The Great Escape NJ – The Garage [Review]

Escape & BBQ

Location:  Wharton, New Jersey

Date Played: January 22, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $29 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

Update December 8, 2019 – This location is closed. This game was sold to another escape room company in NJ. 13th Hour Escape Rooms is still running games at their location.

REA Reaction

Created as a side project from the people behind the 2-time Golden Lock-In Award-winning company 13th Hour Escape Rooms, The Garage was a themed puzzle game in a fun setting. We were in a garage trying to get the garage door to open.

The Garage exemplified how escape rooms don’t require a complex, epic story to be entertaining and compelling. The substance of The Garage existed in the thematic props and their associated puzzles. It was lovely, challenging, and fair.

In-game: Wide angle shot of The Garage, a small motorcycle sits in the middle of the room, a car door rests on a workbench in the background.

If you’re in the region and enjoy puzzle-driven games in a unique environment, we strongly recommend driving through The Great Escape NJ. The Garagewould be approachable and fun regardless of experience level.

Additionally, The Garage is for sale along with its lease (and, I believe, space for another game). Feel free to contact The Great Escape NJ for details.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
  • Fans of 13th Hour escape games

Why play?

  • Great puzzles & flow
  • An elegant set with an unusual theme
  • Attached to a BBQ restaurant


We had 60 minutes to reopen the old Hot Rods Garage.

In-game: the heavily weathered garage door with a digital keypad beside it.


The Great Escape NJ’s The Garage looked as the name advertised. The entire room was built around tools and cars. The puzzles, props, and interactions were rooted within the theme.

Created as a side project by 13th Hour Escape Rooms, The Garage was imbued with their aesthetic and level of detail… without the creepiness of their other rooms.

In-game: Wide angle shot of The Garage, a small motorcycle sits in the middle of the room, and a work bench and large set of cabinets sit in the background.


The Great Escape NJ’s The Garage was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and making connections.

In-game: Closeup of an unusual weathered electronic component.


➕ The garage setting was an unusual and welcome theme. The Great Escape NJ’s execution was solid. It felt right.

➕ We had an objective. We didn’t miss the presence of a deliberate story.

➕ The Great Escape NJ made excellent use of automotive props in general, incorporating them into clever, layered puzzles.

➕ The hint system was triggered by beeping the horn on a steering wheel. It was a great detail.

In-game: closeup of a steering wheel.
“Beep” for a clue. We forgot to do it.

➕ The Garage contained a searching puzzle that was legitimately fun. We took turns doing it. When we had reached a point where we could have brute-forced the last digit, we elected not to. We wanted to complete the puzzle naturally.

➕ The Great Escape NJ turned 1-person interactions into full-full team moments.

In-game: Closeup of a large electrical safety switch locked up a directional lock.

➖ While The Garage made good use of traditional locks, we had access to a few too many 4-digit locks at once, creating situations where we had to try solutions in too many places.

The Garage included non-traditional inputs, in addition to 4-digit locks. These added a lot to the puzzle solving.

The exterior entrance/ exit for The Garage. A weathered door and garage door surrounded by car parts.

➕ The Garage gave feedback whenever we solved a puzzle. We always knew whether we were on the right track, or needed to u-turn.

Tips For Visiting

Book your hour with The Great Escape NJ’s Garage, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Great Escape NJ comped our tickets for this game.


  1. This business might be closed now. The website has been showing an error for months, and they haven’t posted on facebook since April 2018.

    1. You are correct. This particular game was sold.

      The 13th Hour Escape Room business is alive and doing quite well… This off-site game that they made and operated now belongs to another happy owner.

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