Escape Chambers Chicago: The Job
You have to break into the office of a snitch to recover a thumb drive before the police and escape without being caught.
Location: 4906 W. Irving Park Rd. Chicago, IL.
Time: 60 minutes
Capacity: 12. I recommend 4. Our group of 5 was too large.
Price: $30.00 per ticket
Parking/Public Access: Limited, metered street parking
Escape: Of course!
Located in a busy, but shady neighborhood, this place was a little hard to find. It was poorly marked as well. When we arrived, we could not open the front door. The gamemaster informed us she keeps it locked because of the drunk, homeless man outside who keeps trying to come in. Yikes! Then she went outside for a smoke break.
The decor in the front…pretty sure this used to be a dog groomer/vet/doggie day care. What gives it away? The astroturf in the window and smell of dog urnine permeating the place. There wasn’t enough seating for our group of 5 and we arrived early so we stood around awkwardly. To alleviate this situation we all opted to use the bathroom, which turned out to be decrepit and in the back of a creepy hallway.
Things only got worse. We had a Groupon but were informed that we had to pay taxes now. We had no idea there would be additional charges and that was not OK. But we paid and were pumped to play.
The gamemaster started prepping us to go in the room. The length of the intro was perfect. She had a baby monitor hanging in her cleavage so she could listen to the other room that she was running while she was talking to us. She was super nice, but c’mon, in your cleavage? I know you work in a crappy neighborhood in a stinky building, but let’s try to class it up just a little.
Once in the room we all had to shed our belongings onto the floor. The coats and hats and gloves and purses took up a lot of floor space.
This room uses an iPad to give clues and you need to use a QR code at points. Which is fine if you know what you are doing. We didn’t. We actually needed help on this and she had to explain it mid-game.
THEME, SET, AND PUZZLES:
Steal something from an office and escape…not an original theme.
Standard goodwill furniture fills the office. That is fine except for a couple of things…the desk is HUGE and takes up too much space. We couldn’t pull the chair out from the desk all of the way because it hit the table behind it, severely impeding our progress. This room has a max capacity of 12 (!!!!!) but we could only fit 2 people behind the desk at a time. I honestly have no idea how they shove 12 people into that room. Six, maybe 8 if you really like each other, but not 12. One piece of furniture had missing knobs missing and stuck doors so we thought we would find missing parts. Nope, they just bought cheap, broken furniture. Don’t get me wrong, most places get their furniture on the cheap and I have no problem with that…but make sure that it works!
They distributed the clues clustered together and accessible to only a couple of people at a time. Or worse, once you had the clue it was something that only one person could work on at a time. Frequently in our team of 5, 3 people just hung about…one even completely disassembled the coatrack out of sheer boredom.
I did like that there were a lot of smaller rooms to access BUT each room was smaller than the last, so eventually there was only enough room for one person at a time. Again, that left people out of the game.
No puzzles stood out as innovative or different. In fact, the only standout was my surprise at having read a number of the books in the room.
At the end of the day, The Job presents standard fare material in a sub-standard way. They had the opportunity to do something great because they had a lot of space to work with but dropped the ball.
Minimal. We used an iPad in the room to ask for clues and some magnetic locks. Everything functioned properly.
SHOULD I GO?
Skip it. I didn’t like this one. There are a lot of escape rooms in the area, try one of those instead…even if you Groupon it like we did. Newbies may be impressed with some of the hidden puzzles, but seasoned vets will not be impressed.