“9-1-1 this better be good.” -Chief Wiggum
Location: Arlington, Massachusetts
Date Played: December 15, 2018
Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $30 per player
Emergency Exit: Yes
The Art of the Heist was a competent escape game with solid puzzle flow, good humor, integrated history, and a compelling, authentic setting.
Amaze Escape’s creation was held back by two frustrations: an overabundance of interesting red herrings and a painfully underdeveloped late-game sequence. These were serious momentum-killers, but are quite fixable.
Art of the Heist was a strong game that I wanted to enjoy more than I did. It just needed a bit more polish.
If you’re in the area and looking for a solid escape game in a unique and authentic setting, Art of the Heist would be a good choice.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Any experience level
- A genuine setting
- Solid gameflow
- An interesting final puzzle
We were members of a syndicate of thieves tasked with stealing the world’s most valuable suitcase. Allegedly the suitcase had found its way into police custody in the town of Farlington, Massachusetts.
The syndicate had created a diversion, giving us an hour to break into the police evidence locker and retrieve our prize.
Amaze Escape was located in a building that formerly housed a municipal justice center. Their earlier game made use of the building’s authentic jail cell. Their latest game was set within the police station.
The concrete walls and generally drab setting was livened by a number of Simpsons references and other jokes. The setting was pretty perfect and was one of those instances where the real thing doesn’t necessarily look like TV or the movies, but feels like the genuine artifact.
Amaze Escape’s Art of the Heist was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.
➕ Amaze Escape was located in a former municipal building that housed the court, jail, and police. They stuck to their roots again in their second game, The Art of the Heist, set it in a police station. It was believable.
➕ The puzzles flowed pretty smoothly. The gameplay generally worked well.
➖ We encountered one frustrating section. Ambiguous cluing, lack of necessary light sources, and choice of input mechanism came together aimlessly.
➖ Amaze Escape included substantial red herrings in The Art of the Heist. We kept looking for ways to interact with these significant props, only to find that they were simply ambiance. This was unfortunate because these red herrings were among the most interesting items in the game.
➕ We enjoyed one nifty late-game tech-driven solve. It was an intriguing design and amusingly precise.
➖ While we enjoyed the setup, we didn’t feel the narrative pressure of the heist scenario. The Art of the Heist lacked a moment of intensity and excitement that made our hearts race.
➕ I loved how Amaze Escape worked other bits of Boston heist history into their game, including the infamous Gardner Heist, which I had originally learned about from my favorite podcast, The Futility Closet.
Tips For Visiting
- There is street parking nearby. Pay the meter.
Book your hour with Amaze Escape’s Art of the Heist, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Amaze Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.