In Russia, escape room finds you.
Location: Long Island City, NY
Date played: November 6, 2016
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $25 per ticket on weekdays, $30 per ticket on weekends
Story & setting
In Club Escape, the town’s newest nightclub, we quickly learned that we were trapped by the Russian mafia.
Club Escape started before we arrived at the club as an actress marched us down the street to the building’s entrance and ushered us inside. She dramatically delivered us to the club’s basement office, which was almost typical, but with the intensity dialed up, as half our team was locked not in the office, but in the adjacent torture chamber.
The set was large and fairly detailed.
The puzzles were solid, but they weren’t the stars of the show.
Club Escape included many challenging puzzles, generally in a typical escape room style. They leaned heavily on searching, observation, and communication.
Most puzzles led to a lock.
The Club Escape experience wound along unexpected paths. I Survived the Room augmented what could have been a standard escape room with an interesting plot twist, and a set full of surprises.
This was a large gritty set that captured us in the game’s fiction.
The actress bought an intensity to this experience beyond what the puzzles provided. Her dramatic hands-on introduction of the game was at times shocking. She built the fiction early in the game, but didn’t stay on top of us throughout the puzzling. This provided a nice balance and allowed us to puzzle without monologue interludes.
Club Escape brought together acting, technology, and puzzles.
Club Escape fell short of intertwining all of its elements to elevate each other. There were strong puzzles here, but they were standard and they didn’t contribute to the dramatic moments of the game.
The intensity of the introduction could be a big problem for people who suffer from PTSD. It kind of came out of nowhere, and while we loved it, we know people who would have a big problem with it.
In that way, Club Escape didn’t live up to its own dramatic opening. It kept the intensity high for quite some time, but eventually petered out into an anticlimactic final escape. The late-game puzzles felt like the busywork to get through in order to escape.
We experienced a major technical failure that stopped the game. However, the staff at I Survived the Room was quick to right to situation and gave us back the lost time to make up for it.
If you don’t make it through to the end, you won’t receive a walkthrough.
Should I play I Survived the Room’s Club Escape?
I Survived the Room has a great schtick: you’re brought to a place under false pretenses and then horrible things happen. They introduce you to the game through an actor before you even see the set. Once you step into their world, your heart starts to race and you know you need to escape. They do a great job of making you need to escape.
Note that this game requires physical mobility and players start blindfolded. It could be problematic for young children or people suffering from PTSD. The set was gritty and at times dark.
Of the two games currently available from I Survived the Room, this is the more approachable game, but The Sanatorium is the stronger game because the drama stayed through to the very end. Neither is an easy game, but if you can puzzle your way to the final third, they are dramatic and surprising.
Be sure to brush up on your rules for playing games with actors in advance of your visit to Club Escape.
Book your hour with I Survived the Room’s Club Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: I Survived the Room comped our tickets for this game.