Office Space meets Portal, with a hint of Tiny Toons.
Location: North Hollywood, CA
Date Played: August 26, 2018
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $27 per ticket
Testing Facility was a puzzle-focused escape room that justified the puzzling with a humorous spin. Although the gamespace was not inherently exciting and it lacked adventure, Testing Facility was a phenomenally strong puzzle game with character.
If you’re in Los Angeles and you play escape rooms for the puzzles, we strongly encourage you to test yourself against Testing Facility.
Who is this for?
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- People who think that an Office Space-meets-Portal mashup is a good idea
- Any experience level
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- Humorous AI
- Many interesting puzzles
We had eagerly accepted Professor Bentham’s experiment and his challenge to outwit his humorously psychotic AI, PAL, and its desire to make us its best friend forever and ever.
PAL’s personality could best be described as Portal’s GLaDOS with the motivation of Tiny Toon’s Elmyra.
The tests took place in an office-meets-lab environment complete with Despair Demotivation posters. Furniture included a table, a couple of desks, and not much else. The most eye-catching set piece was an old soda vending machine.
Most of the character for Testing Facility came from the voice of the AI, PAL.
Escape Chronicles’ Testing Facility was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around puzzling.
+ Testing Facility was funny. The AI taunted us throughout the escape room. It added depth and humor to the bland office setting. This was a perfect example of a game that mixed an office environment with something unexpected and turned a tired escape room theme into something entertaining.
– Humor aside, Testing Facility wasn’t an exciting space to occupy. The blandness of an office didn’t energize our group.
+ Escape Chronicles built a lot of puzzle play into minimal props, and in one instance, into one small item. It was impressive.
+ Escape Chronicles printed custom props for one puzzle. This detail created smooth (red herring free!) entertaining gameplay. Many lesser companies would have just made small modifications to existing materials.
+ Escape Chronicles minded the details, delivering interesting and fun puzzles.
+ We enjoyed Escape Chronicles’ approach to reuse. We reused knowledge that we had accumulated over the course of gameplay.
– Testing Facility lacked an impactful finale. We would have liked to see or feel a response to besting the AI. Given the character Escape Chronicles had crafted into the experience, there was opportunity to deliver a more exciting or dramatic conclusion.
Tips for Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- One player needs to be able to crawl.
- For food we recommend Cahuenga General Store.
Book your hour with Escape Chronicles’ Testing Facility, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Escape Chronicles provided media discounted tickets for this game.