Lockbusters – Chopper Down (Review)

Location: Orlando, FL

Players:  2-7 (We recommend 4-6)

Price: $32 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Blackhawk Down

Theme:

Your team of military operatives has crash landed behind enemy lines, and have been subsequently captured by the enemy. Determined to complete your mission, you must first break out of your cell, gather what equipment you can from the wreckage of your helicopter, and infiltrate the enemy fortress. Once inside, you’ll need to find their missile and use it against them!

First Impressions:

After a rollicking good time during Pirate Adventure, we were ready to take on Lockbuster’s most difficult game, Chopper Down! Well, not quite ready. Before our previous game, we met a couple of enthusiasts and stuck up a conversation before they headed into Lockbuster’s version of Cannibal Collector, a game that we had played previously and loved. Knowing we might need a couple more experienced hands for this one, we were happy to hear they were down to escape another room! (And we absolutely needed their help!)

High Points:

Lockbusters does an excellent job with their sets, and Chopper Down is absolutely no exception. The sound design and lighting really enhanced the mood, and one giant set piece was a wonder to behold. (Though I am a bit disappointed we didn’t get to root around in it.) Great care has been made to ensure the wreckage feels immersive and authentic during the adventure, and it shows. The story is fairly simple, but original, and once the room starts, it’s very clear what your mission is, you just have to figure out how to complete it. This room absolutely lives up to it’s reputation as a challenging room, and for the most part, it isn’t obtuse or difficult for the sake of difficulty. With a good group of enthusiasts, this one feels like an appropriate challenge.

The game flow was almost completely non-linear, which kept the four of us completely engaged, as there was something to do one hundred percent of the time. Bouncing back and forth between the rooms, the game naturally presented us with clues that allowed us to make intuitive connections between props, as well as separate what was important from what wasn’t. The puzzles presented throughout the room are highly original, and many rely on interacting with the set in entertaining and tactile ways. One of the final few puzzles helped culminate a large seek and find game we had played throughout, and though we usually are underwhelmed by item hunts, this one was satisfying and had an entertaining conclusion. The final sequence was awesome, and the climax was appropriate, ending the adventure on a high note.

Low Points:

For all the fun of Chopper Down, it did have a few hiccups that derailed our experience now and again. A couple puzzles were rather banal compared to the rest, one feeling a bit too simplistic, and the other being… somewhat weird with the answer given. The non-linear nature of the game caused a little havoc from time to time when something solved in one area opened something in a vastly different area, creating some confusion on what had opened. Luckily, the feedback was such that we knew we were correct, it was just the matter of finding what opened. Usually, there were bells connected to the item, but if everyone was farther away, this would go unnoticed. Several puzzles would benefit from just a smidge more cluing, as either it was entirely unclear what the rules of the interaction were, or there was no indication where a certain answer would fit. The weak cluing in a couple instances were the only points in which the room felt obtuse, or difficult to be difficult, and I think just a tiny bit more direction could improve the puzzles while still remaining a challenging experience.

Verdict:

Chopper Down is a doozy, no question about it! But with a determined group of enthusiasts, I’m sure the mission can be completed. Newbies may want to try out a different room or two before tackling this one, but overall, it’s a really entertaining romp. I definitely recommend getting a group of at least four seasoned teammates together for this one, and when you do, you can book here!

7.5/10 (Good)

Full Disclosure: Lockbusters provided our team with comped tickets.

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