Mona Lisa Heist • Conundroom Real Escape Quest • Escape Room Review
Game Website | Company Website | Based In: Redmond, WA, USA
💪 Difficulty: Medium.
⏲️ Time duration: 60 minutes limit.
🔢 Capacity: 2-5 players. Private booking.
💬 Hints: Via walkie-talkie or an intercom system, (if my memory serves me).
🛒 If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
💪 Difficulty (as perceived by Mattster): 6 to 7/10 (team of 2).
🔢 Ideal team size: 4, due to many cooperative opportunities, and a good sum of challenges to tackle.
Take part in the most famous heist of the 20th century! An amazing adventure in the Louvre. Go through the security room, deactivating clever alarms and security systems. Get to the exhibition filled with ancient artifacts and paintings. Finally, steal the main exhibit - The Mona Lisa!
MATTSTER'S DETAILED ANALYSIS
First, a special note:
This game play took place before pandemic announcement in the United States (before March 2020). This review reflects previous business standards & practice at the time. Your experience may follow new health & safety guidelines where and when applicable. Please contact business venue for operating hours, booking info, and other further inquiries.
The following is adapted from a Yelp review I've previously published.
And now, read away, my lovely readers:
Before starting this review, I just wanna put a clear disclaimer that I am an avid escape room enthusiast. Most of the games I've played are located in the Los Angeles area, where it is known to have some of the most cutting edge escape rooms in the industry in the entire nation, whether it be of the technology, set design, or storytelling aspect. As such, I'd admit, my views are very biased--once a customer's standards have been heightened, it's hard to go back.
Next, Conundroom was my boyfriend's and my choice of escape room on a celebration trip in the Seattle/Redmond area. He knows how much I adore this hobby, and will not allow me to leave the destination without experiencing what Washington state has to offer. Therefore, being somewhat alien to this part of the escape room market, I dunno what's considered the gold standard of what's good and what's not in Redmond. In summary, Conundroom is competing against many top quality rooms I've experienced in the past, and therefore, even a grade of B may not mean "Mona Lisa Heist" is not fun, it simply means on a relative scale, there're better options out of state.
With that out of the way, I'd like to say simply, I had fun. "Mona Lisa" is an adequate room that provided this couple almost an hour of entertainment, and an intimate opportunity to (argue and) bond. It was great!
Now that's rewind back to the beginning. To find the building itself, you're searching for a quite residential looking, almost a straight-up suburban home/house. It's best to see some photos beforehand. But luckily, Conundroom themselves were in on the joke. Finding the business is your very first puzzle!
Once checked in, my game master informed us that "Mona" was actually a 3 people minimum game, so some adjustments needed to be made to 1 particular cooperative challenge. No matter, however many changes needed to be made to make a customer's experience more satisfying, I'm all for. Thanks, man, for being so proactive and accommodating.
The premise was simple: we're master thieves. We want to override the museum's various security systems, steal the famous Mona Lisa painting, and that's it. While not much on the plot, it's a simple objective, suitable for players of all ages and experience level. No problem there.
The set, however, was a tad disappointing. First, there's only so much you can do to convert what's used to be a house to be an office building, then on top of that, convert that into a believable escape room set. And while the publicity stills on the official website made the place intriguingly cool, the actual location... well, let's just say you can spot marked difference.
For the most part, the set and props, while not visually stunning, got the job done. There's a couple of things that didn't help further immersion. For example, the windows were open for ventilation, but effectively showed us the streets outside, thus ruining the museum facade. Also, for a painting of this caliber, would Mona Lisa really be displayed against a backdrop of random graffiti?
Missteps along the production value aside, the puzzles were actually kinda cool. While there's still a heavy reliance of locks in general, (which I don't mind), many challenges employed gadgets and technology to keep the grand theft experience from being bland. I particularly enjoyed one of the "security systems" that's reminiscent of an arcade machine. Ahh, childhood throwback.
Difficulty was appropriate for my two people team, and though I pride myself as an advanced player, I was stumped multiple times, which was kinda exciting, because I love a good challenge and be introduced to previously un-encountered elements. And to think, being able to see something new still after numerous rooms in my escape artist "career" so far... Thanks so much, Conundroom!
One puzzle, however, lacked proper cluing, and it's unsolvable without direct prodding from the gm... so yeah.
In the end, it really only mattered that we had fun. Was it the best room I've ever done? Frankly no, and it wasn't an immersive or convincing heist by a far reach. But, if you were to just see it as a bunch of fun puzzles to be solved, which may or may not be directly related back to the overarching theme, then why not? They do have great customer service, & you do get a cute lil button as an "I escaped!" souvenir. So, all is well.
It's a terrible picture of me. But it's okay--my partner and Mona both look great!
READY FOR FUN?
"Mona Lisa Heist" is available for booking HERE.
If you BOOK due to this blog, please give EscapeMattster.com a shout-out! ;)
ESCAPE MATTSTER 😶
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⤻ Speed code for on-site search: CREQMona