Green Light Escape Room – Kidnapped! (Review)

Location: Wilmington, NC

Players: 3-8 (We recommend 4-5)

Price: $26 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Let’s do the Time Warp, again!

Theme:

A malevolently clever time traveler has been stealing inventions from throughout the timeline and using them to enrich himself in the 1800’s! This has left everything in flux, as his constant disruptions has been steadily degrading time itself. It is up to your group of agents to follow him back to his office, find what he’s taken, and use the time machine to correct the timeline before it is too late!

First Impressions:

Green Light Escape Room has a bright and welcoming lobby with a table full of puzzles for me to take apart and then hand to the poor lobby attendant when I can’t get them put back together. Customer service was also fantastic, as even though we had some problems booking (more than likely technical issues on our end,) we were able to secure our spots smoothly with a quick contact through their website.

High Points:

The later stages of this game were well done, including several original and intuitive puzzles, along with a excellent and tactile final puzzle. Game flow worked well throughout, and we never found ourselves floundering because of obtuse game design. Several engaging and well themed props could be found here, and were not only fun to play with, but were an integral part of the game design itself. There was also a fair variety of puzzles types, which allowed for the whole team to engage with the room itself. All in all, this was a solid introductory experience for new players.

Low Points:

The initial stage of the game was fairly standard, and while it included a few fun props to fiddle around with, it wasn’t all that interesting by itself. A few of the props in this area also felt worn, but not in a timeworn way. Puzzles themselves in the early game fit the theme, but did not feel as imaginative or engaging as they could with some tweaking. The climax was a great set up, but felt as if it should’ve led to more instead of ending fairly abruptly. Set design was acceptable, but didn’t quite capture the theme fully. This one may also be a bit so-so for enthusiasts, as it is definitely geared toward players new to the hobby.

Verdict:

Kidnapped was a fun introductory experience that included a few new surprises, but nothing too extraordinary. Still, as noted on their website it is a great beginner’s experience on it’s own, though enthusiasts might want to try a more challenging room, like Alien Escape or Escape the Roxbury, when considering Green Light Escape Room. You can book your time warp here!

6.5/10 (Alright)

Full Disclosure: Green Light Escape Room provided Media Discounted tickets for our team.

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)