Bali, Nov 2019
If you find yourself in Bali, Indonesia, I recommend a brief respite from the sun, sea and cocktails at the Pandora Experience in Kuta. Having 25 games across 9 locations in Indonesia, the majority of games at Pandora Experience are 120 minutes, with the rest being the standard 60 minutes. The games are also rated on difficulty, fear factor and physical activity, which is arbitrary as standards differs, but can be helpful for beginners.
The four games available in Kuta are all 120 minutes and given that my teammate was playing only her second escape game, we took on their less difficult Alcatraz game: 4/5 in difficulty but 5/5 in physicality. This isn’t the standard ‘wrongful imprisonment’ storyline – instead, a supernatural event has taken place at Alcatraz and you’ve been sent to investigate, only to discover…
Alcatraz was a fun and physically challenging adventure, set in a memorably elaborate space, delivering elements of surprises which were truly pleasing. Playing as a two, we were constantly exploring in this massive area. They made a good attempt at building the theme and storyline, combining traditional puzzles with some physically challenges, although game flow was linear and puzzles were moderately easy, with exceptions when cryptic riddles took a leap to understand. Clearer feedback from solving a couple of the tech puzzles would have helped lessen the confusion.
We took 90 mins to escape with some hints to clarify ambiguities but it’s safe to say a team of 2 will have no issue making it out. However, be warned that this game is not suitable if you have a fear of heights (this game would not likely clear health and safety standards of other countries). The set and physicality were very impressive, particularly for some of the transitions and for the sheer scale of the space, but the puzzles were often unimaginative and sometimes weak – beginners will likely be impressed by it more than enthusiasts will.