50 shades of brown.
Location: New York City, New York (Mercer Street facility)
Date played: June 26, 2017
Team size: 2-10; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $28 per ticket
Story & setting
We followed Mystery Room NYC’s evasive villain into his fourth crime. This time we were attempting to rescue an abducted girl by following the clues in a small, private library.
The set was large with bookcases, desks, and a card catalog. Most of the bookcase shelves had still lifes in them, protected by plexiglass. Aesthetically speaking, Forgotten Library was a step up for Mystery Room NYC.
All of Mystery Room NYC’s escape rooms have been built around puzzling and Forgotten Library was no exception. Many of the challenges focused on the library components of the space, while others explored additional, stranger themes that were slowly introduced as the plot progressed.
Most of the bigger, more critical puzzles in Forgotten Library played well. They made good use of the environment and resolved to satisfying conclusions.
While Forgotten Library was a big step forward in terms of set design, Mystery Room NYC needs another leap or two forward in order catch up to the level of set design that we’ve come to expect from escape rooms.
Mystery Room NYC elected to up their set design by putting a lot of the nicer things behind plexiglass. This could work in moderation and in environments where putting things behind glass makes sense. In a private library, it was weird to have things permanently behind glass. They used this approach a lot.
Triggered events were a little funky. There were times where we knew that we’d released something, but had no idea what or where to look. Better feedback would have made these moments more triumphant and exciting.
The story in Forgotten Library was incredibly silly, which could have been ok if it hadn’t taken itself seriously.
On the subject of story… I appreciate Mystery Room NYC’s commitment to building all of their room escapes around one recurring villain, but he isn’t a compelling or believable character. This would have been a better experience without him and his bizarre crime.
The final puzzle was ambiguous and annoying and I was happy when it was over.
Should I play Mystery Room NYC’s Chapter 4: Forgotten Library?
In Chapter 4: Forgotten Library, Mystery Room NYC delivered exactly what I was expecting to see, but not what I was hoping to find. They are a company that has consistently delivered puzzle-y room escapes with weaker sets and zany recurring crime stories. That’s what we received again in their fourth installment.
If you’re looking for grand adventure, brilliant story, interesting technology, or an immersive experience that will leave you wanting more, this is not the escape room for you.
Wide open, unthreatening, and family friendly, Forgotten Library would make a fine escape room for introducing newbies who are a little afraid of the escape room concept, but are excited by the prospect of solving puzzles.
Mystery Room NYC isn’t out of the race, but they haven’t been keeping up with their competition. I’m hoping that their eventual Chapter 5 signals a rebirth.
Book your hour with Mystery Room NYC’s Chapter 4: Forgotten Library, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Mystery Room NYC provided media discounted tickets for this game.