• Immersive Experiences

    Beat the Bomb – Immersive Review

    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: May, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $39 per ticket
    Story

    Beat the Bomb was structured as a series of mini-games that required heavy teamwork and top-tier communication skills. Success in each game accrued our team points which then translated to additional time for the final stage: the bomb diffusion finale.

    Puzzles

    Tasks required each player to communicate – keeping us all engaged, on our toes, and running around. These 10 minute long mini-games included:  

    • Laser Maze
    • Floor Grid
    • Hack Attack
    • Echo Chamber

    The bomb diffusion finale was frantic, yet approachable.

    Production Value/Immersion:

    Beat the Bomb had a futuristic, industrial vibe throughout the facility. The hazmat suits & synth-based soundtrack added a level of immersion and hype. All of the incorporated tech worked well and the games provided clear and fun instructions that helped guide us through the entire experience.

    Highlights

    Each 10 minute mini-game varied from physically taxing to the mentally challenging. Every stage required the whole team to participate. In between games, there were quick cool down periods for us to catch our breath. As we progressed through the various stages, Beat the Bomb did a great job really building up the suspense and energy for our inevitable confrontation with the bomb.

    As a team who is super competitive, we loved it. Beat the Bomb crafted an experience that not only molded us to maximize our bomb diffusing time, but also challenged us to strive for points in order to place as high as possible on their leaderboard. These elements of point values and rankings open to the door for replay-ability.

    Shortcomings

    Beat the Bomb provided many opportunities for some pretty epic photos, but mid-game, when a staff member tried to subtly enter the room to take some action shots, it felt a little odd and disruptive. The hazmat suits were so fun and immersive, however due to the high level of physical activity, some of ours ripped before the bomb room and we worried about getting paint on our clothes. Luckily, we avoided any mishaps.

    This Experience is a Good Match for

    Beat the Bomb thrives of competition and high stress environments. This experience is great for any escape room team looking for a challenge. Just be prepared to get a little messy.

     

    lockchix beat the bomb

    We beat the bomb & ranked 30th overall!

  • Escape Rooms,  Family Friendly,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Locks and Puzzles ‘Western Bank Heist’ Review

    Game: Western Bank Heist
    Location: Lakewood, NJ
    Date Played: July, 2018
    Team Size: 1 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $22 per ticket
    Story

    As outlaws wandering the desert for basic supplies, we stumbled upon a small town. Our mission was to attempt to rob the locals – western style – and make a swift getaway.

    Puzzles

    Locks and Puzzles provided an escape room with approachable and collaborative puzzles that covered a wide range in style. Most felt on-theme with the rest of the room’s decor and tied together the storyline.

    Production Value/Immersion:

    This heist had a quaint, toy box feel to it. None of the set pieces felt over the top, nor totally immersed players. The western theme was approached in an intentionally abstract fashion, taking a simplistic road rather than overly complicating anything.

    Highlights

    The real value in this escape room comes from its charm & accessibility. The room seemed logical and organized. Western Heist nailed the minimalist approach that, if done incorrectly, sometimes leaves players feeling underwhelmed.

    Shortcomings

    While most of the room felt grounded to the theme, there was one late game puzzle that felt thematically out of place.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Western Bank Heist is a perfect jumping off point for anyone looking to try out an escape room for the first time. This room is a perfect date idea but also a room that the whole family can contribute in.

    lakewood escape room
    Book your Heist experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Xscapes ‘The Twilight Zone’ Review

    Game: The Twilight Zone
    Company: Xscapes STIC 
    Location: Binghamton, NY
    Date Played: July, 2018
    Team Size: 4 – 8 players
    Duration: 90 minutes
    Price: $25 per ticket
    Story

    Your team is granted permission to investigate the office of Rod Serling’s vacation home office. 

    Puzzles

    The puzzles contained throughout this experience varied greatly in difficulty, as well as creativity.  Additionally, we loved that within a Rod Serling escape room, players did not need background knowledge of him, however you are beckoned to discover his life beyond his popular works.  

    As you move through the experience you are delighted to see just about every variation of lock that we’ve seen to date. Such diversity keeps you engaged as you push through and commands the use of a broad range of skill sets.

    Highlights

    The immersion is well established and felt throughout the entire experience. From the vintage typewriter to the old school tv, teams will feel as if they have taken a step back through time. The creators worked closely with the Serling family in order to recreate something rather unique and authentic.

