OMEscape NYC – Laboratory of Biohazard [Review]

Thwarting evil in the sewers! David’s childhood Ninja Turtles fantasy comes to life!

Location: New York, NY

Date played: January 14, 2016

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4

Price: $33 per ticket weekday; $38 per ticket weekend

Theme & story

Deep in the city’s sewer system, there is a lab developing bad things. You need to enter the sewer, find the lab, and develop the cure to the ickiness.

Laboratory of Biohazard is constructed in OMEscape NYC’s basement. Thus we walked down into an appropriately themed sewer game. This was a multi-room escape game and the rooms were themed according to the story line.

These rooms were cramped, which, in my experience, is consistent with NYC real estate and sewer lairs.

Dramatic set pieces

There was one particular sewer-themed game element that was brilliantly designed and wowed our entire team. Spoiler alert… It was a water feature!

While this was by far the most dramatic moment, there were other unique set pieces and design elements that elevated the environment of the game.

Laboratory of Biohazard also included an interesting assortment of fun gadgets and physically interactive objects.

A dark room containing a large tank of green liquid. Two human skulls are suspended in the tank.


Despite the interesting environment, the overall game lacked polish.

There were handwritten clues taped onto the set. They looked messy and were hard to decipher.

The room also had exposed wires (one of which played a part in puzzle breakage).

The design was there, but some of the details were lacking.

A projector shinging an array of green and red dots against a mirror. Wires, springs, magnets, and other mechanisms surround the projector.
Even the demo photos on OMEscape NYC’s website show exposed wires.


There were more than a few puzzles in this game that were damaged or finicky.

There were dials that were off-center, critical set pieces that didn’t work as they were supposed to, and the final door took more doing that it should have.

OMEscape NYC needs to fix and maintain their puzzles and set pieces. We had a lot of trouble because all too often we had figured out the puzzle, but then we had to figure out how to make it do what we knew was required.

Repeated operational failures are very frustrating. These problems stopped forward momentum and positive energy.

Obtuse logic

Laboratory of Biohazard included some really interesting and challenging puzzles. Some of them could reasonably be solved by the clues in the room; others demanded dramatic logic leaps.

OMEscape should add more clues into the game and rely less heavily on their gamemaster’s hints.


Our gamemaster gave hints over a walkie-talkie. Before the game began, he told us we would receive three hints, upon asking for them. However, he frequently came on the walkie-talkie at his own discretion to give us hints that “didn’t count” toward our three.

In this way, our gamemaster coached us through some of the more obtuse challenges (and a malfunctioning puzzle).

Then he continued to chime in as we approached the end of the game.

He was a nice guy, and a welcome presence (even if our team was a bit tough on him, sorry José).

Team Size

We brought 8 players, which was far too many people for this space. Somehow through buying a Groupon for this game, we misunderstood that 8 players was the maximum rather than the recommended number.

The OMEscape staff was confused when we showed up with 8, and rightly so, as it was impossible for everyone to fully participate in that small space. They did note that they will be lowering the maximum players allowed in this game.

OMEscape NYC - Laboratory of Biohazard
Laboratory of Biohazard is a 70 minute game.

Should I play OMEscape NYC’s Laboratory of Biohazard?

This was an interesting game with a ton of potential, but it needed to be sanded and lacquered.

This was also a hard game. It’s probably best played if you have a few other escape games under your belt first.

But new and seasoned players alike will appreciate the gadgets and set pieces that go beyond lock-and-key escaping. Be patient with the set and you’ll find a lot to enjoy about this game.

Book your hour in OMEscape NYC’s Laboratory of Biohazard, and tell them the Room Escape Artist sent you.


  1. Interesting to read this having played the UK version. I’d have thought that the review would be quite different, but actually the lack of polish showed over here too. Dials were similarly off centre, wires were exposed. Base game is solid though and they’ve done a decent job of recreating a sewer feel.

    1. I think it’s inherent to the, “we send you a box of stuff, you install create a room from it” franchise model. It’s a truly difficult thing to pull off.

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