The Alita Experience

Although predicted that it will do horribly, there's an upcoming sci-fi movie coming out called Alita: Battle Angel. In order to get people ready for release, The Alita Experience was created. It was a pop up that was only in 3 cities in the US: New York, Los Angeles, and Austin. One of my coworkers is pretty excited about the movie, and its definitely a unique event, so I figured "why not just get a little group together?" It just so happens that little group consisted only of me, him, and his brother, but hey, good enough, right? I normally go everywhere alone; this time I was a little more cautious because I didn't want to be thrown into and forced to teamwork with a group of people I didn't know. Social anxiety is a bitch. But alas, the three of us got our "Passports to Iron City" (Iron City is a city from the movie, which this event was designed after).

For context, the experience was marketed as a life-sized board game. A cut out of a review featured on the site read "part escape room, part theme park, all fun!" The whole place was designed in a futuristic looking way - the style of the universe in the movie - an all the workers were dressed as gritty residents like in the movie as well. One guy had a mechanical arm, another lady has a spread of feathers behind her ear. One of the more interesting decorations was a jukebox, and the record that was playing was titled "Livin' Alita Loca." How punny. Upon arriving, you register up front, and name badges are made for you. Two strangers were added to our team. The girl was going as a birthday present to herself and she forced her boyfriend (who knew nothing about the movie) to come along. It was comforting to know that someone else would be clueless. After meeting our teammates, we were released in Kansas Bar. Here we were instructed to gather clues and come up with a strategy for one hour. But let's the honest, the real reason was because they wanted us to buy some of their exclusive limited-time beer for $10 a can... The beer was pomegranate and lime flavored. I caved and bought one despite my cheapskate ways. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but the guy next to us was talking about how terrible it was. I will say that you have to like sour beers to enjoy this flavor: a bold move to have something like that be your only beer for sale. We were then released into the wild. I 100% expected this to be an escape room after reading those words. It wasn't. At all. Their description of a lifesize board game was pretty accurate. What does that mean? You went around to different stations and compete in different mini-games or puzzles. One of these was an actual jigsaw puzzle that had to be completed in under 3 minutes. Another was reaching into a few paper bags and guessing what you were touching without looking. Right next to that was similiar, but you had to guess by smell instead of touch. The games were a little easy, but since is family friendly, one would assume its supposed to be kid friendly.

Each game earned you a different amount of points. We were in the lead the entire time. We are champions!... sort of. At the end, you bet all points on a motor ball game (it's like a horse race, but... not). For some reason, despite everything else being so simple, we decided the obvious choice of who to bet on was just too easy. And just like that, we went from being in the lead to being dead last -- with negative points. Now we are the champions of self-sabotage.


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