• Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Mission Escape Games ‘Escape the Hydeout’ Review

    Game: Escape the Hydeout
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: August, 2017
    Team Size: 1 – 8 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story

    Dr. Jekyll has disappeared, leaving clues behind hinting his whereabouts. You must uncover the mystery of where he is before evil doctor Hyde appears. 

    Puzzles

    Puzzles were spread across a good variety and ranged between task-based objectives to more detail-oriented logic activities. Many integrated cool features that were tricky to locate at first, but resulted in several wow-moments.

    Highlights

    While lacking one large remarkable moment, all puzzles to work through contributed to an overall solid experience. Everything made sense and operated well from a tech perspective.

    Shortcomings

    Despite being billed as a Jekyll and Hyde room, the theme and story never seemed to surface. With such a strong, familiar theme, it seemed like a missed opportunity artistically. Furthermore, it felt like we were in an escape room, rather than the office of a twisted doctor.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This is a solid room for beginners and families. There are no elements that are too scary or challenging. It’s a great way to get your feet wet.

    Book your Hydeout experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Exit Escape Room ‘High Speed’ Review

    Game: High Speed
    Company: Exit Escape Room  
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: August, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 7 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story

    The conductor of the NYC Subway 1 Train has kicked the cars into full speed and cut the brakes. We had to save ourselves as well as our fellow passengers.

    Puzzles

    Each puzzle over the course of the game was expertly interwoven into the environment. Subtle clues were given to us through the décor in our surroundings. Our interactions with the puzzles matched actions that we would take on a real-life subway car.

    Production Value/Immersion

    It’s always so exciting to have the Game Master prep us for the room while we have already stepped into the world of the game – the main entrance to it all was a subway platform and an impressive rendering of the outside of a subway car itself. During the game, the set was a replica of a 1 Train with puzzles cleverly hidden throughout.

    As far as immersion is concerned, each puzzle was focused around an action that you would take while riding the subway or a prompt to interact with train controls. This made sense within the story, as we were tasked to regain control of the runaway train.

    Highlights

    The impressive set and the interesting ways in which we were prompted to interact with it was definitely the biggest takeaway. We were told that a couple constructed the entire set from their home which is awesome! The theme itself was also unique and different from your typical storyline.

    Shortcomings

    While the room was very immersive, other than the knowledge that the conductor had gone rogue, there was no imminent sense of danger throughout the game. Some of the mechanical portions of the game took several attempts to register our answer.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Players with a bit more experience who are looking for something a bit different from your standard room. For all the escape rooms we’ve taken on in New York City, High Speed felt the truest to its location.

    high speed escape room
    Book your High Speed experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ Review

    Game: 7 Deadly Sins
    Company: Komnata Quest
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: September, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    Sent to locate a missing agent, your team must infiltrate one of the most perverse locations in the city.

    Puzzles

    Interactions over the course of this room were not your standard lock and key, but they definitely included handcuffs.

    Typical to Komnata rooms, puzzles relied more on searching and task-based solutions. These included some audio and tactile puzzles that added to the sensual theme of the room.  

    Production Value / Immersion

    Seven Deadly Sins’ production was sensory overload from the get go. As our team navigated sections of this exotic escape room, the immersion was magnified by its sights and sounds. Parts of the room felt cheap and seedy, which normally would be a negative, but honestly worked for this perverse escape.

    Highlights

    An adult change of pace from normal themes with an interesting room set-up. Komnata nails the horror genre so well, but it was great to experience their take on a rare theme in this medium.

    One of the more memorable moments from this room was how it incorporated a fun video game aspect to the experience.

    Shortcomings

    As original as this room was, it wasn’t without its faults. The narrative takes a backseat to the overall shock factor of the rest of the room. Our team seemed to forget about what we were doing until the very end of the experience.

    It’s also a noticeably older room. Some triggers took several attempts and there was noticeable wear and tear markings on key aspects of the room.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This escape room is definitely not for the shy & conservative. Make sure to leave the children at home during this experience geared best towards couples.

     
    Komnata Quest Seven Sinful Pleasures
    Book your Sinful experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Unreal Escapes ‘Battleship’ Review

    Game: Battleship
    Company:  Unreal Escapes
    Location: Staten Island, NY
    Date Played: September, 2018
    Team Size: 2 – 10 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket
    Story

    A third World War has been launched. The US Naval fleet has been wiped out and the only remaining hope is the decommissioned USS Staten Island.

    Puzzles

    Battleship presented a very wide range of puzzles. Interactions ran the gamut from locks and hide & seek style searching to collaborative, multi-step tasks that had us spread out across several stations of the ship. In addition to variety, every puzzle was also thematic & practical. Our actions made sense with the goals of our narrative and puzzles were solved by thinking logically about what was going on in the ship.

