Xscape – Bombsquad: It’s All Wired! (Review)

Location: Hudson, NC

Players: 2-10 (We recommend 4-6)

Price: $20 per person Tuesday-Thursday, $25 per person Friday-Saturday

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

It’s the bomb!

Theme:

The terrorist known as Omega has rigged up a nuclear bomb in his dingy, hidden apartment, and your bombsquad team has been tasked with making sure it doesn’t go off! Navigate his traps and puzzles to find the nuke, and disarm it carefully so that you can be the heroes of the day, rather than bits of ash at ground zero!

Xscape_Bombsquad_01

First Impressions:

Xscape is in Hudson, NC, a town I wasn’t even aware existed until I started a search for escape rooms near an event I was attending with my girlfriend and escape partner in crime. For me, this is a good thing, as any time I find an escape room in the proverbial middle of nowhere, it’s always been this top notch oasis in the middle of the desert. After looking through their website and the many pictures of their rooms they had posted, I was sure this business would be a lot of fun!

Xscape_Bombsquad_03

High Points:

Set design inside Bombsquad is some of the absolute best I’ve seen. The location of the room and decor on the outside walls already build a sense of immersion before you enter, and once you do, you’ll be fully immersed within Omega’s world for the full hour! The room is also absolutely brimming with tech convincingly built by a madman! Only two locks are included inside, and every other puzzle is a highly themed technical marvel. There were a few different interactions and enigmas that we had never seen before, and this was my 150th room, so that’s saying something! Videos played during the beginning and different parts of the room are a lot of fun, and well produced, adding a great story element to the production. There is also a type of puzzle I normally despise that is implemented within Bombsquad in such an innovative and excellent way that it became one of my favorite interactions in the whole room! Teamwork is absolutely essential in this room, and focuses on good communication and tight puzzling. The storyline is conveyed wonderfully, and the climax was extremely unexpected, even for escape veterans! Xscape also boasted excellent customer service, before, during, and after our escape! We actually ended up with a major issue which caused us to fail, and they were very receptive to feedback and able to alleviate all of our frustrations! More about that below.

Xscape_Bombsquad_04

Low Points:

Unfortunately, our GM was very new, and provided hints that were out of order, which drained a lot of our time during the end game, leading us to waste a lot of time unable to progress because though we were doing the right thing, we were doing it out of order. This also caused us to fail the room, though we are certain we could’ve made it out, had the clues been ordered correctly, which was frustrating. Luckily, however, we contacted Xscape about this, and they immediately let us know how sorry they were that this happened, and assured us that they would make the adjustments to ensure this didn’t happen again. We were invited us back to try their Egyptian Tomb room, as well as play through Bombsquad again with the adjustments made, as they agreed that we should’ve made it out. However, Tyler was an excellent GM otherwise, and provided great customer service throughout our experience, that one hiccup aside. There were a couple points at which there was a fair amount of hunting around that could’ve been better served through non-scavenging puzzles, and lesser use of a certain escape room cliché. The final parts of the room felt less tightly designed, which could be due to the cluing issues detailed above, but also could’ve benefitted from some better gating of puzzles.

Xscape_Bombsquad_06

Verdict:

Bombsquad is an excellent room, and though we experienced a few issues, we definitely recommend checking it out. Bombsquad absolutely provides an escape adventure that is worth your time and money, and boasts challenging puzzles that veterans may have never seen before! Newer players might want to have a couple games under their belt before taking on this more difficult experience, but it is definitely accessible as a first time room. Book your time in Omega’s lair here!

7/10 (Good)


Note: Though I don’t normally add a note to score, I wanted to emphasize that throughout this room, I was thinking that this was one of the best rooms I’d done lately, and would at the least be a 9/10. I’ve scored it a couple points lower due to issues that cropped up during our experience, but after speaking with the owners, I heartily believe that those issues will be sorted soon. Xscape seems absolutely dedicated to a fantastic customer experience, and I wanted to make sure this point was clear!

Full disclosure: Though we paid full price for our tickets, Xscape provided a private room for our team.

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