I’m never going to remember the name of this room.
Location: Wharton, NJ
Date Played: July 16, 2018
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: from $29 per ticket
John Hayden’s Room was 13th Hour Escape Rooms’ first foray into the puzzle entertainment genre. As far as initial outgoings go, this was an impressive opener.
This was a solid old-school escape room with an above average set. Knowing that this was their first made John Hayden’s Room that much more impressive.
If you’re in the area and looking for a traditional puzzle-driven escape room in a creepy (not scary) setting, this will be great. If you’re looking for something more immersive or unusual, try The Great Room or The Dungeon.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Any experience level
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- Old-school, puzzle-driven escape room gameplay done well.
- A detailed set.
- 13th Hour Escape Rooms’ lobby and overall vibe.
Hayden Farm House had been home to many a gruesome murder. Anyone who had ever found themselves within the home left in pieces. Could we escape with our lives?
John Hayden’s Room was the first of 13th Hour’s escape rooms. Aside from being a little smaller with fewer dramatic set pieces, it would be hard to tell from the aesthetics. The environment may have been an office-like setup, but the level of detail was far higher than we’ve come to expect from rookie outings.
John Hayden’s Room was essentially the office and work space of a serial killer. It was strangely banal with the intensity coming from the work that Hayden did in this space. All of this gave it a good dose of character.
13th Hour Escape Rooms’ John Hayden’s Room was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and making connections.
+ The decor was outstanding. It was weathered such that it felt lived in and ominous.
+ This was a puzzle-driven escape room. It had a lot of content and invited parallel (non-linear) puzzling.
– One basic puzzle swapped out the most reasonable solution for another, but it was unclued. We thought this was a mistake, but it was intentional.
– John Hayden’s Room had a lot of locks with identical digit structures. Each time we derived a solution, we’d need to try it in many different locks before anything opened. Varying input digit structure or adding iconography to the locks would improve game flow.
– The triggered opens didn’t provide enough feedback. We were constantly looking around for what we’d triggered. Sound or light cues could improve these moments.
+ As the game progressed, we found the wallpaper especially attractive.
+ John Hayden’s Room was 13th Hour Escape Rooms’ first foray into escape room design. While it played like it was a few years old, when compared with most older escape rooms, it far surpassed them in aesthetic appeal. Furthermore, it was well maintained. Although we preferred 13th Hour Escape Rooms’ newer designs, we were impressed with this company’s origins and we still had a ton of fun escaping the original nemesis of the Hayden farm.
Tips for Visiting
- There is parking available.
- We recommend Hot Rods BBQ.
Disclosure: 13th Hour Escape Rooms comped our tickets for this game.