• 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,  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!
  • 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,  Family Friendly,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Escape the Puzzle ‘Carnival’ Review

    Game: Carnival
    Location: Neptune, NJ
    Date Played: May, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    After finding yourself alone at a carnival, you are tasked to figure out just why it is empty.

    Puzzles

    There was a large range of type and difficulty as the room included both typical escape room puzzles as well as more hands-on task-based ones. Many puzzles required a fun and creative level of dexterity. All were perfectly incorporated into the theme. We felt as though we had stepped foot onto carnival grounds with the challenge to think through each component of the fairgrounds show.

    Highlights

    The layout of the space was not as cut and dry as it seemed. There were fun surprises leading up to a nice finale. Given the spacious areas and number of puzzles, even a larger group would have plenty to do without feeling on top of each other.

    Shortcomings

    While we did feel as though we were at a Carnival, the more specific details of the storyline and our true mission were not as pronounced and we felt a lack of overall narrative. While the props and surroundings were cleverly built, some showed small signs of wear and tear. Additionally, a puzzle including small marbles was not constructed in a way to keep the marbles secure and we had to pick up the ones that fell out.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Both kids and adults alike. The experience is family-friendly and has the ability to scale up to larger groups.

    escape the puzzle room
    Book your Carnival experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  Family Friendly,  New Jersey Escape Rooms

    Amazing Escape Room Freehold ‘The Jungle’ Review

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

    You find yourself trapped within a jungle-themed board game where players must make it to the end if they hope to escape.

    Puzzles

    Puzzles within this room are not traditional lock and key set-ups. The room mainly relies on more tech-heavy features such as press mechanisms that trigger doors to open. This technical element resulted in some issues for us as there tended to be delays in response and we were forced to retry our actions and wait for the items to register.

    Highlights

    There were enough tasks to complete to keep a full group engaged without stepping on each other’s toes. The theme was unique and adequately established the setting that it aimed to achieve.

    Shortcomings

    As mentioned, we encountered several lags between our actions and the mechanisms’ responses. Some components took enough time to register and trigger that we had to repeat them. We were able to complete parts of the main puzzle with misguided logic – as our train of thought did not actually match how the puzzle was intended to be solved.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    The room hits the nostalgic feels for all 90’s kids. It is a good beginner room that is family-friendly.

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

    Amazing Escape Room Freehold ‘The Apartment’ Review

     Game: The Apartment
    Location: Freehold, NJ
    Date Played: June, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
     
    Story
    Scramble to prepare dinner and find an anniversary gift before your wife returns home.   
     
    Puzzles
    The Apartment was made up of puzzles that were interesting, surprising, and creative. Each one fit the theme and setting of the room while furthering the story. Additionally, there was a good variety of objects to interact with in innovative ways. 

     

    Highlights
    The set was done well from an aesthetic perspective. Puzzles made thematic sense and the room utilized many tech-driven elements that seamlessly responded. Because all elements were clean and functioned perfectly, the room was low stress and low frustration. For the 80s kids, trinkets from that era were spread around the setting adding a nice touch of nostalgia. 
     
    Shortcomings
    As the game went on, the puzzles seemed to get more and more straightforward and unfortunately less challenging. Our group was able to move very quickly through the second half of the game. When we finished this room, we had close to 35 minutes remaining. 

     

    The story has apparently changed since we have played the game but at the time, the plot line was very lacking or even nonexistent. Furthermore, we would have been entirely unaware of the goal or even the setting of the game if we had not read it online.  
     
    This Room is a Good Match for
    Players who are just beginning and looking to get their feet wet. It is a family-friendly room that would be fun for more varied groups of less-experienced players. Finally, some players with 80s nostalgia would also get a kick out of this room. 
    Book your Apartment adventure here!