GuReview - Death Row
by Gureviewer: Ben Rosner
Game Played On: Saturday, 23rd June 2018
Recommended Team Size: 4-6 Players
Kid Friendly: No
Game Duration: 60 Min.
Booking Method: Online| Phone
Start Time: On Time
Who is this for: Enthusiasts, Searchers, Thrill Seekers
Live Actor: No
Public Transportation: None
Not much public transportation here. Expect to drive
Parking: Paid parking, next to the venue
We parked in a lot next to the venue.
Death Row is a solid room which emphasizes set design and scenic elements. Unlike many prison themed rooms, this one actually feels like a prison, with dust, dirt, wear and tear visible all over. There is one cool special effect near the finale of the room that was very well done. The prisons used actual metal and concrete to add realism.
Venue / Lobby Info:
13th Gate is massive. The venue is essentially a converted warehouse. Note that 13th Gate also operates a Haunted House during the Halloween season as well. Unlike the hallways that hold your quest, the lobby is well lit and clean. The staff is kind, but seem a little more like businesspeople and less like family. The lobby has water fountains and restrooms. There are lockers to hold your valuables and it is definitely recommended that you use these, as there is sand in the rooms. We watched a video detailing how the rooms management system, Escape Room Boss, worked. This is essentially an iPad app that manages your time and hints.
Public Restrooms: Yes
Game Introduction: The storyline of the game involved you and your team as prisoners in Death Row. Our execution in the electric chair was steadily approaching, and we had to figure out how to get out within the hour. The intro made sense, although I feel like the prison trope in escape rooms is something that needs to die out soon. Despite this, this is one of the better prison rooms I've done, in fact, it probably was THE best prison room I've ever done.
Operator Intro: Interesting
Narrative: Escape a Specific Unpleasant Place
Main room first glance: Wow!
We were all split up initially into separate cells. This room was especially detailed and the set was very realistic. There was a lot of dirt, dust and grime around. This definitely felt like a real prison. There were rusty toilets and sinks, single beds, etc. Everything you would expect to find in a jail was there and it all felt very real. Although this room isn't quite as spectacular as some of 13th Gate's other offerings, Death Row still outdoes many other rooms I've done from a scenic standpoint.
Flow: Very Good and coherent flow
The game flow made sense and there wasn't many red herrings or logic leaps. There wasn't a lot we could do initially when we were locked in our cells. Because only one person could solve this puzzle, this interrupted game flow. That segment was particularly frustrating. Overall though, the flow was coherent.
Puzzles: Some of them were great (matched promised level)
Death Row had some very well done puzzles in a spacious environment. There was one physical puzzle at the beginning that I specifically had to complete that was very frustrating. I've seen this puzzle before in another escape room and I'm just not very skilled in dexterous puzzles. So, it was unfortunate that I was the one who had to do it in this case. However, the finale puzzle was awesome. There were a few clues to what was coming our way, but I never expected it to be that awe inspiring. There was a bit too much reading for my taste, especially in a particularly dark space.
Death Row boasted an awesome, realistic prison set as well as some mind bending puzzles. Most of the game flowed well and there was a lot of good challenges to keep us occupied.
This game uses Escape Room Boss, a very frustrating time and clue management system using an iPad that should have no place in any escape room. The most annoying part of this is that you have to scan a QR code with the iPad at the end of the game to stop the clock and win. I had trouble scanning the code, which was made particularly more challenging in the dark environment.
Hints & Clues, Debrief
Method: Walkie Talkie
Quality: Excellent (They have advanced the game, built-in escalation, no answer-disclosing)
Closure & Debrief: Excellent (Catharsis)
Death Row, despite being one of 13th Gate's lesser offerings, was still a great room. The set was one of the best I've seen anywhere, and the puzzles definitely stood up to the test. While it isn't a must play at 13th Gate, if you're in the area, you mind as well check it out.
Did You Escape: Yes