-game: A book of magical creatures.

Analysis

➕ Escape Goat used voice-over narration and an in-character gamemaster to set the scene and emphasize their fantasy Dungeons & Dragons-esque world. These helped us connect to our role as adventurers.

➕ The set, props, and technology supported the fantasy world. The gamespace looked good and the technology felt magical. Escape Goat used all these tools to enhance the gamespace.

➕ There was a lot of content in The Quest, but the gameplay flowed well and the volume of puzzles never felt overwhelming. Many of the puzzles had layered solutions. They were placed in different tracks and gated in a manner that kept things organized and approachable.

➖ While most of the puzzles solved cleanly, The Quest presented a few opportunities for additional tweaking. One puzzle seemed to solve primarily through trial and error. In another, the cluing wasn’t clear enough within the props themselves. Additionally, the game bottlenecked slightly in one area of the room where a lot of gameplay was crammed into a small space.

➕ The puzzles varied enormously and required different types of thinking. We especially enjoyed the inclusion of a Survivor-style puzzle.

➖ There was a lot of reading in The Quest. Given the other types of storytelling built into this game, there would be an opportunity to incorporate the lengthy written story or cluing into other mediums.

➕/➖ One late-game puzzle required us to wait on a prop to complete an action, which was neat, and belonged in the world, but could easily be frustrating, considering there were no other actions available to us at this point. It would have been excruciating to lose during this segment.

The Quest concluded with a well-designed decision. Our options all felt appropriate and triumphant.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Escape Goat’s The Quest, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape Goat comped our tickets for this game.