“I’ll take ‘escape rooms’ for $200, Alex.”
Location: New Haven, CT
Date Played: December 18, 2017
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4 or 6
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $26 per ticket
On the one hand, we loved the innovation in The Game Show. Escape New Haven included more inventive game mechanics in this escape room than most companies have in all of their games combined. On the other hand, The Game Show didn’t adequately onboard players, which could leave even experienced players completely clueless. Its unforgiving nature could be frustrating or exhilarating.
Who is this for?
- People who like competitive games
- Players with at least some experience
- Atypical escape room structure
- Unusual game mechanics
- Competitive gameplay
- Great twist
We were contestants on a new game show. The winners would receive a free trip to sunny New Haven, Connecticut.
Split into two teams, Red and Blue, we were each led into mirror image spaces where we had to use puzzle stations built into the walls to compete with one another for points.
The back wall graphically displayed each team’s score in real time.
The competitive gameplay was built around rapidly learning the rules to each game and outplaying your opponents.
The initial difficulty was more in operating the game’s controls. Once we mastered that, we turned our attention to the competitive puzzles.
Finally, there was a big twist in this game… and explaining it would absolutely ruin the game. So I’m going to leave it at that.
The Game Show was different. Its starting split-team competitive segment and the twist that ensued made for a dramatic and unusual experience.
The competitive concept was energizing. Escape New Haven drew inspiration from famous psych experiments, but reinvented the concepts as gameplay. It worked well.
The Game Show made sense, narratively speaking.
The post-twist gameplay was fantastic. I wish I could go into more detail.
The competitive gameplay lacked instruction or clear feedback. If you get it, it will be exciting. If you don’t get it, it will be painfully frustrating. If it doesn’t click for anyone, you will spend a lot of time in an unforgiving environment, under pressure from the competitive aspect. This could and should be smoothed over.
In terms of build quality and finish, while The Game Show was a step up from some of Escape New Haven’s earlier work, their set design still lacked polish and attention to detail. Everything felt decidedly homemade, even when the creation was impressive.
For example, the video segments seemed haphazardly slapped together. They featured a host standing in front of a white sheet. The elementary look detracted from the aesthetic that Escape New Haven clearly wanted for The Game Show.
Tips for Visiting
- Use the app Parkmobile to fill your meter on the street in New Haven.
- There are lots of great restaurants in New Haven.
Book your hour with Escape New Haven’s The Game Show, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Escape New Haven provided media discounted tickets for this game.