7.5 Overall
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  • Played November 2019
  • Tampa, FL

  • 60 minutes
  • 2-7 players
  • $30/person (varies)
  • Family-friendly

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In beautiful Tampa, Florida you’ll find a unique escape room company called Imagine Escapes. At least, it used to be called Imagine Escapes (and still is depending on which websites you visit). It has since been bought out by Breakout, (a fairly well known national franchise), and this makes Imagine Escapes by Breakout unlike any other Breakout location you’ll visit in the USA. Why so? Because it appears Breakout has wisely decided to keep some of Imagine’s existing games (like Dreamweaver), while slowly phasing in some of their standard games offered at other Breakout locations.

Although our host was a bit late for our room, it gave us a chance to experience the exterior surroundings of Imagine-Breakout which was quite nice. They’re located in a little strip plaza with plenty of parking, good signage, and some patio tables set out along the walkway for people to sit down and have a bite from the café next door. The inside lobby is fairly small, but does have an adjacent waiting room where your group can sit, play some puzzle games, and just relax. No snacks or drinks were available which is unfortunate, but the staff is friendly, interactive and clearly enjoy being there which is nice to see. A pre-game introductory video was shown inside the escape room which did break the immersion a wee bit, but was otherwise well made and had us curious to learn more…

The room quality in Dreamweaver was incredible considering its smaller size and limited space. The set design was wonderful, using every inch of space, and with the exception of one set piece, everything was solidly built and maintained. What really impressed us the most was how the set was used in a multi-faceted way, (sadly we can’t explain more because we don’t want to spoil anything, but we love it when a room starts out as one thing, and through creative design and imagination becomes something else later on). Kudos to the Imagine design team!

The immersive aspects were pretty much in line with the set design. From the beginning there’s a great over-arching story that spans across not just Dreamweaver, but connects with other rooms at Imagine-Breakout. We hope this doesn’t get lost in the transition from Imagine Escapes into the Breakout franchise in 2020, because it really adds something that isn’t too present at most escape room companies….a developing story that keeps you coming back for more! Admittedly the story within Dreamweaver isn’t developed on its own, and you pretty much hear the whole beginning and ending of your adventure in the opening video, but as we already said, it’s covered by the fun of it being just one adventure story in a series that keeps you wanting to learn more. The lights, soundtrack, and theme of Dreamweaver were spot on and made you feel as if you were in the streets of an early 19th century bazaar. The only time we felt a slight loss of immersion was when a louder group of young adults were walking through the hallways outside and we could briefly hear them. That’s about it. Dreamweaver definitely had us feeling immersed and engaged!

The puzzles in Dreamweaver were fairly good for the most part but there wasn’t really a ‘’wow’’ moment. There’s a good amount and variety of puzzles to challenge the skill sets of your team. Dreamweaver does include one bona fide team building puzzle which is nice, but even without that, almost all the puzzles are inclusive which allows everyone to enjoy the game. We had a group of 5 people in the room (4 adults, 1 teen) which is probably the upper limit for those who prefer to be actively engaged in doing something, but you can just as easily play this game with 2-3 enthusiasts, if you have a smaller group. One puzzle piece was slightly damaged which was a shame, but it ultimately didn’t affect the quality of the puzzle or the game itself (just the aesthetic enjoyment).

So in the end did we like Dreamweaver and have fun? You bet! It was a GREAT introduction to Imagine-Breakout and we were super excited to see more of their rooms after this one. In the end we felt this game was the crown jewel of their rooms and had a lot going for it, despite a few setbacks (room size, a damaged puzzle prop, and lack of in-room story development). The immersion is top notch, the set design is incredible, and knowing that once you complete the game there’s still more of the story you need to uncover, made this game a hit with our group! This room does have a mix of simple and complex puzzles so you’ll probably want a group of 2-5 people depending on how many minds you’d like working together, and how much engagement you prefer (rooms are generally harder with less people, but allow for more engagement, and vice-versa)… We hope that somehow the designers of Dreamweaver will stick around with Breakout at this location and make more rooms like this one!

We want to hear your thoughts! Be sure to comment in the section below or send us a message via ERA’s email, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, or Twitter… As always, happy escaping!

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