Cubicescape – Room 2217 [Review]

(Escape) Room Service

Location:  San Jose, CA

Date Played: November 5, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: from $50 per player for 2 players to $37 per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Cubicescape writes on their website that their rooms “take pride in crafting intense and immersive storyline[s] to create a compelling experience that is beyond simple puzzle solving.”

This intention was abundantly apparent in Room 2217. Each interaction and each puzzle directly furthered the plot or justified our involvement in it. Compared to Cubicescape’s Project Delta (reviewed in London), Room 2217 felt more tightly edited and a notch more accessible.

A room that looks remarkably like a hotel room.

But while the story was clearly communicated, there were some opportunities for improvement. I wished there had been a better attempt at gating or at least obfuscating information which came into play later on. We noticed too many details early on and it significantly dampened the effect of the ending.

If you’re looking for a room where the puzzles embody, rather than just accompany, the story and theme, this is it. Room 2217 wasn’t perfect, but it absolutely was engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Story

Our fiancΓ©e had gone missing, and we’d received a mysterious letter containing a hotel room key card and an address (which happened to be that of a certain escape room company…). Upon entering the hotel room, we received terrible instructions from the kidnapper: assassinate the guest across the hall if we wanted to save our fiancΓ©e’s life.

Setting

Room 2217 took place in a convincing hotel room. An adjacent hallway of the hotel was accessible for parts of the game.

Gameplay

Cubicescape’s Room 2217 was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

The gameplay revolved around puzzling, searching, and making connections β€” all in ways that directly advanced the narrative.

Analysis

βž• Room 2217 looked and felt like a real hotel room, complete with a generic bed, a generic desk, and overcomplicated light switches for every part of the room.

βž• Certain interactions made the space seem much more expansive than it actually was, and the production value was spot on to accomplish this effect. This was especially convincing in the context of a hotel, where you usually don’t see directly behind most closed doors.

βž•/βž– Room 2217 was comprised of puzzles and interactions that directly drove forward the narrative and justified our role in it. However, some of the framing and presentation of some puzzles could have been tweaked in small ways to require less suspension of disbelief.

βž• A puzzle cleverly acknowledged the outside world in a way that meaningfully enhanced our existence in the room.

βž• Another puzzle was a stellar example of what I call an “empathy-based aha moment.” In order to solve the puzzle, we had to see it through the eyes of someone different from ourselves.

βž– The narrative progression in Room 2217 was exciting but a bit too predictable. It could have been even more compelling with just a few minor changes. Had our primary objective not been stated upfront β€” but perhaps more toward the middle of the game, once we’d already been unknowingly working toward accomplishing it β€” we’d have had a better chance to ease into the scenario and form an emotional connection with certain characters.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

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