Not as it seemed…
Location: Hawthorne, NJ
Date Played: October 17, 2019
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $29.95 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
I really like The Other Tales. When my mom wanted to play an escape room with her friends, I sent her to play their first game, The Forgotten Room. The Anomaly was a big step up on every level: puzzle design, game design, intrigue, set design, and interaction design. And it accomplished this while staying true to the handcrafted, made-with-love vibe of The Forgotten Room.
We also appreciated the detailed story conveyed by The Anomaly even if it felt a little too bogged down with reading.
Our biggest worry for The Anomaly was that it was showing wear, and some of the materials really ought to be beefed up. This game is too fun to fall apart.
The Other Tales is a gem in the northern New Jersey escape room market. Although their experiences aren’t the most impressive builds in the region, they combine puzzles and story with memorable moments, and they provide a gentle touch that we highly recommend for players of any experience level.
Who is this for?
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Any experience level
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- Unusual story
- Interesting puzzles
- Intrigue curve
- Cool props and surprises
We were part of a special task force investigating a scientific lab. After some strange happenings and a disappeared person, it seemed this lab might not be exactly what it seemed. We needed to set things right before the Feds arrived.
At first glance, The Anomaly looked pretty standard – maybe even subpar – with white walls, assorted cabinets, and a table in the center of the room.
As the game progressed, however, The Anomaly revealed its secrets; the nature of the game and space transformed.
The Other Tales’ The Anomaly was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around puzzling, observing, and making connections.
➕ The puzzles flowed beautifully through an appropriate difficulty curve. They started out approachable and built up in challenge and complexity before backing off again in the conclusion.
➕ The Other Tales used a variety of interaction types in this game. They combined physical locks with tech-driven opens. The puzzles and interactions were largely tangible and inviting.
➕ The Anomaly told an unusual story. As we played, we learned about a character, his motivation, and his plight. We were invested in the game not only to solve puzzles, but to play through the story.
➖ As much as we enjoyed the story, it was sometimes burdensome to follow. While some of it evolved through play, it also required substantial reading. There was opportunity to show – rather than tell – more of the story beats.
➕ Although The Anomaly didn’t look impressive at the onset, as we solved puzzles, it offered more intrigue in the form of new props and available interactions. With each new open, we were increasingly impressed by what the room had to offer.
➖ The Anomaly hadn’t been open long when we visited and some of the materials, props, and set pieces were already showing wear. The Other Tales would be better served with some stronger, more interesting construction material.
➕ The Anomaly included memorable moments that linked the physical props and the story.
Tips For Visiting
- Parking: There is a parking lot.
- Food: There are numerous casual restaurants nearby.
Book your hour with The Other Tales’ The Anomaly, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: The Other Tales comped our tickets for this game.