A step in the right direction for The Great Escape (Tampa)
I have a love/hate relationship with The Great Escape Room , one of the largest and most successful escape room companies in Florida. On one hand – I had my first escape experience in their Sherlock Holmes Study room 3 years ago which helped to jump start my love for escape games. Unfortunately I took a few of my closest friends for their first escape room experience at The Great Escape’s Professor Moriarty’s Gameroom which ended up being one of my least favorite escape experiences of all time. My complicated history with The Great Escape is the reason it took the Escape Junkies 2 years to return to try another game, and while many of my original gripes remain The President’s Bunker is a step in the right direction.
Unlike the first 2 rooms we experienced at The Great Escape Room , the theme for The President’s Bunker felt more integrated into the room design and puzzles. The art work and props did a good job of setting the proper mood for the game. While technically a multi-room experience, the bunker is just 1 very large room that you get full access to early on. There was plenty of space for our team of 8 to move around without bumping to each other and enough tasks to complete that nobody got left out. The Great Escape Room differs from other escape games in how you are provided clues. Many escape rooms give you a set number of clues you can use anytime throughout your game, but in The President’s Bunker you have to locate tokens hidden in the room to earn each clue. We didn’t mind this feature as it provided some much-needed tension to the scavenger hut phase of the game the could feel tedious or pointless otherwise.
Not So Good
The President‘s Bunker is an improvement over the older escape games found at The Great Escape Room but a few lingering issues still remain. The Great Escape Room’s modus operandi seems to be, include at least one puzzle that is only solvable by using clues. This may not be an issue for everyone and we do enjoy a good challenge but I believe puzzles shouldn’t be confusing for the sake of challenge. My biggest complaint with The President’s Bunker is that our game master was present in the room with our team for the entire hour which hurts the immersion and takes some of the fun out of the experience. Again, we have witnessed this with the other rooms at The Great Escape room so it appears to be their policy.
The President’s Bunker is a step in the right direction for The Great Escape Room improving over their other games with a more cohesive theme and better puzzles. It doesn’t quite reach the heights of the best rooms in Tampa Bay but strides are being made. 3/5
- Location: The Great Escape Room
300 East Madison St. #301 Tampa, FL 33602
- Time Limit: 60 Minutes
- Number of Players: Up to 10 (you may be grouped with strangers)
- Recommended skill level: Intermediate