    Each component felt unique and well defined. As an added thematic touch, there were several iconic “The Twilight Zone” clips embedded throughout.  

    Shortcomings

    While teams won’t need previous knowledge of Ron Serling himself, there was a puzzle that requires knowledge of a skill that we hadn’t come in with.

    As far as location, it is a bit off the beaten path which makes it a great stop along your travels.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Obviously for the fans of his work, this is a must play that is well worth the detour.  For the mere workload we highly recommend coming with a large group of teammates. That organizational friend of yours is definitely a must. 

     

    As an added bonus your participation actually goes to help others as the money raised is contributing to Southern Tier Indepdence Center (STIC) to help those with disabilities.  Not only do you get to experience an incredible escape room, but feel good that your money is helping the community.

    twilight zone
    Book your Twilight Zone experience here!
  • Board Games

    The Werewolf Experiment Review

    Game: The Werewolf Experiment
    Location: At Home
    Date Played: May, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30
    Story

    Dr. Gnaw’s experiment has gone awry. As a result, in one hour, you will be turned into a werewolf. Can you find the antidote before time runs out?

    Puzzles

    The game provides a good mix of puzzles, all of which range in type and level of difficulty. Many puzzles are pencil and paper or physical locks. Although the locks are plastic, they worked well and added the feel of working through an actual room.

    Production Value/Immersion

    All elements of unlocking clues, getting hints, and playing under a time crunch are incorporated into this at-home game. The experience captured the thematic and engaging elements of playing an escape room without having to travel to be in one. Having to use keen observation to piece everything together made it feel like we were searching through a room rather than just playing a board game. It was interesting how every component within the game board box really mattered. That level of detail assisted in bringing the game off of the board and increased the immersion.

    Highlights

    We played the game with 6 people, but there was still enough for everyone to contribute and the instructions made it very easy to pick up and play without any confusion. With multiple, varied puzzles and all players sitting around one table, it was easy to refocus efforts on another puzzle and collaborate with different players. The locks worked perfectly and there was a great clue system if stuck. It’s also worth noting that the game provides a version with Alexa functionality which is a cool add-on.

    Shortcomings

    Overall, the game ran smoothly. However, one prop did not work correctly. This broken element left us without a vital clue for some time. We were able to use a hint to figure out what had gone wrong, but it was a big snag in the overall game flow.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Teams that want to spend a night in.

    Buy The Werewolf Experiment here!
  • Escape Rooms,  Family Friendly,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Solve It Sherlock ‘The Magician’s Secret’ Review

    Game: The Magician’s Secret
    Location: Neptune, NJ
    Date Played: May, 2018
    Team Size: 1 – 5 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    During his final performance, Farazan disappeared and the Queen diamond vanished along with him.

    Puzzles

    Puzzles within the room were a creative collaboration between riddles and actions, all of which required a keen sense of observation. They found a perfect balance between being complex enough to require a bit of thought but also provided players with everything they needed if they were to pay enough close attention.

    The overarching takeaway was how well the puzzles were designed into the theme. Instead of following a linear track, we found ourselves piecing together the acts of the magician’s show as we uncovered more secrets and items within the room. Everything we did matched the storyline and was formatted into organized sheets that explained each part of the performance all leading up to the clearly outlined grand finale.

    Highlights

    Like the other room we’ve done at Solve It Sherlock, Pirates of the Golden Skull, the set and props are once again very polished and seamless. The production level feels more theatrical and professional as opposed to other rooms that can feel a bit DIY when it comes to surroundings. Less worry about seeing behind the scenes and breaking things and more focus on puzzles.

    We’ve done many rooms that fall into the pattern of solve for code, open lock. This room incorporated an interesting twist by adding sort of “mini games” on boxes to solve for codes. This allowed for multiple players to work on multiple boxes and added another step to finding an item rather than just simply using a key to open the box.

    Shortcomings

    Many of the hiccups that we ran into were actually user-error on our end rather than issues with the room. The two major puzzles we got stuck on were designed with helpful light indications to let players know once they had made a mistake in the process of solving them. We had tried to rush through both puzzles and had to take a step back and slow down.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    More seasoned players looking for some puzzles to get you thinking outside of the box.

    solve it sherlock magician
    Book your Magician Experience here!