Mind Games of Mebane – Tony’s Bistro (Review)

Location: Mebane, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)

Price: $26.69 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Crime doesn’t pay

Theme:

Rocco Roselli has been found murdered at Tony’s Bistro! Big Tony has been running his crime syndicate out of his Italian restaurant for years, and the FBI has been trying to find an excuse to raid the place for some time, but no incident worthy of investigation has occurred until now. As part of the FBI’s crack team of investigators, you’ll need to determine the murderer as well as collect evidence implicating this family of criminals before their lawyers can get them off the hook!

First Impressions:

Tony’s Bistro was laid out interestingly, with an entrance themed to the room as well as a convincing restaurant style layout. It was also very obvious that this was a crime scene due to the body outline, blood traces, and bullet holes to be seen as we entered the Bistro!

High Points:

There was an interesting prop or two we hadn’t seen before, and one was a very tactile and fun to interact with piece that served a couple different purposes. The layout of the room itself was competently done and gave off an “Italian restaurant that’s being used mainly as a front” vibe. The room as a whole, while basic, is a serviceable beginners room that would be a decent introduction for newer groups.

Low Points:

This was a very introductory level seek and find game for the most part, as there was not as much in the way of puzzling to be found, and quite a bit of searching to do. For beginners, this is not so much of a bad thing, but after doing many rooms, finding randomly hidden objects becomes quite a bit less interesting. Puzzles themselves are mostly basic lock based interactions, and in several places feel out of place and not well integrated with the theme. The storyline itself was rather threadbare, just hitting the investigative beats but not delving too much into detail. One puzzle treads extremely close to outside knowledge, and I can definitely see certain groups having a very difficult time solving it using only the information given within the room. A mostly linear experience, there didn’t feel like there was a huge amount of puzzling to keep our group of four engaged.

Verdict:

Tony’s Bistro was a very old school, early days escape room that provided an hour of entertainment, but wasn’t overall very memorable. I think a group of newcomers to the hobby would enjoy it, but there really isn’t much here that hasn’t been done better in other rooms, including the four others at Mind Games of Mebane. You could definitely do worse, however, but this one is just middle of the pack. You can join the hunt for Rocco’s killer here!

4.5/10 (Subpar)

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