Location: Columbia, SC
Players: 2-10 (We recommend 3-5)
Price: $17.50 (advance booking) or $25 (walk-in) per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Money, Money, Money, Money!
Donald Trump has decided it’s high time his face be immortalized on a new banknote, and of course, it must be a one thousand dollar bill. (Weird, right?) Your group of thieves have decided that it’s high time you quit your nine to fives, so you’ve hatched a plan to steal the plates used to make the bill itself before the release of the money, ensuring you have plenty of time to crank out enough counterfeit bills to keep you comfortable for life.
We were led into the main area from the huge entertainment center, and just like when we entered Riddle High, the sounds of shrieking children immediately faded away, leaving us in the dark environs of the Federal Reserve. After a quick briefing, we began scouring the room for our way in!
There are some very interesting puzzles and interactions peppered throughout the game flow of Federal Bank Robbery that we hadn’t seen before, and even though some were quite simple, they still were a lot of fun to complete! A lot of great tactile interactions come into play, and moving around the thematically fantastic props really helps you feel the part of a thief raiding the Reserve. Many puzzles rely on technical solves, using that magic to create excellent challenges throughout the room, and ensure that surprises are well hidden until they are needed. The later part of the game really ramps up with a few of those surprises, and stays fairly intense from that point to the ultimate climax of the game. Though the storyline is fairly light, the movement through the game is intuitive and each gate along the mostly linear path provides a sense of ongoing progress throughout your heist.
The theme itself centers around Donald Trump, a highly divisive politician, and it’s weirdly jarring to have that be the basis of an escape room based on a heist. While it’s one hundred percent believable that he’d want to plaster his face on a new thousand dollar bill, it just seems weirdly out of place within an escape room. One puzzle in particular involves an ambiguous trivia question that requires outside knowledge, nothing that most Americans won’t already know, but outside knowledge is still unacceptable at any rate, especially at this location, which is geared towards families and kids. One puzzle’s solving method is fairly straightforward, but the trigger is fairly well hidden, and there’s no prompt to let you know that the solution worked until you see it, causing lost time and a small amount of frustration. The concept overall, however, is very cool once you notice it. For the Federal Reserve, the main area feels pretty sparse, as the set design is quite Spartan for the most part.
Playing Federal Bank Robbery was fun, though admittedly the inclusion of Trump throughout was fairly weird. Jarring nature of that addition aside, the game itself provides a fun, family friendly challenge that beginners and enthusiasts can enjoy. If you’re craving further escapes after your trampoline or VR adventure, you should definitely begin your Federal Bank Robbery here!
Full Disclosure: Adrenaline Entertainment Center Columbia provided comped tickets for our team.