Abandon Ship

6.7 Overall
Room Quality
Puzzle Design
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Abandon Ship

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Abandon Ship was the second of two rooms that our Toronto ERA team did at Excape Games. You can find Excape Games in the suburb of Livonia Michigan which is located about a half hour from Detroit. The location itself is very easily accessible as it a standalone building with a ton of signage and parking available. There is even an old police car that has been converted to showcase the Excape Games logos stationed out front. Once inside we were greeted by some incredibly friendly staff and owners. The lobby itself is extremely spacious and boasts some really cool statues and figurines that the team made themselves. There is some seating, some lockers to put your belongings in, and refreshments and snacks can be purchased from what may be the coolest “retro” vending machine we have ever seen. One thing to note is that Excape Games is currently working on a new addition to their lineup of rooms so there was some noticeable construction throughout the lobby. One thing that really stood out to our team was the virtual reality escape rooms that are offered at a cost right in the lobby. We had the pleasure of trying out the Greek themed room and would certainly recommend it to anyone who has yet to try anything VR! Now, back to reality! As we entered Abandon Ship, we were given a brief backstory by our game master before the clock started.

When we first entered Abandon Ship, our team couldn’t help but feel slightly underwhelmed as the first room, made to resemble a submarine was fairly bare bones except for a few props. That being said, the overall quality and attention to detail became increasingly more and more apparent as we progressed through the game, save for a couple items that could use some polishing up. The props were solid for the most part and thematically correct to the theme including Fred the mechanical Fish who may or may not have stolen the team’s hearts. Without giving too much away, something that really enamored the members of our team was the quality and detail that was put into some of the set pieces in particular the portholes and tentacles.

As stated earlier, we were really impressed with the quality and how appropriately themed the props and set pieces were after the first room which really added to the immersive feel. Aside from that, our team would have liked to see a little bit more in regards to immersion. The lack of a soundtrack and the abundance of laminated paper used throughout the room often took us out of the game when we were not focused on a puzzle/task. We also felt like the story could have progressed a little more as you push forward, as we never really felt any true sense of urgency which one would feel if in a similar situation. This could also be partly attributed to the fact that at the time we played Abandon Ship, our team set the record (humblebrag). While certain aspects may have detracted from our immersive experience, not everyone will feel the same way and these are things that can be easily modified.

As far as puzzles go, Abandon Ship certainly has a lot to offer in terms of quantity and variety. Although most of the puzzles we encountered were of the observe-then-input variety, the Excape team did a great job of making each one unique so it never felt like the same puzzle. The puzzles are thematically appropriate and while there was no “wow puzzles” per se, there are certainly some cool moments throughout the room. A couple aspects that were a topic of debate among our team was the hint system used and the amount of combo locks found within the room. Depending on which one of our team members you ask, the amount of combo locks may have felt slightly out of place due to the theme of the room, as did the way you receive hints which is via text through a TV screen. Overall, Abandon Ship is filled with a great amount of puzzles with enough variety to keep everyone busy while appeasing differing tastes.

Finally, was Abandon Ship fun? Absolutely! While there were certainly items that could use some polishing, the overall room quality, attention to detail and vast amount and variety of puzzles were certainly enough to overcome them. The room itself is a decent size, but we would recommend going with a group size of 3-5 to keep everyone engaged. Finally, based on what our team saw from Excape Games we certainly look forward to seeing what comes next! If you are ever in the Livonia area looking for an escape, be sure to check Excape Games out!

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