Location: New York, New York
Date played: February 26, 2015
This room doesn’t have an explicitly stated plot. It has a religion meets archeology, Da Vinci Code-esque feel based on the new television series DIG.
Free, Limited Run
This is a free room escape experience with a limited, three week run in five cities:
- New York City, New York
- Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Orlando, Florida
- Hollywood, California
- Boston, Massachusetts
If you want to play this, you don’t have a ton of time to do so.
How good can a free escape game be?
The quality far exceeded my expectations. The room is sturdy and well-built, it’s themed impeccably, and each puzzle is both distinct and physically interactive (which really is what I’ve come to expect from the crew at Escape the Room NYC).
What really stood out to me was the lighting. I haven’t encountered a game that is as well-lit.
A limited experience
As beautiful as this room is, it is nevertheless limited by its length.
The game has a 25 minute clock, which makes it the shortest room escape I’ve ever heard of. We completed it in approximately 17 minutes.
The puzzles are all fun, but there aren’t many of them.
A 10 person game?
We showed up with seven people, and were paired with two guys we had never met. Our nine person team was too many people. It was a bit difficult early on, and then wasn’t terrible later in the game (which is actually the opposite of how excessive numbers usually impacts a room escape).
Some games are terrible with 10 people. This one isn’t bad, but it would be awesome with two to five people. Since you aren’t paying, you don’t get a say in how many people you play with.
Accidental brute force & admonishment
Our game master made a big deal about not circumventing puzzles… And we did… By accident.
There is one puzzle in this that you can brute force by way of a thorough room turndown. We didn’t realize that we circumvented something that we weren’t supposed to until we solved the puzzle that we circumvented.
What was so strange about this is that it is possible to block off the avenues that we took to circumvent the puzzle, they were just left wide open; it was weird.
It was especially weird when the puzzlemaster chastised us for circumventing the puzzle after we escaped (we still solved the thing, we just did it out of order).
This game, it’s facilities, and its staffing are high-end. Really high-end. It feels like it’s something out of Universal Studios.
- Everyone working there is pretty and perky.
- Everything is clean and pristine.
- Every detail is on-brand.
On one hand it’s impressive; looking at it is like looking into the future of escape games.
On the other hand, it lacks character. It’s sterile, and the staff doesn’t have the passion for puzzles and escape games that I have come to expect.
Polish can make something beautiful, but it does so by buffing off all of the rough edges.
Should I play the DIG Room Escape?
If you live near one of these games, and can find time in the next three weeks to go play, you absolutely should.
This isn’t a particularly difficult game, but it’s well-built and beautiful. It’s a genuinely good time.
If you have to travel a long way to play, don’t go. The game is way too short to justify a long journey, but if it’s within reach, playing this is a no-brainer.
Reserve your time with the USA Network / Escape the Room’s DIG Room Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.