Puzzle Break Long Island – Escape from 20,000 Leagues [Review]

“Where others have failed, I will not fail.”
-Jules Verne, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Location: Syosset, NY

Date played: July 9, 2016

Team size: 7-10; we recommend 7-9

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

Set in a Jules Verne-ian steam punk submarine, we had an hour to restart our vessel or lose ourselves to the depths.

The room was nicely themed. Some portions were more thoroughly themed than others; while there was nothing mind-blowing, there were a few cute details.

In-game: A wall painted to look like oxidized copper with a nautical bell hanging off of it, and a porthole embeded in it.

The story, while a great setup, wasn’t particularly relevant. I grew up on Jules Verne, and more specifically, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, so I could have used a little more of that.


Puzzles are Puzzle Break’s strength. They lean hard into challenging, puzzly games designed for large groups. Escape from 20,000 Leagues was no exception.

There were a lot of puzzles and they required careful consideration, far more than is usually required in the current room escape market.

Standout features

The standout feature was absolutely the puzzles: their variety and difficulty. It’s rare to find a game that offers this much resistance to experienced players in 2016.

When the theming was on, it was pretty great.


Some of the theming felt a bit lazy. Why was there a modern tape measure in our steampunk sub from 1866?

We were explicitly told that there were “no red herrings in the room.” Our game masters were in the game with us and yet, they let us burn a staggering amount of time trying to determine the meaning of something that turned out to be scenery… although it could easily have been a puzzle.

Puzzle Break Long Island had only been open for one week when we visited them. We typically let a company operate for at least a month before we play their games. In this instance, we were in their neighborhood for a wedding, so we visited anyway. There were some bumps with the game mastering, but I do honestly believe that these were rooted in inexperience and will not be a long-term challenge. The game masters were lovely, sharp people who seemed unsure of what they needed to do to facilitate the games.

There was one critical element of the game that greatly upped the difficulty without adding any fun. We appreciated this deliberately challenging game design, but it could have been presented in such a way as to make it less tedious.

Should I play Puzzle Break Long Island’s Escape from 20,000 Leagues?

Puzzle Break offers an old-school style escape: hard puzzles for large groups of people with less focus on story, theme, and scenery.

This is a very valid style of escape room, even if it is growing less common. If this is the style of game you’re looking for, then you won’t find much better (other than their other game, The Midnight Carnival).

Bring a big team. Bring a cooperative team. Bring a smart team. Bring an observant team. Miss a detail and you’re sunk.

Book your hour with Puzzle Break Long Island’s Escape from 20,000 Leagues, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.


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