Published March 23rd, 2017 @ 7:01 am EDT by Paul

REVIEW: Diamond Heist by Mindquest Escape Games (Orlando, FL)

1/5 Claws

Challenge: 3
Awe: 3
Care: 3
Theme: 1
Team: 3
Signature Color: Gray


“What an utterly horrific waste of time!  When a coworker suggested we take his girlfriend to see her first ever Room, I was really excited (not just to meet her but because I finally had an excuse to visit Mindquest for the first time.)  If only I had known what a horrible experience Diamond Heist is.  Within twenty minutes I was apologizing to the team and profusely promising that not only were escape rooms as a whole nothing like this one but that I had never before seen such a miserable attempt.  What was even more surprising was that Mindquest is a national chain!

I should have known better when we tried to book the room; for some god-unknown reason, their booking system won’t allow patrons to book a single ticket.  My co-worker went and booked two tickets (figuring that the system was ensuring that the room would meet a two-person minimum) but even then they wouldn’t sell me a single ticket online.  So I called and explained that I was organizing a trip among co-workers and that each household would be paying separately, with some households needing only a single ticket.  Instead of calling me back with a solution (as they promised) THEY CHARGED MY BOSS’S CREDIT CARD FOR ANOTHER TICKET WITHOUT ASKING HIM.  If he wasn’t the type of person that checks his balance every few days, we wouldn’t even have known.  Worse still, the refund took almost two weeks to ‘process’.    Why we didn’t just cancel right then I’ll never know, but I wish we had because that was characteristic of the entire room.

This isn't it, but Diamond Heist also wasn't nearly this nice.

This isn’t it, but Diamond Heist also wasn’t nearly this nice.

The carelessly disconnected puzzles were fantastically one-note in nature, relying almost exclusively on player’s math skills.  I actually enjoy a math challenge or two, but 15 in a row was ridiculous.  The sad part was, on a team with three game designers, the solutions we were trying were so much more interesting and inventive that each solution just became more disappointing than the last.

The theme was nearly nonexistent and could just as easily have been advertised as ‘the suicidal accountant’s office’.  All the props were worn out, dreary and grungy.  The safes were broken, necessitating the staff having to come in to fix them twice.  A digital scale needed for one challenge was also broken, but thankfully when it finally died altogether the lock it held closed released on its own.  The playspace was so small that the four of us spent the first half of the game in each other’s way (how the fire marshal lets 8 people in there is utterly beyond me.)  The only reason this wouldn’t be better off as a one person experience is because having an extra pair of eyes to check your arithmetic is useful for figuring out when locks (or whatever) are broken.

This room left us all feeling frustrated, annoyed, disappointed, and cold which earned it the Signature Color of Grey (notice how my ‘boss’ flat-out refused to even fake a smile for the victory photo.)

I’ve already given this room more time than it deserves, so to sum it up the scant positives include the highlighter puzzle (though the scale might have been cool if it had worked), the assortment of props for the victory photo and the fact we were offered bottled water at the end.  It was the first time I have EVER finished an escape room and flatly refused to do another one directly afterward (at the same venue.)

But if I can save one person from having to suffer through this crap, I will have done my job.”

9938 Universal Blvd #112
Orlando, Florida 32819

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