Escape Room Challenge – Special Agent [Review]

One day, we’re going to investigate someone for espionage and they will be innocent.

Location: Evesham Township, New Jersey

Date played: June 23, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

While investigating a Soviet agent’s home, we became locked in and had an hour to dig up his secrets and work our way out.

Special Agent put us into a Cold War-era personal office/ study environment. It looked solid, but lacked drama.

In-game: A typewriter on a desk in the foreground. A large wooden bookcase in the background.

Puzzles

The puzzling in Special Agent simply wasn’t all that… special. We found ourselves relying heavily upon our knowledge of how escape rooms work in order to make the last leaps we needed to earn solves.

Standouts

There were a couple of tangible and satisfying puzzles.

The staff was attentive and clearly watching our play through closely.

Shortcomings

Some of the puzzles were ambiguous and the gamemaster even knew this. In one instance, we derived a handful of numbers with no indication of what to do with them. Another significant interaction had a few layers to it, but little to no direction to go along with it. I hope that Escape Room Challenge considers revising their clue structure for a number of the puzzles in Special Agent.

Some of the more interesting interactions didn’t have the proper effect because we didn’t know that we had triggered something, or if we did realize that we triggered a thing… we didn’t know what we had done.

The audio track that played ambient noise also produced tones that sounded like a hint being delivered. This quickly became annoying and concentration-breaking.

Special Agent lacked excitement.

Should I play Escape Room Challenge’s Special Agent?

Special Agent didn’t have much of a story arc. We entered a room, solved puzzles, and escaped.

The escape room looked like it was built with love, but the puzzles felt incomplete and the interactions felt disconnected. There wasn’t the drama that a Cold War spy thriller is supposed to have.

Special Agent is a playable game, but if you’re visiting Escape Room Challenge, I strongly encourage you to brave their Egyptian Tomb. It’s a better, more beautiful, more exciting experience.

Book your hour with Escape Room Challenge’s Special Agent, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Room Challenge provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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