• Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Locked Up Escape ‘Escape the Pharaoh’s Tomb’ Review

    Game: Escape the Pharaoh’s Tomb
    Location: Buffalo, NY
    Date Played: July, 2018
    Team Size: 4 – 10 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    Investigating the tomb of Pharaoh Khufu, your party gets trapped inside. We have 60 minutes to find our way out before it’s sealed forever.

    Puzzles

    There was a very good variety of puzzles & tasks within this tomb. Each aspect of the game felt like it belonged buried with Pharaoh Khufu. There were several features that we had never experienced before that left us very impressed.   

    Production Value/Immersion:

    The depth of immersion within this room tickled all our senses. The set design was top notch. Going through this experience, it’s evident that the creators come from a haunt background. It added a flair of theatrics which added to the overall experience. 

    Being in a tomb, we felt confined but not tight for space. 

    Highlights

    Gameplay never felt linear. The puzzles and tasks never felt like busy work, and all amounted to key aspects of furthering the game. 

    Additionally, post-game Locked Up Escape will email every participant with the customary photo-op, as well as, how well the team scored on several in-game achievements. For enthusiasts like us, this level of post game engagement has us already planning our next visit.

    Shortcomings

    For larger teams, this room might pose little resistance for seasoned enthusiasts.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This room brought out the adventurer in us. Escape the Pharaohs Tomb is a great fit for any player not worried about the sand between their toes. This is easily our favorite Egyptian themed room to date.

    escape the pharaoh
    Book your Tomb experience here!
    Disclosure: Locked Up Escape Games comped our tickets for this game.
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Sherlocked’ Review

    Game: Sherlocked
    Company: Komnata Quest 
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: July, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 5 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $40 per ticket
    Story

    Framed for murdering a politician, your team must work to find evidence to exonerate the famous sleuth, Sherlock Holmes.

    Puzzles

    This room really stretches the boundaries on standard puzzles and presents a truly broad variety of creative escape room functionality. The range of puzzles pushes you into the mindset and experience of Sherlock Holmes by making you feel as though you are really doing detective work. Throughout each point in the story, there are really unique, memorable puzzles – things we have never seen or heard of before.

    Highlights

    Our Game Master committed to character from start to finish, hints were delivered in a manner that fit in seamlessly with the theme, and generally, puzzles were fun and required us to think outside of the box. We were never bored, as there was always something to do.

    Shortcomings

    While we appreciate story knowledge and integration, the end game consisted of a multiple choice puzzle which required a very thorough recitation of the materials provided throughout the game. Some answers seemed to rely on semantics more than general information that you would have picked up throughout the room by accomplishing things.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Intermediate to experienced players. This room would be very difficult for beginners due to the amount of puzzles to work through and their level of intricacy.

    Book your Sherlocked experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  Family Friendly,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Amazing Escape Room Freehold ‘Magician’s Training’ Review

    Game: Magician’s Training
    Location: Freehold, NJ
    Date Played: February, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
     
    Story

    As a magician’s apprentice, you are tasked to prove your wits in order to study alongside the Master Magician.

    Puzzles

    Amazing Escape Room did a great job of placing puzzles that ranged in creativity and complexity. While none were overly difficult, they ranged from audible to visual to standard numeric locks. Puzzles were set up so that they were worked through in a linear fashion, while still allowing multiple parties to partake in them without over-crowding.

    Highlights

    The progression from one setting to the next was done well leading up to an unexpected feature. An end of game puzzle was also interesting and creatively tied together the theme and storyline of the room.

    Shortcomings

    The production was somewhat lacking as the setting felt like really, just a room, rather than transporting us to a magician’s quarters. One of the trapdoors was accidentally forced open by a member of our team as the door was observed to be ajar. The trap door was unable to be reset properly so we were instructed to ignore the items, until prompted by the Game Master.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    As it is not overly challenging, the room is a good fit for new players, however seasoned players would enjoy it as well. The room is also suitable for families and younger children.

     

    Book your Magician experience here!

  • Escape Rooms,  Horror Themed,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Cursed’ Review

    Game: Cursed
    Company: Komnata Quest
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: September, 2017
    Team Size: 1 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $40 per ticket
     
    Story: 

     

    Seven young girls were murdered in an abandoned house. You and your team investigate to find out more details surrounding these suspicious circumstances.

    Puzzles: 

    Typical to most Komnata rooms, a majority of the puzzles throughout were task-based and tactile – requiring players to complete an action, locate an object, or place items together. While there were not tons of puzzles across the game, there was still plenty to do.

    However, the most unforgettable puzzle was placed right at the start. Unlike anything we had seen before, this challenge easily became one of our most memorable ones in any escape game.

    Highlights:

    One of the most notable aspects of the experience was the eerie ambiance that the game established. There was plenty of space and the designers built a layout that creatively wove us throughout the sisters’ house. On top of that, each space was filled with darkness and fog. These elements blurred the boundaries of the rooms and added a level of terror as we were unable to determine what lie ahead or even right in front of us at times.

    The game was nonlinear and focused around our team locating several objects and bringing them back to one main area. This allowed many players to search around, discover, and contribute different pieces to the overall game.

    The jump scares were good. They were tastefully executed, well-hidden, and didn’t feel cheap. They triggerd at perfectly unexpected times so we never saw them coming.

    Shortcomings:

    The only negative that we encountered was that a few of the scares triggered when only one or two people were there to see them. As horror junkies, we would have all liked to have witnessed them, but perhaps only the bravest person to venture forward first was the one to enjoy it.

