Enter the Imaginarium – The Search for Leviathan [Review]

Mysterious Depths

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: you need to walk up stairs to get to this game

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The mystery in The Search for Leviathan was its unusual blend of high highs that followed an opening act loaded with low lows.

This was an escape room in which multiple teammates stopped dead in their tracks from sheer amazement, in the best of ways.

The thing is, if you want to be amazed, there’s a moat of less-than-stellar gameplay that you’ll have to overcome. The first act of The Search for Leviathan felt like it was designed by a completely different company. Fortunately, this segment was not the bulk of the game.

Somehow, these two worlds are part of one whole that was entirely worth playing… even if I truly believe that a handful of little improvements could elevate this game in countless ways.

An unusual room filled with assorted technology and a matrix of television screens.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

The Search for Leviathan is worth traveling to play, especially if you haven’t played the other offerings at Enter The Imaginarium. It’s certainly not perfect, but I encourage you to push onward when you stall because there’s something worthwhile on the other side, and the stuff that makes this game great is rare.

Who is this for?

  • Jules Verne fans
  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Some spectacular set design
  • Killer transitions
  • A strong second act

Story

Our mission was to dive deep beneath the waves to tangle with incredible beasts between us and buried treasure.

Panoramic photo of a submarine.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Setting

It felt like Enter the Imaginarium had blended together two completely different games to create The Search for Leviathan. One looked like an escape room and the other looked like another world. This otherworldly part ranked among the most beautiful escape rooms we’ve seen. It was artful and refined. The initial set, however, was like a budget steampunk spaceship with wall-to-wall carpet.

An assortment of screens, controls, and maps in a submarine.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Gameplay

The Search for Leviathan was a search-and-puzzle escape room that required keen observation and connection-building.

Porthole view of the bottom of the sea, assorted treasures lay about the sand.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Analysis

➕ I think most players will remember The Search for Leviathan for its show-stopping reveal, and the stunningly beautiful world that emerges.

➕ The unique layout of this incredible set led to progressive discovery… of a space we sort of already knew. This was a lot of fun.

➖ The early gameplay lacked energy. It combined a less-than-exciting set and tedious puzzles with imprecise cluing. Without any onramp or adequate puzzle feedback, we started to lose confidence in the gameplay.

➕ The latter portion of The Search for Leviathan included fun, layered puzzles that we enjoyed solving collaboratively. Gameplay-wise, this was the pinnacle of the game.

➖ In general, however, the puzzles felt under-clued.

➖ In the late game, it was nearly impossible to hear the cluing over the sound effects.

➕ /➖ In The Search for Leviathan, Enter the Imaginarium pulls off a mechanic few creators try. It’s impressive and it works brilliantly for this game. That said, if you know how to look, you’ll find its marks too early. Consider yourself warned.

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 Search for Leviathan, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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

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