Komnata Quest - Metro Exodus - Review
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Date Played: January, 2019
Team Size: 10 players
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: Free through Reservation
We are always on the look-out for new escape experiences to try. Companies have been utilizing experiential pop-ups and escape rooms more and more, and we’ve found it interesting to compare and contrast each one’s take. They can be a difficult hurdle to jump as pop-ups are typically temporary installations that have to be both user-friendly to a more general audience and be able to pump through as players as quickly as possible.
With that said, we were excited to hear about the one-weekend-only collaboration between XBOX and Komnata Quest to promote the launch of Microsoft’s game, Metro Exodus. Unfortunately, our actual experience with it sort of reinforced our decision to own Playstations…
Available only on February 16th and 17th and exclusive to the Brooklyn location, Escape Metro Exodus advertised limited availability and prompted a name, e-mail, and phone number in order to vie for one of the coveted time slots. If you were lucky enough to be contacted by them, they’d ask for your preferred sessions and get back to you if you were chosen to fill one of them.
Happy to hear back, we got ourselves down for the 12:10 PM on Sunday but were not given any sort of confirmation beyond the phone conversation. That confirmation would have come in handy when we arrived 15 minutes early, as instructed only to find a padlocked door. It may sound enticing but that padlock was not part of the experience itself. After a few quick calls, it turned out that staff had not been made aware of our booking time. We were told to sit tight and hopefully someone would arrive closer to 1 PM. After explaining how we’d traveled in from out of the area, we were given an awesome accommodation and were able to play one of the few Komnata rooms we had left to try. After our bonus room, we were told, they’d be all set for us to play the pop-up!
Unfortunately, once we returned to the pop-up location, we were given more wait time as we were added onto the 1:40 PM slot to be joined by 6 other players. We sat tight for another 40 minutes (55 if you count the 15 minutes that the rest of the group showed up late) and were finally (!) able to give the room a try!
Escape Metro Exodus took the existing Bullets and Broken Hearts room and overlaid it with military props and netting. It was a cool experience to get to see a room that we had been familiar with altered to have a totally different theme, however the similarities in terms of puzzles were a bit too close for comfort. Like the original Bullets game, teams were split with the goal of figuring out how to come together once more. We found ourselves working through our portion rather quickly as the general structure of what to do had only been altered slightly. Only having played a few public games before, we also found ourselves standing around in our locked room as the only way to move forward was for the strangers we had been paired with to complete the lock on the other side. With our familiarity with the room already in our pockets, needless to say, we made it out.
Unfortunately, our experience with Escape Metro Exodus was less than desirable. The booking time that we were given was not only forgotten about but we weren’t even able to actually start the room until close to two hours later.
We had hoped for an interesting and unique experience for a promotion that was collaborated on with such a big brand name, however we came to find a room we had done before with a minor “face lift”.
Marketing through escape rooms and other experiences, especially ones that have such short runs can be tough. It’s new water to venture into. However, the lack of organization that prefaced us even getting to try to the room left a bad taste in our mouths and added to the dampened experience we had. We hope to see these sort of collaborations expand and improve over time so that more personalized and immersive experiences can be woven into the schedule of standard rooms. Here’s to better ones ahead.