MindEscape – Alice in Wonderland [Review]

Time for tea.

Location:  Philadelphia, PA

Date Played: October 23, 2021

Team Size: 3-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: $35 per player for up to 5 players, $32 per player for 6 or more players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All players must pass through low doorways.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

MindEscape’s Alice in Wonderland was a colorful yet bumpy adventure down the rabbit hole.

Alice in Wonderland was filled with tactile puzzles that visually screamed “Alice in Wonderland” both in subject and aesthetic. The props were colorful and chunky, but also faded and showing significant wear. A diverse range of classic hands-on games and puzzles were generally fun and encouraged collaboration. However, the gameplay lacked an attention to detail which led to a frustrating number of ambiguous or finicky interactions.

A collection of 3 signs with arrows, thy read, "wonderland," "tea party," and "somewhere."

With multiple puzzles available in parallel for much of the game, this room would work well for medium-sized teams. Although the set of Alice in Wonderland appeared kid-friendly, this room was actually the most difficult room at MindEscape.

A note to itinerant enthusiasts: Alice in Wonderland is a turnkey design from Indestroom, a large escape room supplier, so it’s possible you’d find this same room design in other locations. While the puzzles and props were prefabricated, MindEscape added some of their own in-house artistic touches to the set, including murals by local artists.

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MindEscape – Escape Thai Prison [Review]

Escape Thai Prison is one of the best escape rooms in Philadelphia, PA. Here are our recommendations for great escape rooms in Philadelphia.

Not just any prison… Thai Prison.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date played: June 25, 2017

Team size: 2-11; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

Someone in our travel group was caught smuggling narcotics by police at Bangkok International Airport. We were all subsequently arrested and incarcerated. With a prison riot underway, we had a brief window of time to make our getaway.

Escape Thai Prison was built as a prison set. It had your standard black metal bars and grey concrete look that one would expect from a prison escape room. What set Escape Thai Prison apart wasn’t its aesthetics, but its gameplay.

In game: A jail cell with a wooden bench and a metal toilet.

Puzzles

With rare exception, the puzzles and interactions in Escape Thai Prison were born of the environment and story. It felt like we were MacGyvering our way to freedom.

Standouts

Roughly 90% of the puzzling felt born of the environment and story. This made the puzzling feel like steps in our prison break, not puzzles in a prison escape puzzle game.

There was one incredible reveal.

We had a bad setup and our gamemaster entered in character, ordered us around in character, and resolved the issue without us even realizing what had happened until receiving a post-game explanation. While it would have been better if there was no need for this, it was exceptionally well handled.

The “Thai Prison” branding does a great job of making this particular escape room stand out in a sea of prison break games. However…

Shortcomings

I don’t think that MindEscape did enough with the Thailand setting to justify associating it with a particular culture. The set and story really needed to do something compelling with this and it never came close.

The set looked like a standard prison escape room: gray walls, metal bars, and steel toilets. The setting was competently created, but wasn’t as exciting as the puzzling.

There was a substantial safety hazard in the design of this prison escape. Due to the placement of a rather large prop, and some required maneuvering, it would be easy for a player to get badly bruised. One of us did. Note that the folks from MindEscape were already aware of this and assured us they will be fixing it.

Should I play MindEscape’s Escape Thai Prison?

Yes.

Escape Thai Prison was a strong puzzle adventure with interactions born of the environment.

This room escape involved a little bit of crouching and crawling, so tread carefully if you lack mobility.

Newbies will find an approachable and entertaining escape room. Experienced players will enjoy a take on the prison escape genre that looks like a typical prison game, but plays far better than most.

Book your hour with MindEscape’s Escape Thai Prison, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: MindEscape provided media discounted tickets for this game.