ESCAPE ROOM REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY
Play if… you’re interested in the Mafia, bombs, and cold hard cash.
Avoid if… you’re scared of tigers, don’t like enclosed places, and find sewers disgusting.
New Mexico Escape Room – McLeod (there are 2 locations):
Address: 4401 McLeod Rd, Suite B, Albuquerque, NM 87109 (click address for Google Map)
Contact and Website: 505-289-1002
The Room – Bombshell:
Description (from the company website): For decades, the city’s greatest criminal syndicates have answered to one man, Vittorio Bosargio. He is known as the Don of Dons, holding power over multiple criminal organizations, but lately his judgement has been questionable and unstable. He is slowly slipping into madness. You’ve been summoned, along with other organizational heads, to meet in a secret location and discuss the fate of the highly respected, but faltering Don. Unfortunately, your betrayal doesn’t go unnoticed. Someone has double crossed you, and now it’s a race against the clock to survive. Don’t end up ‘sleepin’ wit’ the fishes.’ Can you outsmart Don Vittorio Bosargio?
CAUTION: This game requires some physicality where players may have to kneel into low positions, crouch, and climb up and down steps. There are also uneven and moving floors, and small spaces. Please feel free to contact us directly with specific questions regarding the physical aspect of this game.
Difficulty (1-10): 6/10
Time Limit: 60 minutes
Cost: $28 per person (all bookings are now private)
Party Size: 4-6
Staging Area: LARGE open lobby area; I don’t recall there being any seating, but there are vending machines and hand sanitizer available.
Metro Access/Parking: Parking available right out front and additional along the side of the building. Unsure about public transportation.
This is the video we took before we entered the room:
This is the video we took just after we completed the room:
I’m apparently really terrible about taking post-room videos… ~Jason
Description of the room: You start in a room with a large animal crate, a some other scattered crates, and an elevator door towards the back.
Understanding of the Mission: Escape with your life before the explodes and kills you while you’re in the warehouse.
Did We Escape: No, and I’m not really sure how I feel about it.
Time Remaining: FAIL :'(
Our Suggested Party Size: 4-6 is fine, though it WILL be a little cramped.
Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes, and not always for the right reasons. (Read below)
Members of our team (other than the ERG): Stephanie D (and Oreo)
Worth the time and money? For the visuals and experience, yes. For the gameplay, no.
Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:
We did not stick around for grub after, so we don’t have a recommendation.
|Overall Expectation (Summary)|
|We had a hard time choosing a room to play on vacation. The selection at New Mexico Escape Room is good, but given the time options we had, since we were coming down from Santa Fe and had a kitten with us, the only room that fit our schedule (and could be easily played by 2 people), was Bombshell. I’ve never been to New Mexico before, let alone to NMER, so I had no expectations going in.
I will, however, say this about Bombshell: the story is not quite as it seems, so I will do my very best to keep this spoiler-free. (And no, this had no bearing on the ratings given below.)
|Don Vittorio Bosargio is slowly going mad. As an organizational leader, you’re called in by the Don’s daughter to meet with other leaders to overthrow him before alliances break and the peace that he keeps is no more. However, you’ve been double-crossed by someone and now your life is in danger.
I must admit, I didn’t know what was really going on here. As I mentioned, the story is not as it seems, but as the internet description claims (and I’ve regurgitated above), you’re double-crossed. I don’t recall ever hearing by whom or why, only that the Don now knows you were there and now he wants you dead or caught by the cops for your betrayal. (Where were all the other families? No idea…)
|Defuse the bomb and escape. Which turned into not being caught by the cops. (I mean, that’s not a far stretch for the scenario so I feel no shame in putting that out there.) There wasn’t much to this other than getting out (which, again, we didn’t).
|Puzzle Diversity (Rating)|
|There was so much stuff in this room and once you were able to recognize which things went with which other things, it was easier to get moving. Without giving too much away, there were crates, some sort of a dexterity puzzle (you 100% need at least 2 people for this room), association, a little bit of logic and problem solving, and you need to know how to read 2 different kinds of maps (one of which was probably the coolest thing in there). There was also a shuffleboard/skeeball/plinko puzzle (referred below as the SSP puzzle so I don’t have to type that again) in there, but we’ll talk about that one later.
