Hour to Midnight – The Secrets of Nibiru [Review]

The Secrets of Nibiru is one of the best escape rooms in Portland, Oregon. Here are our recommendations for great escape rooms in Portland.

Masked history.

Location: Portland, Oregon

Date played: May 21, 2017

Team size: 6-10; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

William Elshoff, a globetrotting adventurer, had disappeared after supposedly finding the key to Nibiru. We entered his last known location in search of him: his study.

Among the heavy wooden furniture, display cases, and shelves of books we found beautiful artifacts from his worldly travels.

In-game: Shot through a chess board, a beautiful full wall book case.


Most of the puzzles and interactions in The Secrets of Nibiru were born of the set and props, relying heavily on keen observation skills and decipherment.


Hour to Midnight built a story that unfolded over the course of the escape room. It was grounded in myth, but reimagined for this medium.

The set pieces and props in The Secrets of Nibiru were hefty, detailed, polished, and cohesive. They made sense in the space, added intrigue, and supported the narrative.

In-game: A wooden club next to an intimidating black fanged mask.

The Secrets of Nibiru used technology to great effect. The room’s responses felt magical and helped sell the adventure. These technological interactions also brought drama.

Hour to Midnight included a lot of props that could easily have become red herrings, but they built the set in such a way as to greatly limit confusion.

The puzzling culminated late in the game, integrating the narrative and the different puzzling threads, and involving the entire team. The Secrets of Nibiru followed well-designed puzzle flow.


One puzzle overstayed its welcome. Once we knew how to solve it and had all the pieces, it still took substantial time and effort to complete.

Despite the narrative resolution, due to a set design decision, the ending left us wanting more. This could have been avoided with a little reworking.

Should I play Hour to Midnight’s The Secrets of Nibiru?


The puzzles, set, and story were all fun in their own right and wove together neatly into a cohesive group experience.

For newer players, The Secrets of Nibiru will be a serious challenge. Bring a larger group and communicate well.

For more experienced players, if you plan to tackle The Secrets of Nibiru with a smaller group, work quickly and efficiently.

Whether you play room escapes for the puzzles, stories, technology, or the artistic creations that bring these together, there’s something for everyone in The Secrets of Nibiru.

Book your hour with Hour to Midnight’s The Secrets of Nibiru, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Hour to Midnight comped our tickets for this game.


  1. A puzzle that overstayed its welcome? I know which one you’re talking about… It took our group (of ten) around 20-25 minutes of work, and I think some people still didn’t understand it. We did make it out, though!

    1. #EscapeRoomProblems. I’m glad you got out, and I don’t know about you but we had a blast in spite of that one.

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