Can You Escape? Long Island – Back to Basics [Review]

“Back to Basics” is the most literal escape game name I’ve ever seen.

Location: Mineola, New York

Date played: April 11, 2015

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Price: $28 per ticket


While babysitting you accidentally got locked in the children’s play room. You have one hour to find the spare key and get out before the parents return! Can You Escape?

Can You Escape the Room LI

Beginner’s Room

Back to Basics is designed for you to win.

It has an escape rate along the lines of a 70%, which makes it the beginnerest room we’ve ever encountered.

That’s not to say that the puzzles lack creativity; this room has some solid and interesting puzzles. They just aren’t very hard, and given the difficulty level, there probably aren’t enough of them.

Between the five people on our team, we had a collective 120+ hours of real life room escape experience, and we cut through nearly every puzzle in less than ten minutes. Tragically, we over-thought one puzzle to a spectacular degree costing us another 10 minutes, and a hint that I will never really be able to forgive myself for taking.

Can You Escape Long Island Back to Basics Room Escape Artist

Non-Threatening, Yet Creepy

In keeping with the beginner theme, this room is essentially a kids’ playroom with children’s toys on one side, and tweeny things on the other. The theming is very strong, and clearly created by parents.

This was by far the least threatening escape game we’ve played since the game that was designed specifically for children.

All of that being said, the chimey nursery music playing in the background throughout the game added an air of creepiness that is usually reserved for horror movies involving evil children. It never becomes threatening, but the music really does augment the experience.

Timer Failure

The timer in the room stopped working almost immediately after we started, and our team didn’t quite realize how fast we were going, so when we got stuck on that one puzzle, the team was worried that we burned more time than we had.

If we had an accurate measure of our remaining time, I don’t think we would have taken the aforementioned hint.

Should I Play “Can You Escape? Long Island’s Back to Basics”?

The game never soars, and it never sinks. It’s a by-the-numbers escape game designed to very gently easy new players into escape gaming. I think it might be too gentle.

If you’ve never played a real life escape game before, and are scared of the concept, then this is your room.

If you want to bring children to an escape game, then this is your room.

The room isn’t badly designed, it’s just way too easy. Its level of ease is excessive, and therefore I cannot recommend it to most adults. However, the potential that I saw leaves me hopeful that the folks from Can You Escape? Long Island are going to produce some solid games.

Book your hour with Can You Escape? The Room LI, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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