Puzzle Theory – P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift [Review]

Like a Ghost Rider

Location:  South Windsor, CT

Date Played: October 1, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Most players must duck through an opening repeatedly

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was a storyline-driven experience that paired well with the immersive, appropriately-designed space. 

The same set was utilized for this escape room and another (P.T. Railways: Rebel Run), which allowed for a uniqueness to look at the same space through a different lens, but removed many of the surprises on the second adventure through the space. There were a fair amount of items marked in red to delineate which props went to which escape room.

If playing these experiences back-to-back, be especially alert to fastidiously check items in the second room. It was easy to think that we checked something, only to find that we had actually cleared it in the first room instead. That being said, the set was really impressive and this dual-use certainly made for an uncommon team experience.

A large and dramatically lit lock in a metal structure.

Ultimately, this had the potential to be a standout experience if technology and memorization aspects were adjusted to build up momentum rather than detract from it. One puzzle in particular was incredibly time-intensive due to the designed digital experience.

P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was worth the play-through for the wide variety of puzzle types found in the space and the focus on teamwork. We hope that they make some adjustments to give it an even broader appeal.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Story seekers

Story

We were super excited to go on a one-hour train ride on a new, technologically-advanced train. Then, moments before boarding, someone handed us a letter and we became much, much busier than we’d planned.

A vent grate with a spooky faec glowing through it.

Setting

P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was set in several tech-driven spaces, with a suitably-designed train providing the primary backdrop.

A pair of benches on a train.

Gameplay

Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift was a moderately difficult escape room, lengthened via memorization and technology delays.  

A large stone Ouija Board.

Analysis

➕ Lighting was impressively used in a very fitting way to add to immersion at the start of the experience.

➕ Puzzle Theory’s strong attention to detail was highly apparent throughout every area of the set.

A metal structure, dramatically lit.

➖ In the middle of the game, there was a technology-driven puzzle where the execution and feedback loops were painfully long. The technology also glitched during this extended execution. With the technology gaps resolved and animation loop shortened, this would be a solid puzzle.

➕/➖ A final experience builds energy and ultimately brings the entire team together, but we became frustrated with the tiered memorization challenge breaking the momentum of the last solve.

➕ The storyline made sense and provided a central backbone to our experience in the room.  

➖ There was unnecessary feedback when you placed items into the appropriate place, making us wonder if we were supposed to be searching for something that was not there.

➕ Several physical manipulation puzzles requiring teamwork were spread throughout the space.

➖ There was a fair amount of searching around an expanded space with limited direction as to where to pivot your attention.

➕ Plenty of real estate was available at any given time to players, making for a comfortable playing experience.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is ample parking in a lot in front of Puzzle Theory.

Book your hour with Puzzle Theory’s P.T. Railways: Spectral Rift, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Puzzle Theory provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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