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The Escape Room - "World on Edge"

Updated: Apr 10


LOCATION:  Portland, Maine, USA

Photo above is property of The Escape Room

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


📝  ETR DECODER

  • 🔑 GAME: World On Edge

  • 📅 DATE PLAYED: August 13, 2023

  • 🎬 GENRE: Historical, War

  • 🧠 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 (38:12)

📖 THE STORY

It's the middle of the Cold War, and the world stage is far from comfortable. The USA and the USSR are locked in a battle of escalating tensions, and if ever that conflict boils over it will mean mutually assured destruction for all parties involved. In this world on the brink of destruction, a KGB agent obsessed with starting a third world war has snuck onto the Soviet submarine Stalinsky and primed its nuclear warheads. With just an hour left until launch, it's your job to undo the agent's sabotage and keep this from becoming an incident of world-ending proportions!


🎯 HIT THE BULLSEYE

  • Though perhaps a little minimalist in some respects, the decor captures the feeling of a military submarine effectively, with a couple small touches for character. In particular we really liked the officer election posters scattered throughout.

  • One puzzle did a good job of challenging our initial assumptions, while another involved a cooperative skill challenge that was creative in its design and prop construction.

🧩 MISSED THE MARK

  • Some areas of the room were either poorly lit or simply weren't used effectively. For instance, a large prop in the first room (an engine, perhaps?) wasn't used at all, which seemed an odd choice for something that took up so much space.

  • While fiddling with an electronic puzzle element that shouldn't have been active until later in the story, we accidentally put in a correct answer that skipped over several puzzles. The staff didn't notice until the end of the room when we expressed our confusion that there were numerous elements we had never used. Given how easy it was to accidentally put in the correct answer, we would encourage that the puzzle in question be activated only when it is needed.

  • One puzzle required familiarity with maritime phrases we found too obscure to be considered common knowledge.

  • One puzzle involving studying an image on a computer screen was incredibly frustrating due to the image's poor resolution and color distinction. We stared at it for a very long time before finally resorting to guesswork, a tactic we almost never use.

🏹 TAKE A SHOT?

Before taking on "World On Edge", we were warned by our game master that the room was new, so it was possible that the experience wouldn't be quite as smooth as our previous room ("The Blind Tiger Speakeasy", which itself had some technical difficulties). Following our experience, it was difficult not to agree with our game master, and to further conclude that the room was not yet ready for the public.


While the room did an alright job of capturing the feeling of being on a submarine (including a fun synchronized key-turning sequence straight out of a war movie) and even employed some creative puzzle designs in a couple places, the overall experience felt rather rough around the edges, with multiple puzzles that my experienced team found not so much difficult to complete as they were frustrating. We had to complete a skill challenge in a dark corner, guess at obscure phrases we'd never heard before, and make ourselves cross-eyed squinting at a tangled mass of wires (with very similar colors) on a grainy TV screen. All around, the level of friction between the players and the game was much higher than what I'd expect to find in a professional business, and left us feeling rather let down.


Having completed a better room at The Escape Room in Portland, I know that they are capable of putting together some solid, worthwhile experiences, so I would encourage more rigorous play-testing before releasing future rooms. Given how new this room is, my hope is that it will undergo some changes in the weeks and months to come, but in its current state it is hard for me to recommend.


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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