Trapology – The Institute [Review]

The Institute is one of the best games in Boston. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Boston.

Free your mind

Location: Boston, MA

Date Played: April 17, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $45 per player for teams of 2 to $38 per person for teams of 5

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

A few of our friends had strongly recommended The Institute to us… and in the opening scenes, I was a feeling a bit dubious of their opinion. However, the deeper we pushed into The Institute, the more I got it. The Institute was clever, unique, and entertaining.

And I loved the final act.

A wall of security cameras with a yellow sign that reads, "SMILE! You're on camera"
Image via Trapology

It felt like there could be a stronger first act for this game, and I got the impression that the Trapology’s team was still looking for ways to improve the opening. Beyond that, it felt like there was a big opportunity to integrate the hint system into the story.

Trapology is one of the oldest escape room companies in the United States, and I love seeing how they continue to grow and improve; not all of our early companies do this. From my perspective, The Institute is Trapology’s strongest game to-date. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend playing The Institute.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Interesting narrative arc
  • Fun set-based interactions
  • A strong mid and late game


After signing the wrong waiver, we found ourselves in a dubious research experiment conducted by the Trapology Research Institute.


The Institute was set in a medical research lab, and that came with all of the typical white walls, computers, and science-y props.

However, Trapology put their own twist on the lab setting by adding some seriously cute set pieces and some brainy props that really captured my imagination.

A female presenting person in a lab solving a puzzle involving petri dishes.
Image via Trapology


Trapology’s The Institute was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.

A female presenting person pressing a button in a white lab.
Image via Trapology


➖ The Institute struggled to build momentum in the first act. One puzzle in particular seemed to have a few too many conceivable connections that weren’t meant to be.

➕ In the later portion of The Institute, gameplay flowed smoothly through a variety of layered puzzles. We thoroughly enjoyed the visual and logic puzzles, which were varied in style. For one of these, Trapology crafted some especially detailed displays that we adored.

➕ We enjoyed when silly actions triggered unexpected solve states, something that’s only possible with an observant gamemaster.

➕ The opening puzzle of act three was well balanced (in a style that rarely works well) with enough light bleeding in to be fair and fun.

➖ We’d love to see the hint system more fully integrate with the game world and be accessible throughout the experience, wherever we were in the space.

➕ The Institute was personalized. This increased the stakes as we approached the concluding sequence.

➕/➖ As the narrative played out, we reached a decision point. The choice was fair, informed, and thought-provoking. That said, the character in our experience wasn’t compelling enough to impact our decision.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is metered street parking or a garage with an entrance around the corner on Boylston St.
  • Public Transit: Take the T (Green Line) to Boylston Street Station.
  • Food: There are lots of options in walking distance.

Book your hour with Trapology’s The Institute, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Trapology comped our tickets for this game.

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