Home of Will the Wise.
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Date Played: December 30, 2018
Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $28 per player
Emergency Exit: Yes
The Upside Down was an unapologetic and loving homage to Stranger Things. With a bit of set dressing and a strong emphasis on puzzles, this played as a well-executed traditional escape room.
It had some tech. It had some set embellishments. This was, however, primarily a puzzle game and we enjoyed it.
Regardless of experience level, if you find yourself in Cincinnati, and you’re looking for a traditional puzzle-driven escape room, this is a game to play, especially if you’re a fan of Stranger Things.
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Fans of Stranger Things
- Any experience level
- Faithful theming
- Fun puzzles
The Seven Forces was an organization dedicated to capturing powerful artifacts hidden throughout time and space.
We had to visit a small town in Indiana during the 1980s and contend with a mystical evil in possession of an artifact.
Within the wood-paneled walls of a 1980s basement, we found lots of puzzles and Stranger Things references.
While the set had charming details and sufficiently conveyed where we were, it wasn’t the focus of the game. Cincinnati Escape Room emphasized the puzzles.
Cincinnati Escape Room’s The Upside Down was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➕ The Upside Down was well themed. It felt true to its inspiration without being frightening.
➕/➖ Although the theming was clear, and generally on point, a few puzzles seemed strangely unrelated.
➕ We enjoyed the puzzles in The Upside Down. There was a lot of solve. We liked that keen observation, rather than sustained searching, yielded a large volume of puzzles.
➕ Many of the puzzles required teamwork. We appreciated this facet of Cincinnati Escape Room’s design.
➖ We entered the space with headlamp flashlights, supposedly as a thematic choice to embellish the experience. As we played the opening moments, however, these felt more like an afterthought. One didn’t work; another was weak. This sequence made it hard to pick up momentum at the onset of the experience.
➖ One precise puzzle was a bit out of sync. The concept was clever, but it seemed like the tech may need more regular maintenance.
➕ Cincinnati Escape Room implemented a pair of key moments exceptionally well. It wasn’t at all finicky. We’ve knocked a lot of companies in the past for getting this kind of thing wrong.
Tips For Visiting
- There is a parking lot.
- We enjoyed a post-game stop at Urban Artifact.
- Cincinnati Escape Room is part of The Seven Forces family. See our review of The Summons to see what else The Seven Forces is up to.
Book your hour with Cincinnati Escape Room’s The Upside Down, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.