This is a large and good looking venue in Mishawaka Indiana. The mural of Alcatraz in the game is beautifully done and an illusion that is unlike anything I’ve seen in an escape room. You can tell they’ve worked hard to make a beautiful experience in a safe location with a coat room, clean restrooms and a nice lobby. They have taken sufficient safety precautions, as well.
Unfortunately the game itself left much to be desired. It is basically a bunch of lamented papers with puzzles that have nothing to do with the theme of the room, let alone fitting in the story. Therefore there is a huge disconnect between the game and the puzzles in the game. It doesn’t flow well at all.
Also there were some major issues with a couple of puzzles. (I’m going to do my best not to give spoilers here.)We had a major problem with the second puzzle when an object that could easily be manipulated was changed by a child that was in the other half of our team. Since it was changed, it was impossible to reach the answer without assistance from the game master. My husband and I both loudly announced that we thought we knew how to solve the puzzle but we needed to know the original state of the object and the game master did not offer assistance. It wasn’t until around 10 minutes later when we ASKED as if using a hint to get the game master to give us the correct information that we got assistance. We wasted so much time when the game master was obviously not paying attention. We opened a lock with a key that was supposed to be used in a different lock and then told by the employee that it must have just been improperly reset. The last major issue I had with the game design is less of a set rule and more of a pet peeve…there is math in the room with no writing utensils, calculators or use of cellphones.
The last two issues I had with our experience will not be the norm among all guests, however they were major frustrations for our party.
First I wrote ahead to make sure we would not be paired with another group that contained kids. I was assured we would not. When we arrived I was met by a lovely man that explained they had to juggle schedules around and we might indeed play with a couple of kids. I understand things happen and the day after Christmas is a family day, but the ENTIRE group we were paired with consisted of a college student and 5 children! Their parents stayed out in the lobby. (It appeared as though their parents in were not aware that their kids would be locked in a room with 4 adult strangers either.)
Secondly the employee at the end of the game asked if we had fun and when we responded that we didn’t really enjoy ourselves and how the early puzzle flaw frustrated us and took away precious time that we would’ve liked to have used she immediately asked who changed the object…as if blaming the kid that was just doing his best to play the game. It’s not his fault they didn’t design the prop properly for the puzzle. How dare an employee try to make a customer feel bad when it was a game design flaw. Then got a rude attitude with us because we didn’t enjoy the experience.
Customer service is so important in then escape room industry. The gentleman (I think he was the owner) that I spoke with prior to the game seemed quite nice and professional, however the entire staff reflects the business.