Enter the Imaginarium – The Inventor’s Paradox [Review]

Stuff of Myth

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

Accessibility Consideration: all players need to be able to climb stairs

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Inventor’s Paradox was at its best in times of transition. Enter the Imaginarium used lighting, sound, and space to create vivid moments that the entire team experienced together. These transitions were the glue between beautiful but unlike sets that somehow belonged in the same whole.

A large chair in the middle of a library study, surrounded by books.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Where The Inventor’s Paradox faltered was in the unevenness of the gameplay in between these moments. Some puzzles were brilliant. Others were tedious, or in one case, barely a puzzle at all. Thus the segments could drag until we came together again for the next chapter of the experience.

Enter the Imaginarium is a world worth traveling to. If you’re visiting, The Inventor’s Paradox is a must-play, and it may surprise you even if you’ve played Chamber of Illusions (also highly recommended) and you think you know the secrets of Enter the Imaginarium.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A grand opening
  • Strong puzzles grounded in the ambiance of the space
  • A fantastic conclusion

Story

We were tasked with turning back time, to explore the archives and memories of the Imaginarium’s creator.

Setting

The set was big, sprawling, varied, and beautiful from start to finish. These were places we wanted to spend time in. Each space we visited evoked a different emotion; each had a different vibe. Yet, they worked all together.

A clockwork mechanism within a clocktower.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Gameplay

The Inventor’s Paradox relied on traditional search-and-puzzle gameplay.

Analysis

➕ The opening scene combined two unlike aesthetics into a charming setting. It was further enhanced by large, interactive props and one unlikely component, which were all a lot of fun.

➕ The scene changes in The Inventor’s Paradox were exciting and memorable. They varied enormously, and delighted us from the opening moments through to the end.

➖ Non-linear portions of this game would benefit from more pronounced lock-mapping. We encountered multiple locks of the same digit structure and it wasn’t immediately apparent which solution went where, which impeded momentum.

➕ We found time pondering would then resolve in an unusual and satisfying way.

➖ In the mid-game sequence, we found more mundane puzzle styles. These felt unbalanced, sometimes overly straightforward, and sometimes overstaying their welcome, especially in low light. The puzzles had high highs and frustrating lows.

➖ In some places The Inventor’s Paradox showed wear.

➖ Although we felt the characters strongly, we weren’t entirely clear on how their story unfolded.

➕ We appreciated dramatic lighting throughout the latter portion of the experience.

➕ We enjoyed the late-game reprise of a flow that Enter the Imaginarium is known for. It built our anticipation.

➕ The intense conclusion lingered… in a great way.

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 Inventor’s Paradox, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.