JURASSIC ISLAND - Chronos Escape Room | Review
Chronos Escape Room presents...
✧ This marks Game #87 for Escape Mattster ✧
(*Beta test played on: 09-15-2019, With 3 Players)
Company: Chronos Escape Room
Company Website: Click Here
Address: 676 Fairplex Dr, Pomona, CA 91768
Game Name: Jurassic Island
Game Website: Click Here
Time Limit: 60 Minutes
Difficulty: Medium (5/10)
Capacity: 2-6 Players
Room Type: Private
"You are a group of researchers that have been hired to return to the island after the incident that happened a year ago that caused it to be shut down. According to your sources, one of the main incubators in the hatchery is still active and is reported to be keeping a nest of Velociraptor eggs alive. You need to retrieve one of those eggs so your employers can begin rebuilding the park. You’ve managed to make it to the main building, but the EVAC crew has notified your team that they can only give you 60 minutes to claim the egg due to an incoming monsoon." (via official website)
Here is a carbon copy of my Yelp review, posted originally on 09/16/2019:
Matt the "Escape Mattster" plays his Game #87!
- Game: Jurassic Island (Beta Test)
- Grade: N/A
Chronos Escape Room expansion project is now in full swing. Just 2 months ago, I had the pleasure to try out their "Private Eye" escape room (see "previous review"); and today, I am super thankful to be, once again, invited to beta test their next-on-release-list "Jurassic Island".
Being quite the fan of the obvious inspiration for this game, the "Jurassic Park/World" franchise, and just of the four-legged, prehistoric lizards in general, this escape room captured my interest since I first saw it pop up as a coming-soon attraction on their website. The plot for the game follows quite similarly to the movie's: disaster struck what's once a scientific breakthrough and business marvel. The dinosaur theme park had fallen, and you're assigned to retrieve what's left of your company's research from the now deserted island.
...Be super careful not to get eaten though.
This sounds positively amazing, because you're basically living out the starring role on the silver screen, and I particularly enjoyed the various nods to the movie. If you're familiar with the first one or two films (JPark series), you'll definitely get some fanboy/girl moments when you recognize the reference. In fact, the first film of the JWorld series would also help with the immersion factor. Therefore, though no prior knowledge is required to participate, I do recommend watching the movies for a more enjoyable hour.
Of note, since this was, after all, in early beta testing, many things were still works in progress. Hence, I couldn't fully assess and report the extent of awesomeness this room will set out to achieve in the future. After tonight of beta testing, as of right now, I undoubtedly see untapped potentials, things that can be improved, and to be expected, kinks to sort out.
Of things that Chronos did get right, even as is, the first room upon entry had decent production. In a facility that's been long overrun by vicious carnivorous creatures and over-crawling by natural vegetation, you'd expect to see worn down infrastructure and visible damage, perhaps those signature of dinos. And you do get exactly that. The effort in aging the set to reflect appropriate wear and tear was greatly appreciated, from the ground up to the ceiling. There're a couple of prop or art misdirection that I suggested changing, but overall, vastly adequate.
The later parts of the game were still being fully "furnished", though once again, I saw potentials and rooms for improvements. In the right set of hands, these remaining portions could turn into something great.
Speaking of something great, one particular buzz-worthy feature would be informed to you prior to start from your game master, and I could only refer to it as "THE SURPRISE". And this surprise singlehandedly stole the show for the hour, and was reminiscent of an actual theme park attraction element. (You'll see!) My team of 3 unanimously agreed that this was the "it" factor that absolutely cannot be spoiled to future customers, though it's ironically and most likely the biggest draw for this adventure if you were to hear about it! I haven't seen this in other escape rooms before, and I've done more than 85 rooms!
Chronos also managed to break off its habit of (over)using keypads, introducing "Jurassic Island" as its first 100% fully automated escape room. So if you're a fan of gen 2 era technology, you're in for a treat. In fact, if properly and fully decked out with high-quality decoration, this could match some of 60Out's offerings.
Difficulty wise, it's a bit harder than they advertise, though much of the struggle stemmed from the lack of adequate writing utensils and puzzles that required adjustments. (As of now, some challenges required SERIOUS hinting before advancing, though many could remedied by simple fixes.) I'd imagine when better clues were included, and appropriate stationery were at our disposal, everything would be smoother running.
1 or 2 puzzles offer a clear and distinct advantage for dinosaur fans--something that I benefited from and ain't complaining about. ;)
Post game, I gave manager Marybeth tons of suggestions, and also voiced my share of concerns, in hopes of this room's becoming the best version of what it could be. So, I have my fingers crossed! (Btw, Marybeth, thank you for being great as always.)
Pro tip: Chronos runs promotion often, and with the right discount (Groupon, also inquire with staff), this company continues to be a very affordable choice, something decent to consider for a night out.
Until the final-version debut of "Jurassic Island", I'd continue to recommend trying out their most popular selection (also my own Chronos favorite), "Awakened", preferably in private setting with your own team of friends. (Again, Groupon.) You can also read about their other rooms, "Inception" & "Chronostopia", in my "previous review" sections.
POST GAME PHOTO
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