The Exit Games – Casino Heist (Review)

Location: Wilmington, NC

Players:  2-6 (We recommend 4)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Stealing from the mob, always a great idea!

Theme:

You’ve got it on good authority that the mob controlled Front Street Casino is the hiding place for millions of dollars worth of invaluable items ripe for the taking. Lured by the heist of a lifetime, your team needs to get in, breach the vault, and take as much as you can before the police show up!

First Impressions:

After Nightmare on Front Street, we were jazzed and ready for more! The rundown for Casino Heist was quick and similar, and after being asked for our Team Color, (Purple, obviously,) we were set loose on the Casino Manager’s office!

High Points:

A great puzzle that literally had us thinking outside the box was a fun surprise, and added a nice element of immersion into the room. I really enjoyed a couple of the simple, but original puzzles sprinkled throughout the room, as they allowed for some new interactions I’d not seen before, and were just overall enjoyable to complete. The opening of the vault and the hectic puzzle solving to clear it out was an excellent time and added a tangibility and level of interactivity with the loot that I don’t normally see in Heist themed escape rooms. Set design was perfect for the theme and the vault itself was wonderfully portrayed. I really enjoyed the mechanic for collecting the items we stole, as well as the extra puzzling for one big ticket piece of loot!

Low Points:

There was one particular puzzle that stymied us and broke the game flow, holding a couple of bigger leaps of logic than the rest of the room. The puzzle itself wasn’t bad, but would benefit from a bit more cluing. An initial puzzle felt like more of a time sink than a fun interaction, and luckily another teammate jumped on that grenade for us. The first part of the room fit our group comfortably, but the second half was more cramped, leading to a bit more difficulty involving everyone. Some lock types repeated, and therefore involved some guess and check. The idea of the leaderboard being based on how much you’re able to steal is a great idea, but it is unfortunate that there is a major element of randomness involved, as we were able to escape with all the main items with a good bit of time to spare, but didn’t quite make it due to bad luck. It doesn’t mar the experience itself, however.

Verdict:

Casino Heist is another fantastic game from The Exit Games in Wilmington, combining original puzzles and unique interactions with frenzied loot grabbing, making for a fantastic romp! Though there are a couple hiccups, the excellent surprises and heist mechanics make this a must play room for anyone visiting the Wilmington area. Book your time in the Casino here!

8/10 (Great)

The Exit Games – Nightmare on Front Street (Review)

Location: Wilmington, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-6)

Price: $25 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

1-2 Boogey’s coming for you..

Theme:

You wake up, disoriented and cold, standing in a strange, barely lit room facing your friends. With no memory of how or why you are here, you’ll need to search for an exit as well as keep out of the grasp of the mysterious and otherworldly Boogey Man! Figure out what’s going on and wake yourselves up, otherwise you could be trapped in the Nightmare forever!

First Impressions:

The Exit Game’s cozily comfortable lobby was well decorated for Christmas, and felt inviting. The tonal shift from that laid back atmosphere to the appropriately horrific Dreamlands was fantastic. The unnerving creepiness of the room takes hold immediately, and is incredibly well implemented.

High Points:

The Exit Games was very accommodating, as we have a teammate who doesn’t do well with jump scares involving actors, and they had no qualms removing that aspect of the game. The experience itself stood well on its own without this element as well, which is great. Usually in spooky rooms, the theme isn’t really that scary, but we all felt on edge, (in a good way,) for a good portion of the adventure. Puzzles add to the immersion and are well integrated into the theme, leading from point to point in a logical way. One great puzzle made use of the room’s space to deliver a really unexpected solution reveal, and each step of the way helped further the story as we went. The experience was also personally tailored in several spots, which was an excellent and thrilling touch.

Low Points:

There was a point we needed to move everyone through one point that was fairly awkward and felt a bit unwieldly. The later stages of the game weren’t quite as intricately decorated, which was a shame, as the intensity of the room’s décor really sold me on the immersion.

Verdict:

Nightmare on Front Street, though a seasonal room, is above and beyond what we usually come to expect from pop up or temporary rooms. Personally, I think this one deserves year round status, because it is one of the best rooms we did in Wilmington! In the mean time, get out to The Exit Games to experience this one while you can, as it is set to close at the end of the year! You can book your Nightmare here!

9/10 (Excellent)