- Played April 2019
- Los Angeles
- 60 minutes
- 2-8 players
- $30 per person
- Fun for everyone (no violence and no controversial themes beyond the concept of mobsters laundering money)
- What People Say
Much like films, escape rooms come in a variety of sizes and artistic intentions. There’s the big budget blockbusters, filled with gadgets and expensive theatrics of insane technological magic. And then there’s the indie darlings, saturated with love and spirit that sometimes only comes from a small and restricted crew of passionate creators.
Mob Accountant, Los Angeles’ newest addition to the market, is the latter. It’s clearly made with love and an expert understanding of how intelligent challenges breeds excitement.
The game began outside of the venue with an in-character actor, a 1930’s era mobster type, commanding us into the world of criminal accounting through the ages.
The immersion is fairly instant as there is no lobby. Once you’re inside, the story begins: find the boss’ hidden (and likely dirty) money and get out. The quality feels like an accountant’s office, which by nature are not deeply fantastical, thus the mundane feel (desks, lamps, bookshelves) is accurate to its story. A fascinating element to the room is that it is not entirely based in the 1930’s but rather an amalgamation of elements from the infamous crime operation La Costa Nostra’s 8 decade run. Thus, puzzles range from Frank Sinatra era Hollywood up through early millennium technology.
The room is 100% analog, as in, no high tech gadgets nor huge computer coordinated theatrical ongoings. This isn’t a trip into a Walt Disney fantasy nor an art director’s heaven (a few of us pondered upon some cheap looking objects). Rather, it’s a down to Earth dirty office…and that’s ok. The greatest strengths of the room do all the heavy lifting with great puzzles and amazing flow.
We all agreed that each puzzle was mentally stimulating and engaging. The creators clearly know and love the mechanics of puzzles, giving us a variety of scavenger hunts, logic tasks and other brain stretching challenges, most of which were very rewarding to conquer.
We experienced a few challenges we have never seen before in any room and an exceptionally creative element was the ability to purchase clues with money found stashed away in the room. It’s quite charming to actively bribe the always-present, always in character game master / mobster.
The best element of Mob Accountant lies in the well crafted flow, as in, the subtle details that would lead us from one task to the next, not always in a linear order but always in a way which required teamwork.
We were constantly laying objects around the floor, creating workflows and communicating theories. In fact, in critiquing the game immediately afterwards, one idea was clear for the 4 of us: this was never boring and it was always fun. Upon comparing it with other games, including super fancy giants of the industry, we realized we can’t say that about most experiences.
While many rooms are theme-park-level-advanced or thrilling roller coaster rides of shock, only a few can provide the intellectual craftsmanship to keep all the parts of your brain activated. This is no surprise as it is designed and run by veterans of previous escape room companies.
The room holds 8, but we found our group of 4 to have a perfect time (we assume that fewer people, say 2 or 3, will increase the difficulty) and felt satisfied upon our exit.
Mob Accountant is clearly an indie venture in the Los Angeles land of big budget rooms, but that never diminished it’s fun factor. We felt one or two puzzles had a few hiccups of cohesion, but overall we collectively think this endeavor is filled with heart, expertise and entertainment value for new folks and veterans alike. It’s worth doing, so go!