Mission Escape Games – Escape the Darkest Hour 2016 [Review]

A pound of puzzles with a side of gore.

Location: New York, NY

Date played: August 8, 2016

Team size: 1-6; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $180 per team, regardless of how many players

Story & setting

In Escape the Darkest Hour, we had to escape from the murderous butcher’s lair.

This was the sequel to Mission Escape Games’ original Escape the Darkest Hour and it improved upon the original in every way.

The surroundings were creepy and uncomfortable, but still approachable. It was edgy and unsettling without being dangerous or grotesque (ok, maybe just a little grotesque). This made the game space fun to explore.

A bloody scene with a mutilated body in a dark room.
Image courtesy of Mission Escape Games (because we forgot to shoot our own)

The set was also entirely dark. We had to find any light we would have within the game. There was enough light to be found.

The story was simple: don’t become the next victim.


Escape the Darkest Hour’s set was a puzzle. Much of the difficulty was in finding important elements and observing the game environment well enough to extract clues from it. In many ways, solving the puzzles meant interacting with the lair itself.

The more standard puzzles were of the “word” variety.


Escape the Darkest Hour provided just enough story to keep us engaged. Furthermore, that story came across largely through the puzzle components; we never read long passages of text about victims or psychiatric episodes or other serial killer things.

Mission Escape Games delivered approachable horror for the masses.

While many horror experiences deliver shock through revolting decor and the fear of what may appear, this game delivered shock in the escape room sense. The setting might make you jump, but the magical set responses were exciting.

Mission Escape Games’ attention to set detail was superb.


While this game included much more than locks, it had its fair share of run-of-the-mill padlocks requiring identical input structures.

In addition, there were multiple puzzles in play with similar elements. At its lowest point, we struggled to figure out which clues went to which puzzles.

Should I play Mission Escape Games’ Escape the Darkest Hour?

Escape the Darkest Hour was an accessible horror game. It kept us on the edge of our seats without inflicting lingering nightmares.

As long as you can remain at ease in the dark and in the presence of theatrical blood and gore, you can have fun with this game. And if you are a horror fanatic, this will be a lighter way to indulge.

Mission Escape Games delivered horror as an escape room, through locks, puzzles, and automagical moments. This was a puzzle game in a creepy setting. If you solve the puzzles, you’ll learn the story, and achieve your freedom.

Leave the young children at home.

Book your hour with Mission Escape Games’ Escape the Darkest Hour, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Mission Escape Games comped our tickets for this game.

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