Mission: Escape Atlanta – The Study [Review]

I was surprised when I learned how old this game was.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Date played: April 3, 2017

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 per ticket

Story & setting

A billionaire stole the most coveted jewel on Earth and our team of detectives had to break into his estate to steal it back.

The set was essentially an office, but it was a bit more atmospheric than most of the office-based escapes rooms we’ve encountered; it had a noir-ish feel about it.

A staged image on the set of a desk in front of many books. Props are staged on the desk.
Those books are painted on the wall. They aren’t red herrings.

Puzzles

The Study was a puzzle-centric game with a fair amount of searching and limited use of technology.

The puzzles were well clued without being too easy.

Standouts

This was a room escape from early 2015 that continues to play really well 2 years after Mission: Escape Atlanta opened it.

There was excellent flow because the puzzles were well clued.

The puzzles were tangible and worked into the set pieces.

There was a reality TV-style confession camera.

Our gamemaster read the skill level and mood of our team and interacted with us accordingly. He was an entertaining part of our experience and had some fun with us when we did something that was comically dumb.

Shortcomings

The puzzling included some more tedious and obscure searching, as one would expect from an early 2015 room escape design.

While it was a spacious, well-decorated study, the space was still an office setting.

Should I play Mission: Escape Atlanta’s The Study?

The Study was good fun. It was an entertaining and well-rounded escape room.

Upon our exit, I learned that this was Mission: Escape Atlanta’s first room, and I found that impressive. I have to imagine that I would have loved this room escape in early 2015 when it opened.

The Study was an approachable game that would make for a excellent first escape room.

While it has aged a bit, it’s a more than worthy opponent for experienced players as well.

Book your hour with Mission: Escape Atlanta’s The Study, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Mission: Escape Atlanta provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Mission: Escape Atlanta – The Hotel [Review]

You can check out any time you like… but you have to leave after an hour.

Location: Atlanta, GA

Date played: April 3, 2017

Team size: 4-9; we recommend 6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 per ticket

Story & setting

We checked into rooms at the Grandjestic Atlantan, where the hotel’s lonely proprietor sought to trap his guests forever.

Split into three different hotel rooms, we had to communicate well in order to escape.

Thematically, The Hotel was a hotel, with rooms branching off a main hallway. The rooms themselves didn’t attempt realism. Rather, they were small, hotel-inspired escape rooms.

In-game: A hallway of hotel room doors.

Puzzles

Communication was our primary opponent in The Hotel.

The puzzles required teamwork across hotel rooms.

Standouts

Mission: Escape Atlanta went out of their way to design a backstory for the hotel proprietor. It was a solid backdrop for thematic puzzling. It also explained away any need for realism in set design. It was a hotel-inspired fantastical situation that worked.

The puzzles forced teamwork. It was challenging to figure out which pieces connected to what and to whom. It was rewarding when hotel rooms accomplished goals together.

The Hotel created an exciting, almost frantic energy as we raced to make connections between puzzling items we couldn’t necessarily even see. For players in the primary communication roles, the setup fostered a feverish race of puzzling.

Shortcomings

The players who were not in the communication roles sometimes didn’t feel the same sense of excitement.

Not all hotel rooms were created equal. Some were more fun than others. Additionally, if any hotel room’s team members couldn’t pull their weight in puzzles, the entire team would be in for a rough ride.

One particular unclued puzzle relied only on trial and error. The effects of this were amplified by the room that this challenge was placed within.

Should I play Mission: Escape Atlanta’s The Hotel?

Mission: Escape Atlanta crafted a unique and intriguing hotel-themed escape room. Instead of realistic and dramatic, it was lighthearted and imaginative.

The Hotel was unbalanced. Some players focused on communication while others explored the surroundings. Some players found their hotel rooms more intriguing than others did.

However, the puzzling happened through teamwork, the culmination of which was incredibly satisfying.

If you’re a newer player, not well-versed in how escape room style puzzles fit together, The Hotel will be a serious challenge. Please play at least one room escape prior to attempting The Hotel.

If you prefer to experience an entire escape room from start to finish, The Hotel is not the escape room for you.

If you bring a team that cannot communicate well… good luck to you.

In most other circumstances, The Hotel will be a joy to check in to. It was full of good puzzles and lots of fun.

Book your hour with Mission: Escape Atlanta’s The Hotel, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Mission: Escape Atlanta provided media discounted tickets for this game.