Brighton Asylum Escape – 1408 Escape [Review]

Do not disturb.

Location: Passaic, New Jersey

Date played: August 7, 2017

Team size: 2-7; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 per ticket

Story & setting

Based on the Stephen King short-story-turned-film 1408, Brighton Asylum’s 1408 Escape cast us in the role of paranormal investigators seeking to learn the truth about a string of strange suicides in room 1408 of the Dolphin Hotel.

In-game: A fairly normal looking hotel room with a double bed, and a digital clock that reads "60:00."

The set of 1408 Escape looked exactly like a creepy hotel room. It wasn’t a frightening set, but it projected feelings of unease.

Puzzles

1408 Escape was light on puzzles and heavy on connection building. The set was detailed and much of the interaction was designed around exploring the nuances of the space.

Standouts

The set looked great and its design escalated late-game.

There was a fantastic tech-driven reveal.

Brighton Asylum Escape’s set told a story on its own. One of our favorite in-game moments had nothing at all to do with the puzzles or gameplay. That was impressive.

Shortcomings

While the space told a story, the gameplay did not. It felt bolted on and disconnected from the experience.

Overall, 1408 Escape lacked puzzling and gameplay. The interactions bounced back and forth between being obvious and requiring us to search for pixel-hunt details in a large space. We lost this one after spending an incredible amount of time searching and continuously failing to find one thing. The irony was that I guessed most of what we were looking for, but not all of it.

The soundtrack from 1408 Escape included a lot of confusing background noise. We continually asked each other, “Did that sound mean something?” or “Was that sound triggered by something we did?” This noise regularly made us think we had triggered something when we hadn’t… And at times it also prevented us from realizing that we had actually triggered a thing.

One key piece of tech failed on us. Thankfully our gamemaster gave us simple bypass instructions.

Should I play Brighton Asylum Escape’s 1408 Escape?

1408 Escape was rooted in horror and dealt with suicide bluntly. While the room escape was not scary, I would strongly suggest that you avoid it if suicide is a subject that hits too close to home.

A portion of 1408 Escape’s set may be inaccessible to players with mobility issues. As long as a few teammates are fully mobile, this won’t be a problem, but any less mobile players will have severely diminished participation. Speak with your gamemaster if this might be an issue, they may be able to help.

The set of 1408 Escape looked great, but the gameflow was not where it needed to be. The folks from Brighton Asylum Escape told us that they are aware of these issues and plan to fix them before haunt season starts. They are committed.

1408 Escape will likely be a better escape room come September/ October. How much better will remain to be seen, but I am not counting Brighton Asylum out.

If you’re a beginner, 1408 Escape will be better tailored to you. The heavy focus on searching frequently plays against experienced players’ desires and skills; more experienced players should take on The Tomb. I consider myself a good searcher and I couldn’t find all that needed to be found. I didn’t enjoy my stay at the Dolphin Hotel… but I’m holding out hope that this turns into a hotel worth visiting.

Book your hour with Brighton Asylum Escape’s 1408 Escape, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Brighton Asylum Escape comped our tickets for this game.

 

10 thoughts on “Brighton Asylum Escape – 1408 Escape [Review]

  1. So is this an officially licensed derivative work, or do they just think no one will bother policing the appropriation of an old and fairly unknown movie?

      1. I went to this one in the June of 2018, and the issues that are described are still not fixed. While the searching has been lowered, the gameflow includes mainly basic and uninteresting puzzles. In addition, a lot of the set is worn out and thus the immersion is broken in multiple places. We escaped with about 17 minutes left, with two hints used (One was due to a slightly ambiguous clue, and the other was due to a paper cut-out not lining up), so the game felt light on contentWhile the final set and interactions were great, the build up was far too basic and uninteresting.

  2. I agree completely. Although I hear that the designer of the 13th Hour may be working with the owners to rework the gameflow, and knowing the quality of the company, this will probably become a far better company soon, just not as soon as most would suspect.

  3. Hello. We would like to address some concerns that have been brought up here. First, as promised, we have worked and continue to work on the game flow in room 1408 as well as our Curse Of The Tomb escape rooms. We have no ticket information for a “no-one”, and that’s fine if this individual wishes to remain anonymous, but we can confirm that the sets are not “worn out”, they are maintained and kept, the puzzles are kept, repaired when broken or if something goes missing, and when issues are brought to our attention, we go to work to fix them. We took Room Escape Artist’s visit with us seriously and have been working ever since to correct these issues. We have been doing much better, and are making improvements practically on a daily basis.

    We further appreciate that you seem to have an affinity for this company you mentioned, and we are sure they put together great escape rooms, but we are sorry to inform you that we have no plans on working with them, or anyone else, to redesign our game flow. We are committed to doing this in house, with the same creativity and hard work that has made us one of the top haunted houses in the country. Its taken some time, but we’re getting there with our escape rooms. Thanks very much.

    1. Thanks for the update Brighton.

      I’m not sure where No-One received his information, but it didn’t seem farfetched based on previous conversations that we had with you.

      I’m happy to hear that you guys are working on iterating your games, and look forward to the results soon.

      1. I recieved the info from 13th Hour itself, actually. I was quite surprised by their response as I did not realize he was misreporting the situation

    2. Hello! I’m sorry that I do not wanted to be identified, but I was informed by the owner of 13th Hour that there was a possibility for collaboration. I was not aware this was something you were not planning on working on. When I say “worn out”, I refer to the breakdown on some of the plastic props or what seemed to me as fading in the wallpaper, as well as (although I did not initially addressed this) exposed wiring, which really broke the immersion. Your staff was really friendly and I believe you are going great places (especially with the set design in the Tomb), but the gameplay was a letdown and I report as I see/hear.

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