Enigmatic Escapes – Secret of the Study [Review]

A puzzling mystery.

Location: Troy, NY

Date Played: March 11, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per ticket

REA Reaction

Secret of the Study played smoothly. The varied puzzle types presented a well-paced, team challenge. With more focus on the set, Enigmatic Escapes could enhance the excitement of their adventure. Enigmatic Escapes delivered a well-refined, puzzle-focused escape room.

From a puzzle and flow standpoint, this game had a lot of appeal for us.

In-game: two face down hands of cards and some chips on a card table.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Escape room purists
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The puzzles
  • The gameflow

Story

Professor Prosper, a famed inventor, had entered his study and gone missing. We sought his will, hidden in his study, to stop his business partner from taking control of his inventions and keeping them from mankind.

In-game: the will locked in a transparent box sealed shut with a padlock.

Setting

Secret of the Study took place in Professor Prosper’s office, a large room furnished with heavy wooden furniture, a few display cases, and some wall hangings.

It was a pretty standard minimalist escape room-style office staging. It was functional, but not exciting.

In-game: A view of the room shot from behind a desk.

Gameplay

Secret of the Study was a puzzle-focused escape room with little searching. The puzzles included quick solves for observant players as well as more complicated puzzles to work through.

While Secret of the Study was more challenging than the average escape room, the gameplay felt balanced and flowed well.

Standouts

Enigmatic Escapes combined quick “aha” moments with more complex puzzles. In this way, Secret of the Study was both approachable and challenging. The puzzles were a ton of fun.

The game flowed well. The puzzles also traversed the gamespace well.

In-game documents felt durable, but not laminated. It was a small detail, but a pleasurable one.

We enjoyed the tangible interactions associated with some of the larger set pieces.

Shortcomings

Secret of the Study took place in an office. It had minimal set decor and wasn’t particularly intriguing or exciting.

Enigmatic Escapes placed the larger, more interactive set pieces within the space rather than integrating them into a designed environment. These could be even more exciting against a more persuasive backdrop.

One critical set piece behaved inconsistently. While Enigmatic Escapes did have manual overrides so that a gamemaster could trigger the solve, the interactions felt sluggish and confusing. They could rework this to make the solves at this critical juncture that much more satisfying.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is metered street parking nearby.
  • There are plenty of food options around.
  • Once in their building, go up to the second floor.

Book your hour with Enigmatic Escapes’ Secret of the Study, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Enigmatic Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

 

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