Elite (Formerly ‘Epic’) Escape Games – Meltdown (Review)

Location: Mount Pleasant, SC

Players:  2-8 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $28 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

“Why is there smoke coming out of it!?!”

Theme:

The nuclear power plant’s systems have malfunctioned, and it’s up to your team of engineers to stop the meltdown! Systems failure is rapidly approaching, and the reactor will hit critical levels in an hour unless you’re able to enter the manual override in time! The only problem is the many locks and puzzles in the way…

First Impressions:

The room was well themed, with button and keypad overload at points, adding to the high tech feel of the room. The reactor itself ominously glowed from behind a door, and spurred us toward action. Our timer began counting up to critical mass, and the race against the clock began!

High Points:

Elite continued to include very tactile and original interactions in Meltdown. Engaging props and bits of technology helped immerse us in the scientific feel of the room, and allowed for many different interactions we’d not seen before. The room at first felt very sparse, but as we solved puzzles, more and more of it opened up, sometimes in really surprising ways. Every part of the room is used, and seemingly innocuous parts end up playing a role throughout the game, leading to some great a-ha moments! The ongoing feedback from the intercom, as well as the reactor itself, keeps the sense of urgency and immersion up throughout the game.

Low Points:

Unfortunately, there are many similar code entries throughout the game, leading to a lot of trial and error entering of codes. At the very least, these entries do not lock out, so frustration on that part is low. Our team was a mixed bag of experienced and new players, and the new players were very much lost during more technological interactions, so the barrier to entry here feels higher than usual. One device for input was used twice in quick succession, but this was not made very clear in game, leading to a bit more fumbling about than felt necessary. One particular puzzle felt a little out of place due to its presentation, but plays a very minor part.

Verdict:

Meltdown is an enjoyable game, even with a few issues holding it back. It was a bit of overload for our new players, so I would suggest playing a couple of rooms before trying this one out, (especially the excellent Undead Outbreak game also at Elite!) but I think enthusiasts might have a better grasp on how the game itself works. Even though it feels as though there is a slight barrier to entry, Meltdown is a solid game, and I definitely recommend trying it out here!

Full Disclosure: Elite Escape Games provided Media Discounted tickets for our game.

7.5/10 (Good)

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