JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE - 60Out Escape Rooms
This is Escape Mattster's game No. 40.
Address: 7270 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 10/13/2018:
Escape with me! Follow IG: EscapeMattster ;) Current room count: 40!! Whoooo!!
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE // Grade: A "...Enthusiast's treasure, book it soon!"
Today was a big deal for me. Not only was this the 40th milestone, my team was playing for Jumanji, finally, after waiting for months and months since they started teasing from production. Through construction to a delayed debut, I was following as a fan every step of the way. Having seen both the original film and the recent update in theaters, I couldn't wait to live out this movie in the form of an escape room adventure.
Let me just re-emphasize--I followed this room's social media closely. I know every single promo pic and the trailer video well. I walked in with a certain level of knowledge already in mind, whether it be for the set, props, puzzles, and possible solutions. Expectations, naturally, ran high. And now, having experienced it and successfully escaped (9 mins left), I have much to share:
Pricing is fairly justified. Running at $40 a pop on the weekend, you'd expect superb production value. Well, yes, true, you do get that, but I personally think you are more so paying a premium for branding. This is THE OFFICIAL motion picture experience, and so price is inflated to reflect its authenticity and exclusivity.
If you've been to one of newer 60Out games (Hyde & Seek, Orphanage, etc), you'd have a good idea of how gorgeous the Jumanji set is visually, and perhaps another level more. (Just don't expect that extra $10 price gap to produce a miraculously huge difference. The bar is already set quite high in recent efforts!)
On the plus side, Jumanji offered more magical, amazing, tech-assisted moments, which if you've seen the trailer, you've already gotten a healthy sampler of. And much like the stampeding animals in Robin Williams's film, more surprises would come rushing your way!
Immersion was impeccable. They were able to incorporate the main plot points and devices of the original and the sequel at various steps of the game, and all these moments felt organic and well employed. I especially enjoy the beginning room in which my group were to figure out a way to transport ourselves into the digital jungle within the video game. The entire sequence was fun to play, amazing to witness, and hard to forget.
The rest of the game continued this trend with solid endeavors, borrowing elements of team work from Dwayne Johnson's film, making everyone in the team a special and significant contributor to the group's survival, with each of us gaining a specialty power--a bit of RPG, if you will. I recommend bringing 6 (somewhat experienced) players. Having max capacity of 8 would make the space cramped, and cooperation potentially chaotic.
At this point, I'd like to clearly state that, *I MOST DEFINITELY RECOMMEND THIS ROOM*, because the pros definitely outweighed the cons.
But here come the cons.
The designers tried their absolute hardest for a high-tech escape room; but on the flip side, when this much automation was involved, malfunctions were almost guaranteed. During my game, we ran into multiple instances of tech hiccups.
For example, certain steps required us to place props a certain way to unlock the secrets. The sensors, however, required such exact placements that they didn't work. Sometimes, the gm had to prompt us to re-position items; other times, she straight up manually overrode the mechanics from the control room. (This actually happened at least 3 to 4 times.) Either way, it broke the 4th wall and took us temporarily out of our verdant fantasy.
In an even stranger occurrence, at one point, a trap door accidentally opened, revealing the storage space behind the set. The door was never meant to unlock, only intended for the staff reset. That was kind of a funny hot mess, lol.
Additionally, this game is rated hard, not necessarily because the puzzles were unusually challenging or innovative, but often due to logic leaps that would most likely escape the participants on their first run. This general pattern of expecting players to read the designers' mind inadvertently made finishing within 60 minutes difficult for the average players, rendering the escape rate quite low.
To compensate, our game master would periodically give us (unsolicited) comments and gentle nudges along the game to guide us through--which may not be everyone's cup of tea.
All in all, again, despite its flaws, THIS IS STILL A MUST-PLAY. I HAD A GREAT TIME. For me, as a supplement to my Jumanji movie experience, this was a godsend. As an escape room, it's still got some work to do. But nothing needs to be perfect to be well loved now, does it?
(PS, I would like to express gratitude to my gm, Mel. She helped us take the most badass, movie poster vibe post-game photo I've ever attempted to date. Seriously, check us out, we donned our jungle adventurers costumes, and she's able to capture all that essence in the best angle. I am beyond ecstatic.)