Escape the Estate – The Chamber [Review]

The escape wall.

Location: Syracuse, NY

Date played: April 29, 2017

Team size: up to 4; we recommend 2-4 new players

Duration: 15 minutes

Price: $10 per ticket, discounted as an add-on experience

Story & setting

This 15-minute introductory escape room took place in the dark space “below” the Hotel Whitmore, the setting for all Escape the Estate games. A traveling professor once stumbled upon this ancient burial ground and now we had as well.

Although we stood in a long, narrow room, The Chamber was actually an escape wall. One of the room’s longer walls contained all the clues and interactions.

The setting was a haunted burial ground, and it looked pretty compelling.

In-game: Two alcoves in a stone wall. One has a human skeleton in it, the other has multiple human skulls.

Puzzles

The Chamber was a decidedly entry-level experience that led us through basic escape room progression. There was one simple series of puzzles that led to a couple of exciting moments.

Standouts

While simple, The Chamber demonstrated escape room-style thinking and game progression, as intended for its audience. This was an excellent 101 class and a great teaser for Escape the Estate’s longer experiences.

It was short and entertaining.

Shortcomings

It’s possible to circumvent all of the puzzles in the opening moments of the game. I solved the final puzzle first, after about 90 seconds inside The Chamber, before touching any of the other props or puzzles. Thus, we escaped without playing through any of the experience. This problem could have been prevented with a little gating, either technical or physical. (We did play again immediately afterwards, in order to play through the entire game flow.)

Should I play Escape the Estate’s The Chamber?

Escape the Estate designed The Chamber as an on-ramp for mall goers who don’t know about escape rooms and might be wary to commit to an hour-long experience. Who can say no to a free 15-minute game?

I actually think that The Chamber is Escape The Estate’s strongest escape room because it knows exactly what it is and who it’s for. Our biggest issue with the experience is likely only ever going to be a problem for players who are experienced and therefore not The Chamber’s target audience.

I love the idea of an escape room designed strictly to orient new players and give them a little tease of what an escape room can be.

If you’re visiting Escape the Estate for one of their 60-minute escape rooms and The Chamber is empty, give it a go. It’s the only escape wall we’ve seen and it’s quite a wall, drawing on the company’s experience crafting haunted houses. The Chamber won’t be challenging, but it will still be fun. It will likely even surprise you.

Look for Escape the Estate’s The Chamber when you visit Escape the Estate and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape the Estate comped our tickets for this game.

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