Trapology – The Institute [Review]

The InstituteΒ is one of the best games in Boston. Here are our other recommendations forΒ 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

Story

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

Setting

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

Gameplay

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

Analysis

βž– 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.

βž• 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.

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

βž• 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.

βž– 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.

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

βž•/βž– 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.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.