Mission Escape Games – Carbon: 3708 [Review]

Carbon: 3708 is one of the best escape rooms in New York City. Here are our recommendations for great escape rooms in New York City.

CyberPu… zzle

Location:  New York, NY

Date Played: November 5, 2021

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $120 total for a team of 1-3 players, $35 per player for a team of 4+ players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

Content Warning: Realistic prop weapons are used in this experience

REA Reaction

We’ve been visiting Mission Escape Games in New York since the earliest days of Room Escape Artist. We’ve sort of grown up together in the same environment, and in my memory, the various games from Mission serve as rings in the tree that is my escape room memories. Part of this is because I have genuinely enjoyed this company for so many years, but it is mostly because Mission Escape Games has had an interesting and fairly consistent upward trajectory in quality.

Carbon: 3708 represented the biggest leap we’ve seen from Mission Escape Games in years. The set, lighting, and interaction design in Carbon: 3708 were among the finest in the region, and the puzzle play was phenomenal.

A wall of electronic equipment dramatically lit.

Mission Escape Games puzzle design has settled into a style that is uniquely Mission, and I’m into it. Carbon: 3708 was one of the more challenging top games to open in NYC in a long time. It has a fair toughness that I appreciated from start to finish. It’s easy to make a bad, hard game; it takes skill to do challenge well.

Additionally, Mission Escape Games stepped up their storytelling in Carbon: 3708. They worked in more audio and video segments that told a clear story. This felt like a step in the right direction, but the storytelling didn’t quite land for us; it was more forgettable than meaningful.

Overall, Carbon: 3708 is easily one of the top games in New York City in 2021. This is a must-play game for any experienced escape room player. If you’re new, I’d strongly encourage you to play Mission’s other games, Hydeout and Operation End of Days first. They are stellar games in their own right, with softer difficulty curves.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Cyberpunk fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A beautiful cyberpunk set
  • A killer scene transition
  • Fantastic and challenging puzzle play

Story

In a dystopian future, Cyber Industries was using tech implants to control humanity. We were among the few unmodified and still free. It was up to us to break into their headquarters and destroy their systems.

A computer console in Cyber Industries.

Setting

Carbon: 3708 was set in a cleanly designed futuristic computer lab. The blues and grays were accented by deliberate light design and effects.

Additionally, the interaction design was strong, with great tangible props, buttons, dials, and other inputs.

An assortment of electronic devices in a cyber punk setting.

Gameplay

Mission Escape Games’ Carbon: 3708 was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling. The main challenge derived from the volume of content in the game, presented largely non-linearly.

A computer console.

Analysis

βž• Mission Escape Games has found their stride in futuristic, sleek designs with an apocalyptic bend. The set looked great and the dramatic lighting enhanced it further.

βž• The set was interactive with button-y buttons, dials that clicked, and auditory feedback. Puzzle pieces were meaty and they fit satisfyingly into the set itself.

βž• Carbon: 3708 was a puzzle-forward game, with a lot of content. The gameplay flowed well. While much of it could be approached in a nonlinear fashion, it was clear what was interconnected.

βž– With so many inputs available at once, it was possible to spend too much time on yet inactive puzzles.

βž• Mission Escape Games went to great lengths to ensure smooth game flow for every team. Some props turn off so as not to confuse players. A main prop included an anti-brute force design so that nobody jumps sequence at a crucial moment. These behind-the-scenes details added a lot to Carbon: 3708.

βž– There were opportunities to add feedback for even smoother gameplay. For example, in one instance, a correct solution timed out and we disregarded it.

βž• The puzzles traversed the gamespace such that there were ample opportunities for collaborative solving and teamwork.

βž• The transition scene was dramatic and exciting. It added energy to the second act.

❓  Carbon: 3708 was light on story. It was mostly in the background, as staging, delivered over video, and only part of the game for its most memorable moment. If you play escape rooms for the puzzles, this balance will be perfect. If you’re looking for a more puzzle-narrative intertwined experience, you won’t find it here.

πŸ₯š For nerds who are looking closely, there are plenty of dystopian fiction Easter eggs to discover in Carbon: 3708.

πŸ€“ A fun fact for you, 3708 comes from Mission Escape Games’ cross streets, 37th Street & 8th Avenue.

Tips For Visiting

  • Mission Escape Games is now located in midtown. Take the A/C/E subway to Penn Station or Port Authority.
  • We recommend Black Iron Burger for a post-game meal.

Book your hour with Mission Escape Games’ Carbon: 3708, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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

2 thoughts on “Mission Escape Games – Carbon: 3708 [Review]

  1. We told them you sent us. The four of us in our family (with two teenagers) beat it, with two minutes to spare (they said it has a completion rate of 11%). We absolutely loved it. Smart, creative, original, and well scaffolded puzzles, with great theatrical moments. They neglected one potential trigger warning (spoiler ahead): there is one moment of simulated gun play. We couldn’t stop praising every detail about it on the way home. Definitely one of the best we have ever done. Thank you Lisa and David for the recommendation!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it. And yeah… it might be good for their website to call out the simulated gun play.

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