Passcode Escape – The Secret Lab [Review]

SCIENCE!

Location: Quincy, MA

Date Played: April 1, 2022

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Passcode Escape’s Secret Lab was a traditional escape room with solid game flow, clear puzzle cluing, and well-integrated tech interactions.

At it’s best, Secret Lab had a neat mid-game reveal that gave us a glimpse into the rest of the experience. Passcode Escape also cleverly utilized real lab equipment to bring immersive moments to our puzzle journey. Our gamemaster was a joy to interact with.

A science lab with steel tables, scientific equipment, a periodic table, and a Fallout Shelter sign on the wall.

Throughout the game, the puzzles were fair and clear to our team, and the inputs were clearly labeled (good lock mapping). That being said, the gameplay felt a bit dated, with simple puzzles and a lackluster set.

The Secret Lab is one of Passcode Escape’s earliest games, and we’re excited to see what they design in the future.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Science fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Glowing mid-game reveal
  • Traditional escape room puzzle play

Story

A biological breach had occurred in our lab and we had to concoct the cure before we perished.

Setting

The Secret Lab was a standard, sterile laboratory complete with periodic tables, working lab equipment, and lots of equations.

Closeup of a steel table with science equipment.

Gameplay

Passcode Escape’s The Secret Lab was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Gameplay revolved around searching, making connections, observing, and puzzling.

Analysis

➕ The room was full of connections for players to make. These connections were clear and well clued.

➖ The on-boarding puzzle was clear once we solved it, but required pre-game cluing from our gamemaster to guide our attention. This interaction could have benefited from more in-game cluing.

➕ A colorful puzzle was well designed with a high error tolerance. This puzzle could have easily tipped the scales in the wrong direction, and was instead a solid implementation with a fun interaction.

➖ The lab was definitely sterile, with the starting spaces feeling sparsely decorated for their size. The rooms felt very open and could have used some more scenery.

➕/➖ There were many inputs throughout the space which were clearly labeled for their respective puzzles. While these were well-labeled, we were confused by the handful of unlabeled but visible reset locks and keypads only usable by the gamemaster.

➖ A cool reveal could have been further realized with more cross-room interactions. The later sets were visually appealing, but were lacking dynamic meaning behind the elements.

➕ While the gameplay was ultimately linear, there were multiple objects, puzzle parts, and inputs to play around with. The puzzles required communication among teammates and engaged our team thoroughly.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is plenty of street parking

Book your hour with Passcode Escape’s The Secret Lab, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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