For the first time ever, fans have the chance to enter the world of Jumanji thanks to 60out Escape Rooms Jumanji Escape Room – Jumanji Escape Room Review
I know for a fact I’m not the only person who’s ever wanted to enter the world of Jumanji. Since Jumanji released in 1995, people have been enthralled by the game and the world within it. I playing the board game and being disappointed about it having the same quality as my hand-me-down Monopoly set. The central message screen (or orb, or panel- you know what I’m referring to) was a decoder screen, and you would stick cards in there to see the message and what consequences will befall you. Not that I expected anything to come out of the game and inhabit the world, but the board game couldn’t even get me to image it happen to my player token. Then a few years ago, there was a Jungle Escape Room, which was loosely based on Jumanji, and did feature a game board with self-moving pieces. It was fun, but the room’s production value didn’t quite get you to lose yourself in the world. The desire to experience Jumanji was scratched, but not relieved. Then Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle was released in theaters – and now available on digital – and the itch became a rash as the world of Jumanji was brought back to life.
This is where 60out Escape Rooms comes in. 60out Escape Rooms started in 2015, currently with 6 locations in the Greater Los Angeles Area and 16 Rooms with several more coming soon, including The Jumanji Escape Room! The Jumanji Escape Room is a 4-8 player game that brilliantly captures and embodies the world of the film. Players can prebook their experience now, and games will begin March 29th. We were lucky enough to get an early play-through and HOLY S*)@ was it fun!
Your friend Robby sends you and 3 (or up to 7) other friends text about this cool thing he found. He invites you over to check it out. This is relayed to you by your 60out Escape Rooms’ guide, ours was Damian, who also received the text, but unfortunately couldn’t join us in the room because his mom called him home to do dishes. But luckily he lives next door, so you can hit him up for clues (assuming your group decides you need one); and unlimited clues at that. Damian helps your group into Robby’s room through Robby’s bedroom window, before he runs off to do his chores. This is where the game begins.
First off, Robby isn’t in his room. It is up to you to figure out what he has in store for you. You and your friends essentially ransack his room finding clues and solving puzzles to discover Robby has found Jumanji. Just like in the movie, you and your friends choose your characters before you enter the world of Jumanji. This is where things get really interesting. As you choose your character, you are given a bracelet that designates you as your character. I chose to be the best character, Ruby Roundhouse. There are 4 other characters created for the Escape Room, each parallels one of the main 4 characters of the film. After all the characters are chosen a portal to Jumanji opens! The transition from the real world to Jumanji begins with magic words appearing in thin air. A perfect recreation of how the text appears in the middle of the board game from the original film. You learn about Van Pelt and the danger he imposes upon Jumanji, and what you must do to save it. Then step into a supply depot, where you use your bracelet on your lock to acquire your designated supplies, before finally stepping into Jumanji.
From the first step into Jumanji, you are immediately immersed by the sounds and scenery. The walls look like ruins, and the ceiling is a giant gameboard. Look around a little more, and there’s very real looking hippopotamus sticking its head out of the wall. There’s a lot to take in, and everything is captivating. You will easily lose time just absorbing the wonder of it all. What I particularly appreciate, is that everything is textured. Touching things really helps sell the idea of being in another world. The rocks, the walls, and even the hippo feel real-enough to lose yourself. The only senses the room doesn’t engage are smell and taste, and I’m pretty okay with not smelling and tasting hippos.
Then you remember you have clues to find, puzzles to solve, and a time limit. The puzzles in Jumanji are a challenge in the most gratifying way possible. I do not want to give anything away, but what I will say is that each character has puzzles suited to their own abilities and will test their abilities. Ruby Roundhouse is known for her martial arts and agility, and I definitely had to put them to the test. It’s not crazy martial arts or anything like that, but a geniusly unique approach that was a challenge that required a lot of physical and mental discipline. It was difficult, but easily one of the most gratifying experiences I’ve ever had in an escape room. Then there’s a challenge that tests the power of Smolder, requires the cartography skills of Shelly, and yes Moose is required to interact with the hippo. The puzzles and challenges are brain wrinkling, endurance testing, extremely satisfying, and a lot of times HILARIOUS. You will be scratching your head, brought to the brink of rage quitting, then filled with immense gratification until you reach the end and save Jumanji (or become trapped in Jumanji).
The Jumanji Escape Room is a dream come true. I remember watching the original film and thinking of how I would react to the scenarios and situations created by the game and thanks to 60out Escape Rooms, I got my chance to do so. Granted, the escape room doesn’t deal much with dangerous animals, but the spirit of being in an unknown situation involving exotic manifestations is very reflective of the franchise. The entire experience of the Jumanji Escape Room feels like you are part of Jumanji.
Even without considering the ties to the movie, The Jumanji Escape Room is an amazing escape room. The production value of the room is incredible, and honestly kind of distracting. It might literally be too good. I lost at least 10 minutes admiring it. There’s a movie-grade replica of the original board game as well as the game pieces, a gorgeous reflective table with a map of Jumanji. I mean even the ceiling is captivating. You don’t know if you’re looking at art, decortation, or clues. It’s incredible. Then the puzzles. Man are they fun. First off, one of my favorite things in the world is to bounce lasers and lights around to make something happen. There is a pretty intricate laser puzzle early in the game that immediately got me hyped. The crazy thing, that wasn’t even my favorite puzzle. My Ruby Roundhouse puzzle was the most gratifying puzzle I’ve ever figured out in an escape room. It requires equal amounts of physical and mental prowess. You don’t have to be strong or fast, but you do have to know what you’re doing. The combination of individualized and group puzzles is in my top two of all escape rooms. There’s no real way for one person to do everything, which is how I prefer it. Also, it’s very entertaining to watch players do their individualized puzzles. Which is technically bad, since you are on a time limit, but finding the balance is part of the fun.
There was one puzzle that didn’t quite work. You have to basically recreate something in an abstract medium without knowing what it looks like. It’s a brilliant puzzle, just didn’t get delivered quite right. However, the game designers know about it and already have the perfect solution. By the time the room officially opens on the 29th, I’m sure it won’t be an issue.
The Jumanji Escape Room is easily one of my favorite escape rooms to date. The production value is incredible, the puzzles are flawlessly embedded into the story and are challenging, gratifying, and often times hilarious. It has a perfect blend of individual and teamwork that very few rooms come close to. Not to mention watching people perform their specific individual tasks are entertaining and hilarious. And on top of all that, it is Jumanji. Fans finally have a chance to jump into the world of Jumanji and have an authentic Jumanji experience. A chance to make a dream come true, challenge yourself, and do a laser puzzle, there are few better ways to spend your time. I give the Jumanji Escape Room Review a 5/5.
PS: Here’s a hint to beat the room, yell “Jumanji” as much as possible.