City 13 – Save the City [Review]

Not all superheroes wear (es)capes

Location: Milwaukee, WI

Date Played: March 11, 2022

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 4 hours (5 hours with cutscenes, breaks, etc.)

Price: $75 per player for full 4 hours, $45 per player for 1 hour, $60 per player for 2 hours

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Save the City was monumentally greater than the sum of its parts. With up to 4 hours of continuous gameplay in a warehouse-scale facility, we emerged truly feeling like superheroes.

During lockdown, City 13 undertook an ambitious project: designing a mega escape game that would combine their 4 individual hour-long rooms into a single uninterrupted experience, targeted especially at escape room enthusiasts. To accomplish this, they designed the wide hallways between rooms to look like graffiti-covered cyberpunk streets, built out an entire track of bonus puzzles throughout these alleyways, and created an additional fifth room. They also wrote a story that tied all the gameplay together, seamlessly interweaving the individual chapters into the overarching narrative.

Of City 13’s four original rooms, Neon Light Diner was the standout, both in originality of set design and creative puzzle flow. The other three rooms all contained some fun moments though overall felt a bit more dated and showed wear. But the real standout of Save the City was all the new puzzle content added in the streets, and the ways in which it managed to recontextualize and elevate the content of the individual rooms. We especially enjoyed a multi-stage puzzle sequence that progressively granted us superpowers, and audio-based cutscenes that provided a clear narrative trajectory and introduced us to a cast of memorable characters. If this is reflective of City 13’s current design sensibilities, they are truly a company to keep an eye on.

A factory-like building with brick walls, storage crates, and unusual machines.

I first heard about Save the City in November 2020 from fellow REA writer Richard Burns’ interview with City 13’s owner Nick Timber, and I was instantly intrigued. I can now strongly attest that Save the City is an epic adventure worth traveling to.

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60 to Escape – INVASION! [Review]

You’re killing me, Smalls!

Location: Greendale, WI

Date Played: March 11, 2022

Team Size: 1-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player with a $90 minimum

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Players are required to duck through a low doorway

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I have been yearning for an outrageous theme to be brought to fruition in an escape room for a very long time, and 60 to Escape accomplished this mind-boggling feat in INVASION!. In the game, we were sent on a quest to retrieve our prized baseball and find our friend Brian who had gone missing looking for said baseball.

We were blown away by the set, reveals, puzzle variety, and full-circle story, halting only at a key decision point. The range of emotions our team encountered was a rollercoaster full of pure joy, fright, sorrow, and everything in-between in a mere hour. Furthermore, 60 to Escape designed a protagonist for the experience who guided this endearing story arc, further elevating the immersion and narrative. 

A front door beside a garage, the door has warning signs. The garage door and exterior walls have strange writing on them.

60 to Escape designed something special when they created INVASION!. If you’re anywhere within driving distance of Milwaukee, it is absolutely worth going on a journey to find your friend Brian in your weird neighbor’s house.

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