Location: Columbia, SC
Players: 2-10 (We Recommend 4-5)
Price: $28 per person
Time to Escape: 60 Minutes
You are an elite team of spy hunters who’ve been on the trail of a notorious terrorist that has recently threatened Columbia with a bomb that could level the entire city! After tracking him to his lair, you find yourselves locked in with only minutes before the bomb is set to go off! Find and disable the bomb, then get out of there before time runs out!
At this point, we had completed The Wizard, which was pretty good, and Missing, which left us unimpressed, so it was a toss up so far. After a quick briefing, we were led into a mysteriously decorated first room to start our escape, so we were optimistic for what was to come.
The starting point of this room showed promise, and fit the theme well. The mystery and interesting tech that was present was fun to interact with and had us excited for what came next, however the rest of the room failed to live up to the quality of the beginning.
This one was a mess after the initial few puzzles. You could tell that the room was older due to the very low tech and lower quality props that abounded, as well as puzzles that felt like they were from the early escape room days. Mostly code to lock or key to lock interactions, and a distinct lack of variety in the solving. One part of the room included a loud constant beeping which upgraded from annoyance to madness after only a few minutes with no way to muffle the sound. Flow was lacking, and several puzzles included unintentional red herrings and poor cluing that left us adrift; even after taking a hint on a couple, we were still having trouble piecing together the specious logic. The story-line of the room breaks down fairly immediately and there is no real attempt to explore it after the initial briefing and first couple puzzles. The second part of the game feels completely separated from the first, and is unfortunately a pretty big let down after the promise seen in the initial minutes.
Espionage, from what I was told, was Escape Plan Columbia’s first room, and it shows. Luckily, they have improved with their more recent rooms, but this one is definitely showing its age. It definitely feels and plays like an old school escape room, but unfortunately, not in the best way. A major update to the second part of the game that captures the feel and more sleek nature of the starting minutes would definitely improve this one, but for now, I don’t recommend it. Have a look at The Wizard instead. You can book your time tracking the spy here.
Full Disclosure: Escape Plan Columbia comped our tickets for this room.