Escape Room Mystery – The Laboratory [Review]

Experimental storytelling.

Location: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Date played: June 24, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

It was our first day as lab assistants for our new boss, a mysterious Dr. Heisenburg… He had special plans for us. What could possibly go wrong?

Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory was as advertised: a sterile lab environment with the assorted props and trappings that one typically expects from such a theme.

In-game: A box displaying a skelaton in the middle of a white lab.

Puzzles

The Laboratory was a puzzle-centric room escape with a broad mixture of puzzles and plenty to accomplish. Only a few of the puzzles were truly memorable, but the memorable ones were pretty entertaining.

Standouts

The Laboratory began as a standard lab escape room and then ratcheted up the intensity of both the game and the puzzling at the halfway mark. The second act of The Laboratory was fantastic.

Escape Room Mystery included a common, and usually flawed, lab escape room interaction, but used components and design that made it work well where most have failed.

Shortcomings

In one strange instance, Escape Room Mystery straight up provided the solution to a significant puzzle in-game. A less heavy-handed approach to clueing would have made this puzzle a lot more satisfying.

One prop was overused. One of the puzzles associated with the prop was not on par with the rest of the puzzles in The Laboratory.

The introduction to The Laboratory seemed like it was setting up the escape room around a cartoonish, evil Nazi doctor. The whole intro was strangely glib, given its subject matter. Then that story, as well as the character, disappeared as soon as the game-clock began counting down. This intro was strange and unnecessary.

Should I play Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory?

Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory surprised our team in a number of ways. It started off seeming like it might be a pretty mundane game and then escalated out of nowhere into something far more intense and interesting.

My initial reaction was wrong. There’s something compelling going on in The Laboratory.

Less experienced players will find a solid adventure with a challenging puzzle set.

Escape room veterans who play for the puzzles and teamwork should give The Laboratory a shot. It took a few puzzles to find itself, but once it did, it executed a lot of things well that most escape room companies do poorly.

Book your hour with Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Room Mystery comped our tickets for this game.

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