NYCC - Cartman's Escape Room

Location: Manhattan, NY
Date Played: October, 2018
Team Size: 10 players
Duration: 10 minutes
Price: Free with NYCC18 badge

Comedy Central’s installation at this year’s Comic Con features a fully built-out escape room. Designed for 10 players, it runs at 10 minutes in length.

The exhibit is free but prompts guests to come early in the day to secure their time slots. If you fail to snag your ticket before they fill up, you still have the opportunity to wait on the stand-by line to make it in.  

Caught in yet another one of Cartman’s schemes, we found ourselves stuck in one of the most impossible places to escape: Schooooool.

We were funneled into a prep area with lockers and a television that provided us with a brief run-down of our situation. The staff also chatted with our group as to whether or not any of us had done rooms before and continued to stress the importance of our communication and collaboration skills.

At go time, we were lead into the classroom where each of us sat at our own classic desk. The room was built out to look exactly like we had stepped foot into the show. The colors, props, and décor all matched the geometric design of South Park. Our Game Master was an in-game “teacher” who gave us the final instructions and waited within the room to help guide the group throughout the experience.

Most puzzles were standard escape room tasks that led to numerical or alphabetical locks. All of the puzzles made sense as they were ways to interact with the classroom objects. With a few nods to other characters in the show throughout and some funny and on-brand integrations, the experience was super enjoyable. We were able to track our time through sassy announcements that Cartman made as the game progressed, telling us things like, “uh you only have like five minutes left here”.

The space was definitely big enough for 10 of us. We all sort of broke out into two or three groups but everything was near and simple enough to shout a suggestion to the rest of the team at any time.

Overall, Comedy Central nailed it. Conventions present a few difficult tasks in terms of design. Not only does the room have to be approachable enough for any and all convention-goers to enjoy but it also has to be able to hold and captivate a larger party so you can maximize the number of guests who can participate. Logistically, everything was streamlined even down to what the reset would be. We were in and out but never felt like they sacrificed any quality or the basic structure of what an escape room is.

Kudos to this exhibit. If you’ve got passes to New York Comic Con this weekend, definitely take the time to stop by!