    Good Match For:

    This room is better suited for more intermediate to experienced players. There are some creatively intricate answers to puzzles and the large, complex room would be a lot to unbox for those who are brand new to the scene. It should also go without saying that for anyone who is looking for a good scare, this room will deliver.

    We’d love to talk more about this room as there were so many moments where mechanics functioned in very cool ways, however we won’t spoil anything. So if you’re brave enough, don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy a bloodcurdling good time that opens dramatically and ends with a bang.

    Komnata Quest Cursed

    Book your Cursed experience here!

  • Escape Rooms,  Horror Themed,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Trap Door Escape ‘Bogeyman’ Review

     Game: Bogeyman
    Location: Red Bank, NJ
    Date Played: May, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 10 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: Starting at $25 per ticket
    Guest Reviewer: Christian Wagner

     

    Setting:

    The premise of this experience is the Bogeyman has taken 3 children from a family and, as paranormal investigators, you have to recover all of the totems to free them from the Bogeyman’s dimension. It’s certainly not re-inventing the wheel, but the potential to make it a frightful and creepy experience is there.

    Scares:

    Even with my heightened state of fear, I can look back and say the gags were, for the most part, fairly obvious and limited despite me still jumping for every trick they had lined up. Most of them were set up via machinery that was not well-hidden so you knew WHAT was going to happen…maybe just not when. The live actor added to the experience, popping out in from a door every now and then along with making noises, throwing a few objects, or shaking a piece of furniture. There were also several moments where he could reach out and grab you through small holes as you were walking through a hallway.

    Puzzles:

    As for the rooms and puzzles themselves, they were fairly limited and linear-based albeit with a few nice touches sprinkled throughout.. The majority of the puzzles were number-based locks with only 1 to 2 steps to unlocking the chest to move onto the next room which meant half of the team was standing around watching the other members try to decipher the clue(s) to get the code.

    Overall:

    Trap Door Escape Room leaves much to be desired, especially if you are a seasoned escape room junkie. With the limited puzzles, small rooms, and obvious scares, this is one experience that left us more with the “what if’s” and “I wish they did…” rather than a desire to come back another time. The potential to stand out is there but it hasn’t been reached just yet.

     

    LockChix Addendum:

    We agree with Christian’s take that puzzles are fairly limited. There were some very creative ways in which we used our surroundings to discover the code and the puzzles perfectly fit the theme, however the recurring pattern of number lock after number lock left a bit to be desired in terms of type of puzzle and action.

    Biggest Highlight:

    At the start of the game, we found ourselves in the family’s hallway with the choice as to which room we would like to begin in. This was a cool feature which enhanced what was already a creative layout that really made us feel as though we were moving through “Upside-down”-like passageways.

    Biggest Shortcoming: 

    Rooms were very dark – it was clear that this was an intentional feature to help establish a spooky ambiance. However at times, it was very difficult to see much of our belongings and we were forced to fumble with our cell phones for light.

    There were times where hints were difficult to hear and we had to stop and really focus or have them repeated.

    trap door bogeyman
    Book your Bogeyman experience here!
  • Immersive Experiences

    The Pint Shop – Immersive Review

    the pint shop banner

    Experience: The Pint Shop
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Visited: June  2018
    Price: Free

    The Pint Shop is the final product served up when an aesthetic brand like Target collaborates with famous pop-up, Museum of Ice Cream in order to promote a new line of frozen treats. This “interactive grocery destination” serves up a small taste of what both bring to the table: the Instagram-able flair of it’s parent pop-up blended together with a keen eye for customer experience and topped off with a bit of quirkiness.

    This can’t-miss storefront, located just off of the Chelsea High Line, provides guests with a memorable visit through it’s use of vibrant colors and well-thought-out interactives.  Normally, attempting to get the perfect photos at an Instagram-trap such as this on a summer Saturday could easily prove to be a nightmare given the crowds. However, Pint Shop does a great job of managing the line and staggering it well enough to give each guest a proper experience.

    the pint shop rae

    Once inside, there seems to be as many different things to do as there are flavors of ice cream. Activities range from being able to taste test the product itself to a series of photo stations built into larger-than-life ice cream pints including the Cherrylicious flavored ball pit & the Sprinkle Pool swing. Beyond that, guests can also shop the grocery store aisles that perfectly weave the exhibit’s for sale merchandise into even more opportunities to snap the perfect picture, as each aisle is distinctly color-correlated to a different flavor of ice cream. Even though all items on the shelves are for sale, aside from an ice cream recipe book & ice cream chain, the color-coded products resemble the objects that the flavors are named after more so than ice cream itself. While there was plenty of cherry-decorated merchandise to go around, we envied the 3-scoop ice cream enamel pin on the pop-up host’s jumpsuit and would have loved to have walked out with more ice-cream-centric merchandise!

    The attention to detail is what really put this pint sized pop-up over the top. Every corner of the store serves as a great photo-op as there no wasted space. It’s always a nice touch when there is no visible “backstage” area to hinder immersion levels.

    Verdict:

    From the glitter-covered ropes containing the crowds waiting outside to the perfectly color-coordinated shopping aisles, Pint Shop has an eye for adorable detail. This small taste of what the Museum of Ice Cream has to offer left us wanting more & achieved its marketing goal of keeping us excited to try the new line of ice cream. Ranging from Churro Churro to Vanillionaire to Nana Banana, the LockChix look forward to tasting more on July 8th when they hit Target shelves!