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The Escape Room - "The Blind Tiger"

Updated: Apr 10


LOCATION:  Portland, Maine, USA

Photo above is property of The Escape Room

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


📝  ETR DECODER

  • 🔑 GAME: The Blind Tiger

  • 📅 DATE PLAYED: August 13, 2023

  • 🎬 GENRE: Historical

  • 🧠 DIFFICULTY (Based on 2 PPL): 6/10

  • 👥 TOTAL # OF PLAYERS: 2-8 ppl

  • 🕒 LENGTH OF TIME: 60 Mins

  • 💰 PRICE: $25/PP (Weekdays), $70Min (Weekend)

  • ☎️ BOOKINGTYPE: Private

  • 🔓 ESCAPED/ COMPLETED?: Yes (36:12)


📖 THE STORY

It's 1920's America and that means prohibition. Organized criminals like mafia boss Maximillian Malone are making a killing on illegal booze, and Uncle Sam isn't too happy about it. It's your job as a team of federal agents to infiltrate Malone's speakeasy - "The Blind Tiger", to find enough proof of his crimes to put him in jail and throw away the key.

Video above is property of The Escape Room


🎯 HIT THE BULLSEYE

  • The room's decor does a great job of capturing the period aesthetic, with plenty of little accents like advertisements and old photographs to sell the look.

  • Though not all of it worked as intended, the room does a good job of incorporating its technology in ways that feel natural for the theme. I especially liked a particular prop that was incorporated into the game's ending.

  • Puzzle design is strong, with several deduction-logic puzzles that we really enjoyed completing, and which matched the detective theme nicely.

🧩 MISSED THE MARK

  • Some of the technology in the room wasn't working, including a skill game that wouldn't deploy no matter how many times we completed it. Staff didn't notice right away, so we wasted several minutes trying to get the machine to work.

  • We weren't provided with pen and paper or any other means of taking notes, which was especially frustrating for a puzzle involving coded messages on the ratio.

🏹 TAKE A SHOT?

Rooms with a period aesthetic live and die based on how committed they are to their theme. With detailed decorations that convincingly capture the look and feel of a 1920's speakeasy - "The Blind Tiger" checks the most important boxes for this style of room. Both sections of the speakeasy incorporate numerous artistic touches from advertisements to period-accurate photographs to phone booths and radios that scream Roaring 20's, and all of that lends the puzzles and the room at larges a strong sense of time and places. Plus, there are some fun secrets to uncover that feel straight out of a pulp adventure comic.


Unfortunately, my partner and I found our immersion broken in some places, in large part due to malfunctioning technology. In particular, a skill game in one corner of the room failed to deploy its clue even after we had finished it several times, which delayed us for quite some time. Eventually, we were able to signal the staff to remotely deploy the clue, but this also took some time, which surprised us given how long we had spent struggling with the machine and commenting out loud that it wasn't working. If a tune-up on the machine isn't possible, then we at least encourage a closer eye be kept on the machine from the control room.


A second frustration we had with this room was the lack of note-taking implements provided, despite pen and paper being available in other rooms here. Some puzzles were difficult to complete without some way to write things down, including a multi-step puzzle that began with remembering a list of code words from a radio broadcast. If you fail to remember them all in order, you need to start the whole broadcast over again, but it won't begin until several advertisements have played first, meaning a lot of wasted time if you don't have everything properly memorized. We're not sure whether the lack of pen and paper was an oversight or a deliberate design choice, but we encourage its use for the future.


Despite some aspects that held our experience back, "The Blind Tiger" is still a solid room with several things going for it. It's clear that the designers put a lot of thought into it, and that shows not only in the aesthetics, but in some fun and imaginative puzzles as well. Though it needs just a little more work in our eyes, that work isn't strenuous, so we expect this to be a pretty good experience for most guests going forward.


ℹ️ ADDITIONAL INFO

  • Since it is in the middle of Portland, The Escape Room does not have its own parking. Metered spots are available just outside, but you may need to walk from further away if they are taken.

  • The waiting area has plenty of seating and lockers to store your things while you play.

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers

 

(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)


Disclosure: We thank The Escape Room for offering us a media discount for our tickets to this game. Although a media discount was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.

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