Escape Games NYC – John Doe [Review]

We identified John Doe, but never really understood who he was.

Location: New York, NY

Date played: June 6, 2016

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-5

Price: ranges from $100 for 2 players to $155 for 6 players

Story & setting

In John Doe, we investigated the home of a mysterious and reclusive neighbor. Upon entering his home, it became clear that he wasn’t just a creep; this was murder mystery investigation.

Many of the game elements conveyed theme or story. Others felt random, but then again, this was “home” and people keep plenty of un-themed objects in their homes.

The set was expertly crafted, but not impeccably polished. It had a rougher feel.

In-game photo: A black haired, and black makeuped manaquin head looks into the camera.


The puzzles in John Doe relied on a variety of player skill sets.

Some of the puzzles advanced the story arc, but without complete immersion.

At its core, this was a puzzle room. There was a lot to enjoy in these puzzles.

Standout features

John Doe included a variety of technologically-triggered interactions. They worked in the framework of the theme.

There was also a particularly brilliant moment, set up such that it confounded our expectations.


Escape Games NYC designed this game around a dramatic setup. However, as the story unfolded, we never felt a heightened sense of urgency built through the drama. This game attempted to be more immersive, but it didn’t move beyond a themed puzzle room.

Should I play Escape Game NYC’s John Doe?

Escape Games NYC offers four games, each very different from the next. John Doe is their take on the typical. It’s a mystery-themed, light horror, puzzle-centric escape room. It was good fun, but not mind-blowing.

Although it is more typical in setup, it’s not necessary a beginner game. There was real challenge to these puzzles. New players will enjoy the puzzles, but experienced players might enjoy them more, as Escape Games NYC has twisted typical escape room puzzles in their own way.

Since it is lightly horror, this game could be scary for kids.

This was a solid, fun, escape room. We recommend this game, particularly for experienced players more focused on puzzles than immersive story. However, Escape Games NYC offers a variety of play styles, and we recommend some of their other games more highly, as they deliver experiences that are more outside the box.

Book your hour with Escape Game NYC’s John Doe, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Game NYC provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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