Location: Smithfield, NC
Players: 1-6 (We recommend 2-4)
Price: $23 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
I’d like to thank the Academy…
Tom Hank’s Oscar has gone missing! Luckily, everyone who entered the room where it has disappeared did not exit with the statue, so it must still be stashed inside, waiting for the would be thief to pick it up at a more convenient time with lighter security around. Your group must find the Oscar in an hour, or it might be lost forever!
After having a great time in the first generation Pirate’s Plunder, it was time to leave the pirate ship and jump into Hollywood! As Ready Set Escape’s newest room, we were excited to see what innovations appeared within!
As a fan of film, there is a lot of fun references made within this room. Presumably a small museum of props and Tom Hank’s Oscar, the room is chock full of movie memorabilia, a lot of which ties well into the puzzling game flow. The flow is non-linear and supports a medium to large group well, ensuring that pairs of players can remain engaged for the entirety of the experience. A couple technical puzzles make this experience a bit more varied, solution wise, than Ready Set Escape’s other rooms, and it works smoothly, creating some exciting moments during the game. A couple great puzzles are seemingly simple on the surface, but once we’d dug a little deeper and found more clues, they revealed themselves to be more involved, satisfying solves. Though the story is fairly light, the room works very well as a puzzle room. The climax is exciting, if somewhat out of left field, but still an enjoyable way to end out the room and claim back our friend Oscar!
The intro video is certainly a creative idea, but the execution felt a bit off. Some strange graphics and uncanny movements were definitely an unsettling way to begin the room. Set design here was a step down from Pirate’s Plunder, as the room definitely felt more like an office than that one did. Some creative touches definitely helped sell the theme better, but there wasn’t a palpable sense of immersion. On a couple of occasions, the order of inputs were necessary, but the puzzle did not provide a clear method of devising the order. On the first occasion, our GM helped out, and on the second, we didn’t have too many different disambiguations to try so we moved past it fairly quickly, but the order did not make clear sense via the game’s signposting. One of the more noticeable puzzles did not line up in the most intuitive way either, and presented a very confusing logical leap to determine what it was trying to tell us. The game flow noticeably came to a halt on these occasions, but a bit of iteration should definitely solve these issues.
Though there are some hiccups in the overall game flow here and there, Hollywood Heist is an overall entertaining escape room with a few nice technical touches. Definitely fair bit more challenging, I’d recommend new players start with Pirate’s Plunder before checking out this room, but the great GMs at Ready Set Escape can definitely help with a choice hint here or there if you have your heart set on this theme! Book your search for the missing Oscar here!
Full Disclosure: Ready Set Escape provided our team with comped tickets.