Escape from the Submarine by SCRAP / Real Escape Game is the latest in a long series of large-scale puzzle events run by the San Francisco branch of SCRAP. This one takes place in their new event hall, the SCRAP Hall of Heroes. Note that this is not an escape room.
This review is spoiler free!
Story and Background
This is not an escape room. Escape from the Submarine is large-scale 60 minute puzzle event where multiple 6-person teams seated at small tables play the same game simultaneously. Expect the same rough formula as their other large-scale puzzle events (e.g. Cursed Forest, Werewolf Village, Bank, Auction, Moon Base, Magic Show).
Here is the official story from their booking website:
A mysterious artifact has led you to the discovery of the century. The only problem is, it’s deep underwater, and your submarine has become lodged in a seabed fissure. The fate of the crew rests on your shoulders. Can you find a way out, or will you sink like a rock?
As with other SCRAP escape games, the story sets the theme for some of later puzzles and is important to pay attention to if you want to escape.
- Location: SCRAP’s Hall of Heroes at 1746 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115 (Japantown)
- Players: 6 per team (I highly recommend buying tickets in groups of 6 so you can play with friends instead of strangers).
- Price: $31.50 per person (including taxes and fees)
- Duration: 60 minutes
- Overall Rating: ★★★★
The New Space
Escape from the Submarine is set in SCRAP’s new “event hall”, which occupies the former space of San Francisco’s Time Travel Lab. The new event hall is much smaller in capacity than their previous games, and only holds 10 teams of 6 people each.
The smaller space is somewhat appropriate for a Submarine-themed game. However, this new space, in comparison to the old ballrooms or stadiums, makes the event lose some of its grandeur.
The different areas you have to go to are closer together, the stage is more makeshift, and the various “stations” that you have to go to are constructed rather than part of the ballroom / stadium itself.
This tweet by SCRAP shows the construction of the space in the old location of the Time Travel Lab.
In case you didn't know, it takes a lot of man power to build a Submarine. Watch our crew work! pic.twitter.com/1i28QsJ2y7
— Real Escape Game (@realegame) August 21, 2016
The videos in this game notably have voice acting, instead of being just text on the screen. The videos were more amusing than normal and were a lot of fun.
The decor of the room is adequate, but by no means impressive. The walls were mostly just stark black with some various submarine-inspired elements thrown in. Definitely don’t expect the professional-level decor from Escape from the Cursed Forest.
The puzzles follow the same distinctive SCRAP style, with easier, “brain-teaser” type puzzles in the beginning and the (notoriously) difficult puzzles at the end. The puzzles are mostly paper-puzzles that live up to the consistently high level of polish that I’ve come to expect from SCRAP games.
One of the last puzzles we thought was pretty cool, although we will refrain from saying any more.
The escape rate for the first three days was 5 out of 66, or 7.6%.
These are general tips that are learned from playing other SCRAP large-scale puzzle events. These tips apply equally to all of SCRAP’s large-scale puzzle events, so there are no spoilers here.
- Listen to your host – They always say something that is important.
- Look over everything – Sometimes critical information is in less obvious locations. Look / read over all of your game materials and everything around the room.
- Pay attention to small details – SCRAP puzzles are created with extreme attention to detail, so anything that looks out of place will likely eventually be important.
If you’re new to SCRAP puzzles and are interested in what they look and feel like, try out this sampler that was part of a preview promo for one of their other large-scale puzzle events (Escape from the Walled City).
This tweet by SCRAP shows the entrance to the Escape from the Submarine space:
The SCRAP's Hall of Heroes is just open now! pic.twitter.com/N7E0XR3ywr
— Real Escape Game (@realegame) August 31, 2016
Overall Recommendation ★★★★
Our overall recommendation will depend on your past experience with SCRAP games.
If you like puzzles but have never done anything by SCRAP… We’d recommend getting your feet wet with their Escape from the Time Travel Lab in San Jose. It’s our very favorite SCRAP game and an amazing way to get introduced to SCRAP games (and escape rooms). Also do this event – SCRAP’s events are always produced very well and can be great fun.
If you’ve done a SCRAP escape room but not their large scale event… try it out! If you enjoy their escape rooms, these events are worth trying out at least once. This is especially true if you’ve done one of their escape rooms before and enjoyed it!
If you’ve done these SCRAP large-scale events before and didn’t enjoy it… you’ll probably not enjoy this one either. The new space is not as impressive and the game doesn’t really have any stand-out new mechanics (however it does have some cool new puzzles).
If you’ve done these SCRAP large-scale events before and enjoyed it… by all means do this one as well! The vast majority of people during our session were returning players and loyal SCRAP fans.
Book your tickets for the San Francisco game at http://realescapegame.com/sf_submarine/ and if it applies, let them know you heard of them via “EscapeRoomTips.com”!