The Escape Revolution – Wrongfully Convicted [Review]

You get at least 1 phone call.

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 8, 2022

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 80 minutes

Price: $59 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All teammates need to be comfortable going up and down a flight of stairs and crawling a bit to fully experience the game.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Escape Revolution is an interesting beast, and Wrongfully Convicted perfectly captures the essence of the company.

The prison set of Wrongfully Convicted was large and presented a surprisingly accurate aesthetic of a modern prison. Their use of two floors shined here, as it was an interesting and entertaining space to traverse.

A hallway in a prison.

However, as with Escobar (and I’m not going to rehash my thoughts from that review, because they are largely the same for Wrongfully Convicted), The Escape Revolution’s inconsistent design and desire to take edgy material, but only flirt with the darkness of the story and setting that they have built, made this game feel beautiful and a little hollow.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great build, and a cool game… but it is bogged down by its own premium expectation and the faux heaviness of its plot.

Similar to Escobar, a portion of the proceeds from this game go to the Innocence Project, which is a wonderfully selected organization. (Innocence Project on Charity Navigator).

I’m very open about my dislike for prison escape rooms. I’m tired of them… and I find the underlying politics of them distasteful. So believe me when I say that this is one of the better prison escape rooms I’ve seen. It’s a worthy game… it just feels like it wants to be and is striving for more.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Prison break fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Cool two-story set
  • Some unusual interactions

Story

We had been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Our appeals had been denied. We only had one option: escape.

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The Escape Revolution – Escobar [Review]

The great coke robbery.

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 8, 2022

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 80 minutes

Price: $59 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: At least one player needs to climb a flight of stairs.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Escobar set us on an adventure in an unusual Columbian setting, pursuing a stash of cocaine. It was a deliberately edgy game, with a premium price (that has lowered a bit since the game originally opened).

Premium price points and edgy game design force us to ask questions that don’t necessarily come up in more run-of-the-mill experiences. In the case of Escobar, those questions are:

  • Does this feel like a premium product?
  • How did The Escape Revolution handle the very real world issues surrounding coke cartels?
Detailed Columbian set with a auto repair shop in frame.

The question of whether Escobar is a premium product is a lot easier to dig into, so let’s start there. From my vantage point, Escobar felt mostly premium… but there were some missteps that dull the shine. Simple things like a very dark lobby with essentially no seating didn’t feel premium. Within the game itself, the gameplay vacillated between traditional escape room fare and some truly unusual and occasionally destructible interactions.

Escobar was at its best when it was unusual… and dull when it leaned into tradition. But overall, this was a reasonably premium product.

When it came to the story of Escobar, there are a couple of routes that I can imagine going with a story like this. One is completely bonkers, leaning unapologetically into the tropes of drugs and crime. The other is a more subdued exploration of the darkness of the material. Escobar didn’t really do either of these. Instead it dabbled with the tropes in a sterile manner. It rarely got me thinking… or caused my heart to pound.

The Escape Revolution seems to recognize that their game is playing in some ugly territory and donates a portion of their proceeds to Los Angeles Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), which really is an incredible organization, worthy of the money (GRYD on Charity Navigator).

Ultimately I think that Escobar is a really good escape room in Los Angeles. I think that the premium price and premium boasts by The Escape Revolution harm this game (and all of their games) by elevating expectations. I don’t think that this game is rivaling the games at the top of the Los Angeles market, and the forced comparison leads to disappointment when really… it’s quite a good product.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Crime story fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Cool two-story set
  • Some unusual interactions
  • Uncommon theming and story

Story

It was 1993, in Medellin, Colombia. Our boss Pablo Escobar had flown into a rage when he’d learned that someone in his organization had turned DEA informant.

Escobar needed to flee and demanded that we retrieve his passports and stash of cash. The catch was that the only person who knew where these items were hidden was the guy who’d turned on us.

If we couldn’t get Escobar his stash, he swore he’d have us and our families killed.

Continue reading “The Escape Revolution – Escobar [Review]”