Solve It Sherlock – Legend of the Pines [Review]

β€œLet it be the devil!”

Location: Neptune, NJ

Date Played: April 9, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration:  This room is on the 2nd floor but they have same-level access.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Based on local myth, the legend of the Jersey Devil, Legend of the Pines had us out in the woods investigating the Jersey Devil.

The first thing that stood out about Legend of the Pines was that Solve It Sherlock had built a compelling wooded set, which is generally hard to do.

A wooden shack labeled, "Ranger Station" in a wooden sign.

The second thing that really stood out about Legend of the Pines was how effectively Solve It Sherlock worked with the local myth. This game was unique and felt at home in New Jersey. Plus they closed the game and story out with a finale that they had clearly put a lot of love into.

Where can Legend of the Pines improve? I think a few of the puzzles and solutions could have tighter design. Nothing major, but there were a few nuances that could be improved.

Overall, Solve It Sherlock produced one of the few standout games in the area. If you’re a traveling escape room player, this won’t blow your mind, but you’ll enjoy it. For locals, this is comfortably among your best options in the region.

Who is this for?

  • Players seeking a game with local flavor
  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A unique story, rooted in local myth
  • The wooded exterior set was great
  • A strong finale

Story

For more than 250 years, locals had spoken of the Jersey Devil, telling stories of it prowling the marshes of southern New Jersey. Late at night, we’d happened upon an abandoned ranger station. As we explored, it became clear that the ranger had been studying the Devil. With the howls of a beast nearing us, we had to figure out what to do with the ranger’s notes.

A wood ranger station shack in the forest.

Setting

Legend of the Pines was set at a Ranger Station, both outside and inside.

Exterior, wooded sets are notoriously difficult to execute well. Solve It Sherlock really went the extra mile to sell this environment.

The Ranger Station’s interior was sufficiently Ranger’s Station-y. It looked the part, but the magic really was in the exterior.

Twigs on the ground in front of a tree and a shed door.

Gameplay

Solve It Sherlock’s Legend of the Pines was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

A backup generator beside a fuel can that is bike locked to a post.

Analysis

βž• Solve It Sherlock used light (or lack thereof) well to create an ominous, wooded atmosphere while still making the gameplay accessible. The opening set sold the world.

βž• The intro video was absurd, but fun. It set the right tone for our mission.

βž– We encountered a few instances of props that begged to be part of gameplay.

βž–Β We frequently had multiple locks with similar digit structures in play at the same time. While the locks made sense in the world, we recommend more variety and better lock mapping to improve momentum.

βž• In its second act, Legend of the Pines presented more meaty puzzles, including some layered solves we really enjoyed.

βž–Β Legend of the Pines bottlenecked around the opening of new gamespaces. At these times, there was only one puzzle available to the team, but due to the nature of the action or space constraints, not everyone could actively participate.

βž• The finale was outstanding. It was dramatic, with extra flourishes to increase tension. We loved how Solve It Sherlock captured the culmination of our efforts. The medium of delivery was delightful.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is a parking lot.
  • Food: There are lots of great options nearby in Asbury Park, NJ.

Book your hour with Solve It Sherlock’s Legend of the Pines, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Solve It Sherlock comped our tickets for this game.

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