• 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

    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

    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

    I Survived the Room ‘The Sanatorium’ Review

    Game: The Sanatorium
    Location: Long Island City, NY
    Date Played: March, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 8 players
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $30 per ticket

     

    Story

    You receive a letter from the Sanatorium director, pleading to assist in locating two missing patients. In order to do so, you are shackled and admitted to the Sanatorium…

    Puzzles

    Despite being separated, both parties are forced to communicate in order to work through puzzles. We have done other rooms where we have been separated and they made us feel like we were completing two disjointed rooms. For a room that split us up, Sanatorium still did a great job of allowing us to work as a team. Therefore, no one missed out on any piece of it. Puzzles ranged from your standard lock to more in-depth, logic-related tasks to high pressure tactile challenges. For an insane asylum, they always managed to maintain their aesthetic of a run down Sanatorium, rather than simply a room with items placed in it that you’d use to escape.

    Highlights

    From the scene that they established to the unbreakable actors to the well-written storyline, Sanatorium’s immersion was second to none. Little things, such as a creative clue system which this room utilizies, allow you to experience and navigate the room without feeling like you have stepped foot outside of the story. The actors moved the story along at a great pace and even added a level of entertainment that we had never seen before.

    Shortcomings

    Being one of our favorite rooms, there is very little to critique. However, the location is not the best as there is not much to offer food-wise or in terms of other activities.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    While not overly scary, this room has moments that are not for the faint of heart. If you are uncomfortable in dark rooms or you do not want to have your hands bound, you may want to reconsider.

    Overall, this is one of our top recommended rooms within the tri-state area. If you are looking for an exhilarating room from start to finish, this is not to be missed. 

     

     

    Book your Sanatorium experience here!

  • Escape Rooms,  Horror Themed,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Suicide Hotel’ Review

    Game: Suicide Hotel
    Company: Komnata Quest 
    Location: Brooklyn, NY
    Date Played: June, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 6 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $28 per ticket

     

    Story

    Your group arrives as guests at a hotel where you happen to be assigned to a mysterious room with a history of strange happenings. Hopefully your team are able to reveal the secrets of the haunted room and check-out while still alive.

    Puzzles

    Working through the room is more task-focused rather than puzzle-heavy. Using keen observation skills, we were able to quickly move through one puzzle and shaved off a small chunk of time. Another memorable puzzle required an eye for detail. Typical to most Komnata games, this room achieves good continuity between tasks and the storyline.

    A few more technical heavy puzzles towards the end of the game were impressive and executed well. Puzzles were not always completely straight-forward and required a bit of deeper thought to solve.

    Highlights

    The hallway we entered to hear the brief game introduction immediately established a sense of immersion. The set was high quality and delivered us into the world of the haunted hotel without hesitancy. The design of the room itself was also executed well and offered further unique elements outside of the four walls. At times, we needed to get creative and think slightly outside of the box as to how to advance.

    An end-game reveal was a particularly exciting and fun aspect.

    Shortcomings

    Without many puzzles or riddles to work through, we worked through the room fairly quickly. Although the end of the game item was very exhilarating, we were under the impression that an additional room would have come after it.

    While the room was billed as a horror themed room, it lacked some of the real fear that rooms such as Maze of Haikuna or The Impossible Murder Mystery provided.

    This Room is a Good Match for

    Suicide Hotel would be a good room for newer players to navigate as there are not many in-depth puzzles to solve. More experience players will still enjoy the creepy narrative, even if they pass through the room quickly.

     

    Book your Suicide Hotel experience here!

  • Escape Rooms,  Horror Themed,  New York Escape Rooms

    Komnata Quest ‘Maze of Hakaina’ Review

    Game: Maze of Hakaina
    Company: Komnata Quest
    Location: Manhattan, NY
    Date Played: June, 2017
    Team Size: 2 – 5 players.
    Duration: 60 minutes
    Price: $40 per ticket
     
    Story
    Ancient samurai warriors would traverse the maze to prepare for battle. After losing his way, an ill-fated boy found himself trapped and mistakenly unlocked the dark forces within. You must navigate the passageways in order to find and rescue him. Act fast and complete your mission before the demons of the maze begin to hunt you.
     
    Puzzles
    Puzzles to complete were mainly task-based and heavily relied on our powers of observation. Komnata always does a good job of seamlessly interweaving clues and challenges into the theme of the game, giving to a true immersive experience.
     
    Highlights
    The theatrical lighting and set pieces coupled with the actual labyrinth design did a great job of really pulling us into the world of the maze. The high ceilings and layout of the space succeeded in warping our senses, leaving us to second guess our whereabouts within. The Game Master introduced the game with a dramatic storytelling and instructed us to wear masks as protection from evil spirits. This really set the stage for the game to follow.
     
    The maze felt excitingly ominous as we advanced deeper. Paths of the maze were not outwardly evident. This was a welcomed challenge as many other escape rooms fail to conceal seams and indications of doors or other mechanisms. The twists and corners of the maze built anticipation. Maze of Haikana was thrilling and even creepy at times to discover what might lie beyond the next turn.

     

    A particularly memorable element takes place towards the end of the game that was unlike anything we had seen before.
     
    Shortcomings
    The masks we were instructed to wear helped bring us into the world of the game, but they were less than ideal to keep on throughout game play. While thematic, they made it difficult to navigate the dark corridors while reading clues and solving puzzles. Dim lighting was certainly a theatrical highlight; but at times, text was difficult to read. Further illumination should be provided, so long as it is thematically incorporated through the set or props as everything else is.
     
    This Room is a Good Match for
    The Maze of Hakaina was one of our favorite rooms to date. The room is detailed enough for more experienced players to enjoy. Multiple win conditions enhance the gameplay experience and provide another dimension to the plot. At the same time, the room is linear enough for newer players to enjoy. Clues are intuitive but players may require additional guidance from the Game Master.