“Pressure pushing down on me. Pressing down on you.”
Location: Garwood, NJ
Date Played: July 10, 2018
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $29.99 per ticket
Under Pressure was a good-looking step up from our experience with early games from Escapology in Orlando. It had an appealing set with some charming details and a variety of puzzles. Under Pressure applied pressure, but not for quite the right reasons. A few sloppy puzzles in early and late segments made this escape room much harder and more frustrating than it should have been.
Given how widely Escapology is proliferating, we’re happy to see them on an upward trajectory and hope they continue to iterate in game design.
If you’re in the neighborhood and looking for more of a challenge, dive in.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Mathy folks
- Scenery snobs
- Players with at least some experience
- Puzzley gameplay.
- A strong set.
- A lovely lobby.
It was 1944 and we were aboard the Steel Shark, the pride of the US Navy. Our mission to surveil the German battle cruiser Scheer came to an abrupt halt when our engines suddenly failed. With pressure increasing, we had an hour to restore the systems before reaching crush depth.
Under Pressure represented a significant aesthetic step up from the early games that we had played at Escapology. We began in a well-detailed bunk and puzzled through to the engine room.
While Escapology built finer sets for Under Pressure and these were fairly consistent, quality still dropped off with each subsequent room that we found. Space became more cramped and props looked a little more homemade. This was less pronounced than in the earlier games we had played with Escapology in Orlando, but it was still noticeable.
Escapology’s Under Pressure was a standard escape room with a higher level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and making some spurious connections.
+ We enjoyed a few extra aesthetic touches in the opening set. This included a themed count-down timer as an oxygen gauge.
+ Escapology added effects that enhanced the drama of the experience.
– Under Pressure included a deliberate red herring, meant as a laugh, but no cluing as to how to ascertain the intended approach to the puzzle. It was immensely frustrating.
– Because we encountered this entirely unclued puzzle so early in the experience, everything became suspect. We no longer trusted Under Pressure to supply us with breadcrumbs, leading us to try any and all possible solutions, even if they made no sense, which was a frustrating play style.
+ There was a few larger props that looked and felt great and made sense contextually. We enjoyed how these fit into the puzzling.
+ Under Pressure offered a few interesting, layered puzzles. These were challenging, satisfying solves.
– One elaborate solve gave us more information than we needed. We were expected to simply use half of it with no explanation of why. We had the right solution, but had no idea it was correct until our gamemaster intervened.
– The final puzzle was infuriatingly incomplete and we burned two hints to bridge the logic leaps necessary to complete the game.
? Under Pressure had some brutally frustrating flaws, but they could be easily fixed. We hope the folks from Escapology continue to iterate on this escape room, because from the set details to many of the puzzles, it was a lot of fun.
+ Escapology has a beautiful and spacious lounge. It’s a comfortable space to hang out for groups of any size. For larger events, the facility is equipped with a party room.
Tips for Visiting
- There is a large parking lot.
- We recommend Rudy’s Italian Restaurant in the same plaza as Escapology.
Book your hour with Escapology’s Under Pressure, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Escapology comped our tickets for this game.