Mystery Room NYC’s second game was engineered in a lab for both fun and difficulty. Can their work withstand a peer review?
Location: New York, New York
Date played: October 23, 2015
Team size: up to 10; we recommend 6-8
Price: $28 per ticket
New Location; Continued Story
Mystery Room NYC has designed a mystery that players solve in steps, across their games. We played Chapter 1: Penthouse 116 at their downtown location ten months ago and it stood on its own. Now Chapter 2: BioTech Labs continued the story in the company’s new Midtown Manhattan location.
We don’t often see a company link their games in this way, which encourages players to return for the next experience.
That said, the story is loose, and doesn’t really factor into the game so much as it is a wrapper around the game.
Chapter 2: BioTech Labs includes intriguing, custom built furniture. The construction quality is excellent and the puzzles created through the furniture are so damn fun.
We experienced a brief puzzle derailment, but our gamemaster was quick to stop the clock and come to the aid of the set piece.
We saw a few puzzles of types we’d never before encountered. We appreciated the creativity in both the furniture and the puzzle design.
Still, all roads led to a lock and frequently, a solved puzzle could have opened one of a few different combination locks in the room. Mystery Room NYC could enhance the experience they offer by relying less heavily on physical locks… Or at the very least, using locks with different combination lengths so that players aren’t forced to input the same combinations into multiple locks.
Chapter 2: BioTech Labs suffered from the same problem that we remarked on when we played Chapter 1: Penthouse 116: It’s not a 10 person game.
There are a lot of puzzles to solve, but not enough to warrant the communication breakdown caused by a 10 player experience, especially near the end when most game elements are already solved. At the end, quite a few players were onlookers in the final challenges.
Chapter 2 starts off strong.
The first half of this game includes the more interesting set pieces and the majority of the unique puzzles. This game actually deescalates as time progresses.
In stark contrast to Chapter 1’s explosive ending, the Chapter 2 finale fizzles as everything culminates in a truly forgettable puzzle.
If Mystery Room NYC would work the story into the actual puzzles of this game, they could create a lot more drama in their escape room.
Should I play Mystery Room NYC’s Chapter 2: Biotech Labs?
We brought a mixed team to this game: half seasoned escape game players and half newbies.
This is an introductory style game, but a difficult introduction to room escapes. New players will be able to approach this game, but will likely find themselves stumped by some of its more challenging elements. Experienced players might be better able appreciate these unique elements… After all, this is Chapter 2.
This is a solid, well-constructed, fun game. It’s the type of game we’ve come to expect from Mystery Room NYC. Even if the ending of Chapter 2 pales in comparison to its predecessor, it elevates the level of play from their first creation.
Book your hour with Mystery Room NYC’s Chapter 2: Biotech Labs and tell them the room escape artist sent you.