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
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
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.
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
- 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.
Trapology’s The Institute was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, and puzzling.
➖ 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.