    Production Value / Immersion

    The details of this set were second to none. It’s evident that Unreal Escapes values immersion in their escape rooms and it showed. Every key component felt at home within the setting. Additionally, there were no visible wires or backend equipment that stood out to our team. In every sense, Battleship felt like teams were on board a floating fortress.

    This room made excellent use of video screens, incorporating them in clever ways. And finally, we got to see a fun water feature, which we won’t spoil.

    Highlights

    For players that love a good narrative, the overall experience is incredible. Unlike some escape rooms we’ve done in the past, this experience gives you clear objectives that are engaging to complete. There’s a moment in the gameplay where everything within the story gets shaken up a bit. While this could be disorienting to some players, for us, this greatly enhanced the experience. Following instructions carefully, after a short time, we were able to get back on course.

    Holding true to the layout of a ship, areas of the room were a bit smaller size-wise, however we felt that there was plenty for teams to simultaneously work on. This lack of bottlenecking really added to our experience as well.

    Shortcomings

    Newer players might need some extra guidance in working through the non-linear style of gameplay. Otherwise, the only item that we were unsure about was one action which we were hesitant to commit to. However, in debriefing, it was noted that this item was to be adjusted to make this more clear.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    This naval thriller is a must play for the NYC area. Battleship is a great fit for any team looking for a real adventure.

     
    unreal escapes
    Book your Battleship experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘The Robbery That Changed the World’ Review

    Game: The Robbery That Changed the World
    Company: Komnata Quest 
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: July, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 6 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story
    Your team was hired to recover a very important package. You must figure out a way to successfully break in and avoid alarms in order to keep from getting caught. 
    Puzzles

    Similar to most Komnata rooms, Robbery is more task-based and light on puzzles. There were many props throughout that would have been great opportunities to force us to work through riddles to obtain codes, etc. Instead, the game almost seemed to do the work for us rather than give us the chance to solve things on our own. 

    Production Value/Immersion:

    Also typical to Komnata, production and set were well-executed. The room is very active, as advertised and we really felt as though we were immersed within the story of a heist. 

    Highlights

    The game begins in a van where your boss explains your objective and you are provided with the necessary tools to perform your task. This was exciting and did a good job of setting up the story. The room progression was fluid and logical, leading up to a solid climax at the end.

    It is also worth noting that the tech in the game functioned well. It was easy to work with and dummy-proof. All props were well-secured and wires were well-concealed. 

    Shortcomings

    While the game was exciting and active, from a puzzle-perspective, it left us wanting more. We seemed to move quickly through each room and would have liked to have had to work through a bit more riddles in order to recover answers. 

    The end game puzzle was good but was not really designed for all of us to work on. There was plenty of space and props within that section that could have been better utilized during that final puzzle.  

    This Room is a Good Match for
    This room would be good for smaller groups of players. We played with a group of five, but we believe that the room would be a good fit for two to four people. 
    Book your Robbery experience here!
  • Escape Rooms,  New York Escape Rooms

    Escape the Room NYC ‘The Clock Tower’ Review

    Game: The Clock Tower
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: August, 2018
    Team Size: 1 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket
    Story

    With the professor is lost in time, it was up to us to fix his mistakes and find a way to get out.

    Puzzles

    The puzzles in this room really got our gears turning. Every puzzle made sense within the environment and spanned across an impressive range, covering everything from actions to logic tasks. We were either finding items and then trying to determine how they were to interact with the space itself or we were sitting and working through some sort of riddle. The room was large, but it was packed with just enough to keep even more experienced teams busy for the duration of the game.

    We were extremely impressed with how this room crafted puzzles that we had never seen before into the narrative and storyline.

    Production Value/Immersion:

    While not everything felt as thematic as we had hoped, this room included some larger than life set elements that we interacted with in very impressive ways. We’ve experienced our fair share of rooms that fail to incorporate video screens in useful or aesthetically-pleasing ways, however The Clock Tower really nailed this aspect.

    Highlights

    There’s a lot to like about this Escape the Room NYC experience. This room felt collaborative in ways that allowed teammates to seamlessly assist one another while also working on different elements of the room. Even better, this room was absolutely big enough for even the max size team to have plenty to do without being on top of each other.

    For an old rusty clock tower, this room incorporated tech as well as any room we’d seen previously and there were several moments in the room that had that true “wow” factor to them.

    Shortcomings

    While this room was certainly impressive, we felt that the narrative got a bit lost once the room truly got going. On top of that, the beginning and end of the room were uneven. We felt as though the beginning could have used a bit more prompting as to how to work through puzzles. Much of what we were doing felt a bit vague and that we were making assumptions in order to move forward.

    The end cap in particular of this great room provided a bit of frustration. A key element to a derivation in a puzzle was not made clear. Thus causing some errors in our calculations.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    The Clock Tower is a great for for larger groups (6-8), as there is plenty to work on during most of this game.

     

    escape the room nyc clock
    Book your Clock Tower 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!
  • 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,  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!