Themescape – The Terminal [Review]

Chuga Chuga Chuga Chuga. Search! Search!

Location:  Broomfield, CO

Date Played: September 6, 2019

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Themescape’s The Terminal had a cool-looking graffitied NYC subway set. It was for the best that it looked good because the game felt like it was about 95% search-based.

In-game: graphittied subway walls with a Pepsi vending machine.

The entirety of the experience was grounded in escape room logic. Nothing made sense. It hearkened back to the earliest days of escape rooms.

We just didn’t like this game. It always feels tragic to see a weak game in a solid set. Themescape’s The Gate was considerably more interesting. I’d strongly encourage playing it over The Terminal.

Who is this for?

  • Searchers & scavengers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Old-school search-based gameplay
  • A couple of nifty interactions

Story

A blackout had killed power to New York City. However, a runaway subway train was barreling towards the end of the line. We had to restore power and engage the train’s emergency brakes.

In-game: A NYC subway wall covered in graphitti and a sign for the NQR Downtown & Brooklyn.

Setting

The Terminal looked like a modern New York City subway station… but created to evoke the graffitied imagery associated with the New York City of a few decades ago.

The set looked pretty good, even if it didn’t ring true to me at all as a New Yorker.

In-game: A NYC subway map mounted to the subway wall.

Gameplay

Themescape’s The Terminal was a standard escape room with a low level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching.

Analysis

➕ Themescape crafted a bright and busy train station set. It looked pretty good.

➖ The gameplay was almost entirely search. Once we had everything we needed, puzzles solved in seconds. Any time we paused, it was because of a search fail.

➖ The Terminal lacked gating. We spent a lot of time trying to solve puzzles before we’d found all of the components. There was no in-game cluing to clarify that these puzzles weren’t active yet.

➕ The Terminal had one large set piece that was a fun input mechanism. It had another nifty device that gave some variety to the continual searching.

➖ The cluing was misleading. In one instance, we found a “secret clue.” Due to the labeling of the clue, we thought the game could be solved without it. The thing was, a note on a prop had already led us away from the item now in play due to the “secret clue.” This entire set up was baffling.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Themescape’s The Terminal, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Themescape comped our tickets for this game.

Disclosure: Our trip to Denver was sponsored by the Denver escape room community. Contributions were anonymous.

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