Enter the Imaginarium – The Chamber of Illusions [Review]

Magic Maze

Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

Date Played: July 3, 2021

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $165 up to 4 players, additional $26 per person up to 10

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

For many years we’ve been told that we needed to get to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specifically to visit Enter the Imaginarium. We’d heard tale of their unified game world, in-character gamemasters, and whispers of a remarkable set of interactions.

The Chamber of Illusions was a special game that did things that we’ve rarely and never seen before… and it did them with a style that was unique to Enter the Imaginarium.

An intimate magician's stage surrounded by magical props and posters.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Now, I don’t want to overhype The Chamber of Illusions. In many ways it was a unique and spectacular work; in others it was flawed. In the end, this was classic escape room with excellent execution.

It was worth traveling to visit this unusual world. The unusual interactions and heavy atmosphere left me with memories that I won’t soon forget.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fans of stage magic
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A world class opening sequence
  • Fantastic atmosphere in a fully realized game world
  • Strong puzzles, gameplay, and interactions
  • In-character gamemastering

Story

We were charged with entering a funhouse to match wits with an infamous illusionist and his numerous creations.

Setting

Enter the Imaginarium opened the fiction at the door in a fully cohesive world that included the lobby areas as well as fully costumed and in-character staff. Chamber of Illusions had a dramatic and engaging opening sequence that was memorable for the right reasons.

Chamber of Illusions was set in environments that evoked the golden age of magic. Thematically, the game explored the intersection of stage magic and occult. The sets were fully realized and throughout the game we were constantly reminded that we were in a special place.

The alleyway hall within Enter the Imaginarium. Everything is made from wood and brick.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Gameplay

The gameplay involved searching, puzzling, and a small bit of memorization. (It was clear what we needed to recall.)

Analysis

➕ The detailed set evoked a bygone era. It was appropriately majestic.

The Chamber of Illusions was packed with thematic puzzles that led to satisfying solves. There was a lot of gameplay to enjoy, and it traversed the entire gamespace.

➕ Enter the Imaginarium used subtle details to elegantly clue interactions.

➖ There was an opportunity to clue one specific solution more soundly.

➖ One area of the set needed a little more light.

Inside of the a strange curio shop filled with unusual antiques.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

➕ We were delighted with a twist into a whimsical sequence with especially fun moments.

➖ After a stellar experience, the ending fizzled. We’d solved the final puzzle correctly, but the game required a specific style of input and we didn’t see why. We recommend cluing this more strongly, or accepting multiple styles of input. Instead, we mulled about looking for new ways to solve something we’d essentially already figured out, when we should have been accelerating toward the conclusion of the game.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is a parking lot.
  • Food: For sandwiches, Primanti Bros is a Pittsburgh classic.

Book your hour with Enter the Imaginarium’s The Chamber of Illusions, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Enter the Imaginarium comped our tickets for this game.

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