• Anna

Review: Escape From Alcatraz

North Valley Escape Room, Phoenix, AZ

#9, Won, $30/person

Bluefish birthday! The above picture pertains to the Alcatraz room. I swear.

You see, Vicky and I are birthday twins. We also speak to each other mostly in Office quotes. (See birthday banner.)

In celebration of our births, Team Bluefish will being joining forces "soon" ("Summer 2017" taunts us as we wait with bated breath) with Team Vicky's squad to match wits with the upcoming circus-themed room at North Valley Escape Room.

We're super excited for this new room because Team BluefishVickysquad crushed the Alcatraz room and had a blast doing so.

The Alcatraz room (told you I'd bring us back) is huge compared to most other escape rooms. This labyrinthine puzzle had plenty of space for the six of us and can definitely physically hold the 10 person max capacity.

This super-sized room has a fitting time limit of 75 minutes instead of the 60 minute norm. The production quality is stand-out and comparable to some of the L.A. and east coast giants we've been through. The prison theme can often be a tired fallback in the escape room world but Escape from Alcatraz keeps the 20s-Capone-magic alive with solid puzzles submerged in innovative sets pieces.

Teamwork is a must to cover the expanse, but the flow of the room is fairy linear. The linear nature leads to a few moments where onlooker syndrome is present. This can be amplified when dexterity is key and only one person can address a puzzle at a time.

One minor downside to the large area is that it's not always convenient to check the remaining time, which I like to do frequently.

The puzzles in this room were satisfying to solve. We had quite a few ah-ha moments resulting in confident solution entering. This is a great room for groups who have at least one other escape room under their belts as the size and special effects could be overwhelming to newbies while delighting to veterans.

Puzzles: Smart puzzles with a few stalls due to one-person tasks. Theme: Superb immersive set. Game Master: Communication could be increased with more tv monitors. Upkeep: No issues. Customer Service: Great. Willing to let us play a private game when we reached approximately half capacity. Extras: +1 for an electrifying ending that you won't forget.

MORE Puzzles, Please

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