More than meets the eye.
Location: New York, NY
Date played: September 12, 2017
Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: from $35 per ticket
Story & setting
The Memory Room was the second chapter of Paradiso’s saga about the secrets of the elusive Virgil Corporation. We had discovered that Virgil Corporation was researching the human mind and we aimed to save one of their research subjects.
Upon first glance, The Memory Room looked unremarkable. From the largely blank walls, to the minimalist seating, to the single table set with player greetings, the space appeared practically empty. This stood in sharp contrast to the detailed sets of Paradiso’s first escape room. It turned out that there was far more complexity hiding in The Memory Room than was initially apparent.
The puzzles required astute observation. As the setting transformed and introduced a character and puzzles, we needed to carefully observe, build connections, and make sense of what we were seeing. The Memory Room included more abstract thinking.
While of the most puzzles resolved in a physical lock, there were a few more unusual methods of triggering solutions.
While The Memory Room initially appeared unexciting, especially in comparison to the grand staging of Paradiso’s first chapter, The Escape Test, it surprised us. Behind the minimalistic facade, it turned out to be unusual and complex.
The Memory Room introduced a design concept we’d been awaiting for more than 2 years. Paradiso used the unadorned space as a canvas. With technology, they transformed this simple gamespace into a dynamic story and puzzle component.
We’ve never seen another escape room like this one.
In The Memory Room, Paradiso introduced a character whose presence helped build narrative and drive gameplay. The actor in this role was both engaging and withdrawn, intriguing and inaccessible. She was outstanding.
The Memory Room dove deeper into the workings of Paradiso’s Virgil Corporation. The gameplay unlocked a story.
Although The Memory Room told a story, many of our teammates didn’t fully understand what had transpired. As a standalone experience, The Memory Room didn’t fully communicate to the players what they’d effected and how this connected to the Virgil Corporation.
The set wasn’t particularly well fabricated. More polished construction would improve the stark contrast between the seemingly barren physical space and the complex experience within it.
The Memory Room included one safe-style spinning combination lock that lacked adequate in-game operation instructions. This was incredibly frustrating… and it’s worth noting that spinning safe locks are generally frustrating devices.
Should I play Paradiso’s The Memory Room?
The Memory Room was a unique standalone room escape experience. It manipulated a gamespace, turning a simple setting into an unexpected myriad of environments. We’d never seen anything like it.
The Memory Room had fun and satisfying puzzles, most of which resolved through physical gameplay components.
David and I played Paradiso’s more theatrical Path of Beatrice add-on experience (review forthcoming) in the week leading up to our booking at The Memory Room. The add-on Path of Beatrice enhanced our experience in The Memory Room. Our playthrough included some additional character interaction, which was really exciting. Furthermore, we had a better grasp of the Virgil Corporation, its research initiatives, and our goals.
We didn’t tell our teammates for The Memory Room that we’d been engaged with the Virgil Corporation for few days already. We wondered whether they’d notice that we were executing sneaky side missions. Our friends never realized that anything out of the ordinary had occurred, but they did enjoy the differences once we explained them over dinner.
The Memory Room offered something different in terms of the set and story behind the puzzling and the role of an actor. (Review these tips for playing room escapes with live actors.)
If you’re looking for a grand scale, outrageous set pieces, and large tangible interactions, this won’t be your favorite escape room.
If you’re interested in more cerebral puzzling, as you’re led through an unusual story and a changing environment, visit The Memory Room. It will be memorable.
Book your hour with Paradiso’s The Memory Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Full disclosure: Paradiso comped our tickets for this game.