Location: New Bedford, Massachusetts
Date Played: December 12, 2019
Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $28 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Thinking back on The Eckstein Experiment, I’m kind of amazed that it was only 1 hour long. The set was large, packed with detailed and unique spaces. There were a lot of fantastic team-based challenges. The character with whom we interacted was brilliant.
We have a weak spot for steampunk sets over at Room Escape Artist, and this was one of our favorites. It was tactile and beautiful.
We loved this game… except for the beginning. The initial moments of the experience were great, but the first few minutes of gameplay felt stale, like they belonged in a different world… one we’ve seen many times before. Once we were past the early gameplay, this game soared.
If you’re near Boston with a car, go play The Eckstein Experiment at Mass Escape. While you’re there, play Ice Station Zero as well, if not all 3 of their games. This is a really cool company that is designing creatively.
Who is this for?
- Adventure seekers
- Story seekers
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Sci-fi fans
- Players with at least some experience
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- Tons of content
- Strong team-based gameplay
- A cool steampunk set
- A great hint system
Strange lights had flashed and even stranger noises had come from the medical office of Dr. Eckstein. One day, curiosity got the better of us and we decided to investigate.
The Eckstein Experiment opened up in typical-looking escape room jail cells. Once we were free of the bars, things changed quickly. Mass Escape pulled from steampunk and laboratory aesthetics to create something unique.
The opening was fine; it looked good. The mid- and late-game sets were something considerably more special.
Mass Escape’s The Eckstein Experiment was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, puzzling, and communicating.
➕ Although the opening set was nothing special, The Eckstein Experiment transitioned into a beautiful steampunk laboratory. We loved the aesthetic and the dynamic of the interconnected spaces. There was also a surprising set piece that might creep up on you.
➕ Mass Escape crafts charming characters into their games. Our gamemaster set the tone for the experience, acting as a character in our story. His sincere delivery added to the fun. Mass Escape was able to lean into this antagonistic character because they had a different method of hint delivery. We didn’t need to trust this guy.
➕ The hint system added a playfulness to The Eckstein Experiment. Mass Escape seamlessly integrated the hints, such that it would have been a lesser game without taking them.
➕ Mass Escape made great use of space.
➖ The first act of The Eckstein Experiment was unbalanced. It was a split-team start where some people had a lot more they could do than others. It also felt too generic in comparison to what came immediately after.
➕ The Eckstein Experiment fostered engaging team dynamics.
➕ Mass Escape combined both escape room-y puzzles with more situational-based solves.
➖ Mass Escapes really needed to dial up the size, lighting, and precision of one key interaction.
➖ Additional gating in one section would prevent teams from blindly burning substantial time on inactive puzzles.
❓ The bonus quests in The Eckstein Experiment weren’t integrated as cleanly as were those in their other games.
➕ Mass Escape devoted a whole section of this game to one gimmick, and transformed it into a communication puzzle. Then they repurposed a space that we didn’t expect to reuse, which was impressive.
Tips For Visiting
- There is metered street parking.
- At least 2 people have to crawl.
- The game has a split beginning. Players will start in different spaces.
- Mass Escape’s escape rooms all have a main quest and bonus quests. You can choose whether or not to spend your time on the bonus quests; they are clearly delineated as such.
Book your hour with Mass Escape’s The Eckstein Experiment, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: Mass Escape comped our tickets for this game.