Boom Chicago Amsterdam – Escape Through Time [Review]

Yes and, let’s go prank some Nazis.

Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date played: May 6, 2017

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: €69-129 per group

Story & setting

At this top secret laboratory, we traveled back in time to World War II to assist the Dutch resistance. It was a risky mission, as any sojourn into the past could have devastating consequences on our present.

Our experience began in a local pub where we received a packet of puzzles and logic problems from the bartender.

A beer held up in front of a tap that reads, "La Trappe: Trappist"
Get your pre-game buzz on. Because Amsterdam.

After our puzzle packet and a beer, we made our way down the street to the recycling facility that disguised the time travel lab we were truly seeking. Yes… Escape Through Time was zany.

Our gamemaster, the laboratory doctor, met us in character and oriented us for our trip back in time. Once we’d left her lab, we found ourselves in a period-esque room of simple furniture and props. We started exploring the past.

Escape Through Time was created by the improv comedy troupe Boom Chicago. We could feel this influence throughout the room escape in its humor and especially in the story progression that took us far afield, but somehow managed to tie everything back together.

Puzzles

Escape Through Time’s best puzzles tied into the time travel component of the game. In fact, the puzzling brought the time travel to life.

The non-time travel puzzles were your standard escape room interactions.

Standouts

Escape Through Time’s pub intro was a good way to make the escape game more of a social outing.

There was an exciting twist in the middle of this room escape.

We ultimately resolved our time travel predicament through a puzzle intertwined with the narrative.

Escape Through Time used lighting well to enhance the time travel experience.

We adored one late-game puzzle.

Our amusing gamemaster met us in character and introduced us to her lab and our mission. She was an integral part of our adventure.

Shortcomings

The introduction, while humorous, was long-winded. Escape Through Time could have cut the back story in half and still delivered it with the same wit and energy that set the tone for our adventure.

This intro was really difficult for some on our team to listen to not only because it was long, but also because we were in their faux recycling center that was complete with the smell of rotting garbage. I’m all for use of odor, but damn, eau de garbage was distracting.

We misinterpreted one clue and stumbled upon a safety hazard. Clip exposed screws, especially if you direct your players to search near them.

There was an unevenness to Escape Through Time. While the overall experience and a few moments brilliantly integrated story and puzzling, too many of the puzzles and interactions were forgettable.

Should I play Boom Chicago Amsterdam’s Escape Through Time?

Escape Through Time made us laugh, think, and experience narrative. It took us one way and then turned us another. It was witty and fun.

There’s something different about Escape Through Time. I think some of that comes from the improv comedy background of its creators. The entire adventure had an almost serious, but actually humorous energy about it.

This escape room didn’t have a particularly compelling set or advanced technology. It was a puzzling story. And for that, it could be appreciated by any level of player. If that’s your interest, we recommend a visit.

Go, have a beer, some puzzles, and a few laughs.

Book your hour with Boom Chicago Amsterdam’s Escape Through Time, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Allow your thoughts to escape

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