Escapism – Gallery 3919 [Review]

A colorful mission.

Location: San Diego, CA

Date played: December 4, 2017

Team size: 1-12; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per ticket, purchasing 8 tickets makes the game private

REA Reaction

Gallery 3919 would be a fun and exciting entry point into escape rooms.

Gallery 3919 overlaid standard escape room gameplay with some exciting twists. Considering how long Escapism has been running this game, it was ahead of its time. While it sometimes tripped up on puzzle flow, puzzling through it was generally a lot of fun.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Families
  • Best for beginners

Why play?

  • Original art turned into puzzles
  • Fun twists

Story

We were summoned to an art gallery by a clandestine organization and given a training mission to either initiate or expel us.

In-game: A key covered hour glass sculpture in the middle of an art gallery. Massive colorful paintings hang in the background.

Setting

Gallery 3919 was a typically white gallery with colorful, original art on the walls. The staging also included a variety of unadorned pedestals displaying sculpture.

The large space was neither busy or bare.

Gameplay

Gallery 3919 was a traditional escape room.

Much of the puzzling was hidden within the art. We needed to make connections between artwork, unlocked items, and the locked spaces.

Standouts

The art in Gallery 3919 was original. We didn’t know the pieces or what secrets they might be hiding.

Escapism set up the experience such that their unassuming set would change. Escapism employed techniques that delivered the effects dramatically. This was an older game and in choosing these methods, Escapism was ahead of the curve.

Escapism assigned a few roles before we entered The Gallery. While their selection method felt random, it gave them a bit of control over key interactions for extra safety precaution.

The Gallery followed a narrative arc.

Shortcomings

While Escapism created overarching narrative, we didn’t experience it through the puzzles. The puzzles were disconnected from the purpose of our adventure. In general, The Gallery struggled against escape room logic where solutions only made sense in the context of a room of puzzles.

Most puzzle solutions led to a lock. There were a lot of locks, some of which were not clearly connected to their partner puzzles. It could be challenging to ascertain exactly where to input a solution.

One interaction required a substantial amount of force. More experienced players who tend to be delicate with props and sets will likely be tripped up here. We lost a lot of time despite having the right idea.

One of the coolest interactions would benefit from a locking mechanism to hold it in place after it has been used. In its current state, it could move unexpectedly as players move through the gamespace.

Tips for Visiting

  • Prepare for street parking; bring quarters.
  • There are lots of restaurants in the vicinity. The burgers and shakes at Burger Lounge were yummy.

Book your hour with Escapism’s Gallery 3919, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escapism comped our tickets for this game.

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