LIGHTS! CAMERA! DEMONIC CURSE!
Location: New Haven, CT
Date played: June 25, 2016
Team size: 2-5; we recommend 3-4
Price: Adult $26 per ticket, Student with ID $22 per ticket, Child $22 per ticket
Story & setting
We were investigating the disappearance of the cast and crew of the horror movie The Crypt. The escape game started in the film star’s dressing room and progressed onto the movie set itself.
Escape New Haven had refactored this space since we played The Workshop in these same rooms over a year ago. The set for The Crypt was thematically sound; the overall execution of the set was hit or miss from room to room.
The story was lightly horror, encased in movie-making, which lightened the mood. For the most most part, the narrative held up. It got a bit hokey at the end.
The Crypt included a lot of puzzles and a lot of locks. However, the game thread was readily apparent. We could easily tell which puzzles opened which game elements.
As the game progressed, the puzzles incorporated more complex interactions, moving beyond lock and key.
Furthermore, the game packed an enormous variety of puzzle types that drew on various different intellects. This was a puzzle room and throughout the game, the puzzles remained the star attraction.
The aesthetic of the movie set of The Crypt was exceptional. It felt like both a mausoleum and a movie set. The clues arose from within the set; they weren’t bolted on to an otherwise ordinary room. It was designed with great care and attention to details.
One particular element of this second room was designed to intensify the drama and require teamwork.
We rarely post photos of later rooms, or any game element not immediately apparent when a player enters. However, Escape New Haven encouraged us to photograph the later part of The Crypt. They too use its design as a teaser: when we entered the game, we could see through to this movie set before we could access it.
While portions of the game were brilliantly themed, other segments were surprisingly spartan and rough. The difference in quality and attention to detail from room to room was jarring. Fortunately, theming improved over the course of the game.
In the end, the story lost intrigue as it diverged from the puzzles and wound its way to what should have been a dramatic conclusion. In this way, the climax of the game fell flat. The penultimate dramatic moment fizzled as we plodded through story toward the final game interactions.
Had we run out of time grinding through the endgame, we would have been very angry.
Should I play Escape New Haven’s The Crypt?
The Crypt was primarily a puzzle room with engaging, varied, and thematically-driven puzzles. These puzzles were encased in the narrative.
The theme was lightly horror, but the story and the set weren’t scary.
The movie set of The Crypt was well-designed and executed to enhance the drama and the story intrigue. It was an exciting set to explore.
The Crypt wasn’t a perfect game: It succeeded at puzzles and theming, but didn’t quite achieve the storytelling aspect. Still, it demonstrated substantial growth for this company, which is moving to a bigger location nearby. It’s worth visiting Escape New Haven’s (new) location to play The Crypt. We’re looking forward to playing their future games as we travel between New York and Boston.
Book your hour with Escape New Haven’s The Crypt, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Escape New Haven provided media discounted tickets for this game.