There were a couple of padlocks, but given your location, that’s understandable. You also have to play with a rat, but you’ll see what I mean if you go to NMER.
|Puzzle Complexity (Rating)|
|I feel like most of the problems we had in this room were not due to difficulty but due to things just not working right (ok, maybe half the problems). For example, the logic puzzle required you to place things in specific places. We had it correct but we were told by our GM to just make sure things were fully seated in their places properly, so we had to reseat all the items multiple times before it worked.
So, I wasn’t very happy about that, but my happiness is aside the point right now.
There were other times we just didn’t move something out of the way, which would have made solving the puzzle that much easier (I think that happened twice). Additionally, we had the aforementioned SSP puzzle that required no skill or thought at all. There was a maze that was basically just a time suck (more on that below as well), and there was one other one that was somewhat misleading, but we should have figured it out since there’s only one correct answer, but who the fuck would think to do that to those things? (Yes I’m being deliberately vague, otherwise I would just be giving it away and it’s arguably the best thing in there.)
In hindsight, I can’t say anything was actually terribly difficult, but I think it was just more that we were frustrated and that caused us to just not think clearly.
Oh right, difficulty scale… 1-6
Yes, I realize we failed the room and I only rated this a 5, but I’ve read through this multiple times and it’s justified.
|Where do I begin. First, let’s talk about the SSP puzzle. Can someone explain to me what this has to do with anything and why it was in here to do nothing more than piss us off (read: waste time)? Steph refused to keep trying after about 30 throws and I was forced to keep going else we’d be stuck there (and you had to get 5 or 6 of the little hockey-puck things into their homes). Did I mention there was a tiger roaring for half the time we were in there? (And not a quiet roar, either. Though I didn’t catch that the Don’s nickname was “The Tiger” until I listened to the recording of the briefing again, so the tiger being in there makes sense, sort of, but as this was a warehouse that had “fallen into disuse since” the Don’s declining mental state, the damn thing should have been dead.)
Then there was the maze. I like the concept (I won’t ruin it) and I like that it was a maze (because you should all know I like mazes by now and if you’ve forgotten, I have one tattooed on my shoulder/upper arm with the solution in black-light ink), but when you get to a point that the GM has to come in and get past a specific section of the maze for you while telling you “practically everyone gets stuck on this part and I have to come in and do it”, shouldn’t that tell you something? (That something, for those keeping count, should be either fix it or replace the puzzle because it has nothing to do with the scenario, only the way the room is themed at that point.)
OH! And before I forget probably the most ludicrous problem of all, I will preface it with a minor…
The bomb you are supposed to defuse doesn’t actually need to be defused. I had to use a clue on this!!! We successfully disabled it, but then didn’t know how to progress, so I asked and we were told we had to enable it to complete a subsequent puzzle. The literal f? Seriously???
That all said and done, and now that I’ve caught my breath again from that spoiler/rant, the story (thankfully!) progressed and was explained as you tried to make your escape from this warehouse. Probably the saving grace here…
|I had fun at times, but (a) the damn tiger constantly roaring was incredibly annoying (and I can only imagine what Oreo (our kitten) thought was going on…), (b) some stuff just didn’t need to be there and felt like a literal waste of time, and (c) the things that brought the room down were more than what propped it up, unfortunately.|
|Game Master (Summary)|
|She was cool, no complaints. Nice person (sorry I can’t remember your name) and didn’t bother us until we asked or saw we were obviously struggling (which was probably pretty apparent).|
|How Helpful Were Any Clues Given, if any (Summary)|
|Yeah, they were helpful. We felt stupid for half of them. I don’t remember how many were full clues vs nudges, but we asked for an uncharacteristically large amount of help…|
|RAGE Meter OR ERG (pronounced URG, as in “we should have known better”) Score|
|Probably the easiest RAGE Meter rating I’ll ever give that was not a 0. Like I said, this room had a lot going for it, but as we progressed, and as is now evident in hindsight, there were many things (little or not) that just brought the experience way down. The immersion factor was high, but even that couldn’t save this room for me. (And no, for the record, failing the room had no bearing on my mood; at one point, we both knew we were not escaping.)
ESCAPE ROOM GUYS’ OVERALL SCORING 6.2/10
Final Thought: I really wanted to like this room but when everything was said and done, it was more trouble than it was worth. However, they do have another room that we wanted to try out (and they let us take a peek at it) that’s horror themed (Blackwell Manor), so we will likely be back. Here’s hoping that experience is better!