Riddle Room – Murder Mystery [Review]

Quick! Throw the switch!

Location: East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Date played: July 15, 2017

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per ticket

Story & setting

As investigators, we were reviving a cold murder case at a local asylum that had been decommissioned due to illegal experimentation on patients.

In-game: A chalk outline of a body in the middle of a lab-esque crime scene.

While the setup and subject matter were grim, the room was about as non-threatening as it could possibly be. At its most intense, there was a chalk outline on the ground and a few Halloween-y “danger” signs on the walls. Beyond that, the room had a vaguely lab/ office feel about it. There was not a lot of ambiance.

Puzzles

Murder Mystery included an assortment of lab-esque items turned puzzles. These ranged from more traditional paper-based puzzle types to a few more mechanical interactions.

Standouts

The most interesting parts of Murder Mystery were the few mechanisms to manipulate.

The gameplay in Murder Mystery flowed well.

Shortcomings

Murder Mystery lacked ambiance. It felt cobbled together.

There was a hodgepodge of vaguely themed items in Murder Mystery, but they didn’t add depth to the interactions. The escape room relied on paper-based puzzling and unlocking.

One of the more visually interestingly set pieces turned out to be practically irrelevant to the gameplay.

While it wasn’t a red herring, we waited a long time to open a lock on a hefty switch. When we flipped it we were expecting a significant reveal… and what we got was anything but significant.

Should I play Riddle Room’s Murder Mystery?

Murder Mystery was Riddle Room’s first escape room. It was an older style of room escape where the puzzling wasn’t particularly connected to environment. There was a bit to find, solve, and unlock, but there wasn’t a lot of depth to the experience. Murder Mystery was fine. Its flaws were born from a lack of polish and intrigue, not from outright bad design.

New players looking to explore a puzzle room will find some fun and challenge, but we preferred Captain’s Curse, which is no longer open. We are curious about what Riddle Room will develop in its place.

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

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