The Puzzle Parlour – Alien Conspiracy [Review]

Hold onto your foil hat.

Location:  White Plains, NY

Date Played: June 22, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $44.99 per player for teams of 2 to $24.99 per player for teams of 8 with higher pricing at peak hours

Ticketing:  Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Alien Conspiracy was The Puzzle Parlour’s hardest game. It acted as a sort of final boss for their initial 4 games. It had a number of Easter eggs referencing their other games. It also operated under the assumption that you and your team have some idea of what you’re doing in an escape room.

In-game: a whiteboard covered in equations.

This wasn’t a bad game, but it was our least favorite of The Puzzle Parlour’s offerings. This had to do with some unusual bottlenecking and an unclued element here… and a slightly faulty puzzle there. This was nothing catastrophic, but parts of this game just felt harder than they should have been. The good news is that most of the issues with this game are fixable.

If you’ve played through the rest of The Puzzle Parlour’s suite of games, enjoyed yourself, and like a challenge, you should give Alien Conspiracy a try. It was more challenging than most of the escape rooms in the region. In its own way, that makes it standout.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scientists
  • Players with some experience

Why play?

  • Challenging puzzles
  • The variation in decor

Story

A government crew was on their way to destroy decades of research on the existence of alien life. Our group of believers had stormed a remote home to preserve the data before the powers that be could destroy it all.

In-game: a dated, 70s living room with a flat screen TV.

Setting

We entered the home of an alien conspiracy theorist. It looked like a living room that hadn’t been significantly updated since the 1970s. While this wasn’t the most exciting of gamespaces, it did accomplish its goals.

In-game: a laptop on a very old desk.

Gameplay

The Puzzle Parlour’s Alien Conspiracy was a standard escape room with a higher level of difficulty.

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

In-game: a black computer screen with green writing that reads, "Unauthorized access self-destruct sequence activated"

Analysis

➕ Alien Conspiracy was a solid execution of a traditional puzzle-driven escape room. The puzzles were varied and flowed logically.

➖ While most of the puzzles worked well, we felt that the occasional detail was left unclued.

➕ The Puzzle Parlour included a nifty toy. This was a fun solve.

➖ In one late-game puzzle, players can derive a solution only by following the intended gameflow. We had enough information to solve this puzzle slightly earlier than intended, with just a molecule of outside knowledge. That attempt at solving seemed logical, and would have worked, except for one small error in the puzzle materials. With just a tweak, players would be able to approach this puzzle earlier than the game designer intended without it breaking.

➕ We could easily track our progress through the final puzzle sequence with visual cues. This set up for an intense final scene.

➖ The end fizzled. The combination of a lockout safe and an unclued element stalled our forward motion. This, along with linear puzzle flow that seemed like it could have been paralleled, but shouldn’t have been, slowed what otherwise should have been a dramatic conclusion.

➕ The different spaces in Alien Conspiracy felt distinctive but cohesive. The themed spaces were exciting to reveal.

Tips For Visiting

  • Puzzle Parlour has a lovely lobby.
  • Park in their lot and use the app ParkWhitePlains to refill your meter.
  • There is plenty to eat and do in the area.

Book your hour with The Puzzle Parlour’s Alien Conspiracy, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Puzzle Parlour comped our tickets for this game.

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