Escape Games NYC – Detective Story [Review]

Exactly the escape room you’re expecting.

Location: New York, New York

Date played: July 17, 2015

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Price: ranges from $50 per player for teams of 2 to $26 per player for teams of 6


“Answer a call for help from crime-fighters in a case of underworld corruption. Case File No. 8329 is a mystery not every detective can solve! You will chart the connections and investigate clues from the obscure world of syndicated crime.

You’re the detective here! Only your skills and teamwork can make justice prevail, so be all eyes and ears on this one!”


Confirming expectations

This room looks and feels exactly how one imagines an escape room to be upon first hearing about the concept. New players invariably expect loose theming and a “detective-y” feel. They expect a solid room full of locks and puzzles. They expect to ultimately find the key to the door they came in. This room delivers on those expectations.


Not to be entirely predictable, the designers incorporate a twist right at the start that could really challenge inexperienced players. Our style of play surmounted this obstacle quickly.


This room offers challenging puzzles. While the game structure may be standard, that isn’t to say that puzzles are easy.

The games includes a variety of puzzle types that will each lend themselves to the skill sets of different players. There are unique puzzles we hadn’t yet encountered.


Detective Story is only loosely themed to feel “detective-y”; it does not weave a narrative. The puzzle solutions are wonky when considered in the context of a detective mission. Many of the puzzle solutions just don’t fit in the story, and the designers don’t attempt to incorporate them in a meaningful way.

Also, all roads lead to a lock. Although the atmosphere is on point, the theme never soars.

One of us wasn't given enough attention as a child.
One of us wasn’t given enough attention as a child.


This game is a solidly constructed experience of tangible little victories. The theming doesn’t transport the player to an alternate reality. Nor does the game offer an unexpected, cinematographic, or climactic moment that makes a player feel like the star of their own movie.

This is a room where the excitement derives from solving each element and experiencing the game moving forward. Because there are visible locks, it suffers less from the “automation without indication” problem of Escape Games NYC’s other room. But it isn’t immune.

A tiny surprise

At one point, there is a very small, very unexpected event, and it made David positively giddy.

Should I play Escape Games NYC’s Detective Story?

If you are a new player, I highly recommend it. It’s a solid room with challenging puzzles. It will give you the experience you expect and you’ll have fun.

If you’ve played a lot of these games already, this is a fun room but there aren’t any elements of this puzzle that will blow you away. Try Escape Games NYC’s Outer Space for a unique experience unlike any NYC has to offer.

Book your hour with Escape Games NYC’s Detective Story and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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