The first escape room in Hoboken, the city where I met Lisa.
Location: Hoboken, NJ
Date played: July 11, 2016
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 2-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $32 per ticket for 2-3 players, $28 per ticket for 4-5 players, $25 per ticket for 6-8 players
Story & setting
Set in a beautiful, century-old building a block away from the Hoboken PATH Train Station, Puzzle Out’s game titled The Room was set sometime around World War I. The WWI setting felt completely at home in the building that Puzzle Out called home.
The story, however, didn’t carry beyond the opening minutes of the game.
The tactile puzzles, which crossed a variety of media, were the main focal point of Puzzle Out’s first creation.
Puzzle Out managed to create a number of puzzles that layered complexity on themselves without ever becoming frustrating.
The puzzles were carefully clued so that the connections emerged without being obvious. They rewarded careful attention to detail.
At its best, the puzzles were elegant and interwoven with other puzzles.
The building that Puzzle Out occupies was beautiful and provided a natural setting for this game without much alteration or customization.
The game played off of Hoboken history and geography without making that background knowledge necessary to solve the puzzles. As a former resident of the Mile Square City, that was a delight.
Far too many objects and puzzles felt out of place in the WWI era-game. Some of Puzzle Out’s great ideas just didn’t belong in this particular game.
The story never became relevant or even apparent beyond the opening of the game. Given the set, this felt like a missed opportunity.
Should I play Puzzle Out’s The Room?
Puzzle Out’s The Room is a solid, entry-level game for new or inexperienced escape room players. It’s a safe, clever, and non-threatening game that demonstrates how these things work, and how each individual player, no matter how much they think they “can’t solve puzzles” has something to offer.
If you live in Hoboken, Jersey City, or Weehawken, this is a no brainer; you cannot beat the convenience. It’s also a remarkably easy game to get to from Midtown or Downtown Manhattan as Puzzle Out is only a block from the Hoboken PATH Station.
Experienced players will breeze through this… so if that’s you, this game is probably not worth the river crossing.
Puzzle Out’s The Room isn’t the best game out there, but its sins are derived from not pushing good ideas far enough. I am confident that they will improve with their future games.
Book your hour with Puzzle Out’s The Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Puzzle Out comped our tickets for this game.