Maine Escape Games – Dr. Gem’s Time Trap [Review]

Tampered Time

Location:  South Portland, ME

Date Played: October 15, 2021

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player (Friday through Sunday and holidays the price for just two people to play a room is $90)

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Dr. Gem’s Time Trap was a joy.

The technology-focused interactions that made up the gameplay were well-crafted and responsive. The game world was elegantly designed and fun to occupy.

This was a puzzle-focused game where each puzzle was as well thought-out as it was competently built.

A wide view of the time machine, it has a wood and metal, old meets new aesthetic.

Portland, Maine doesn’t have a lot of escape room companies, but Maine Escape Games is doing this right. If you’re in the region, this is a must-play game. It’s not pushing boundaries; it’s simply executing in all of the right ways.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Time travel fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A lot of strong puzzle content
  • Super solid technology
  • Fun plot twist

Story

We were about to complete construction on our revolutionary new time machine when our rival, Dr. Gem, disassembled some of the device and ran off through time with some of the pieces. We had one charge left on the battery to pursue. If we messed up, it would be a one way trip.

Setting

We entered a beautiful and unusual time machine that blended elements of steam punk with some modern elements. The mixture of corrugated aluminum, piping, lighting, and wood came together to create an aesthetic that was unique to this experience.

A large contraption in the middle of the room with man inputs, beyond it is a glowing battery.

As we pushed deeper into the experience, the aesthetic changed, but Maine Escape Games maintained a generally high level of quality.

Gameplay

Maine Escape Games’ Dr. Gem’s Time Trap was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, solving puzzles, and teamwork.

A large wall-mounted device with many tubes and valves.

Analysis

➕ Dr. Gem’s Time Trap was an elegant build out. We appreciated the precise construction and the craftsmanship. The set was wonderful.

➕ Everything worked remarkably well with impressive consistency. I call this out because Maine Escape Games used tech liberally and the underlying architecture was clearly build to support it.

➕ Although the transition was foreshadowed to anyone paying close attention to detail, the second act was such a departure in look and feel that it was a fun surprise nonetheless.

➖ One area of the set felt under-designed compared to the rest of the experience. It was also under-utilized by the gameplay.

➕ This was a puzzle-centric escape game with a lot of content and a largely non-linear flow, but it never felt overwelming. It was well-clued.

➕ Dr. Gem’s Time Trap especially stood out for its strong interaction design. Large set pieces provided fun, physical interactions and great opportunities for teamwork.

➕ Maine Escape Games packed an impressive volume of play into a single, prominent set piece, which never overstayed its welcome.

➖ There was opportunity for a grandeur finale to close the story.

➕ We commend Maine Escape Games on the adaptive difficulty that makes the content-packed Dr. Gem’s Time Trap accessible for many experience levels and team sizes.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Maine Escape Games’ Dr. Gem’s Time Trap, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Maine Escape Games comped our tickets for this game.

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