Escape Center – The Intervention [Review]

Challenge accepted

Location: Rishon LeTsiyon, Israel

Date Played: May 11, 2022

Team Size: 4-12; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: 135 NIS per player for 4 players to 110 NIS per player for 7+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All players must crawl and climb (ask your GM if this is a concern)

Emergency Exit Rating: We’re unsure what fire escape measures there were, if any. More Info.

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Intervention was an absolutely legendary adventure.

Loosely themed around How I Met Your Mother, the true focus of this game was the character of Barney Stinson. The significance of this theming goes yet a level deeper: Neil Patrick Harris, the actor who portrayed Barney, is a massive escape room fan in real life. (Listen to NPH talk about puzzles, escape rooms, and more on Season 2 of Reality Escape Pod.)

While The Intervention was rooted in the world of HIMYM, the story was original. Through this approach, even players unfamiliar with HIMYM will still experience a cohesive, self-standing narrative arc throughout The Intervention. For me, this is the ideal way in which to pay true homage to source material, without feeling like a cheap knockoff or incoherent patchwork of references.

A full size stormtrooper armor against a green wall.
Image via Escape Center

The Intervention excelled in many dimensions. A sprawling set meticulously rendered each scene with stunning realism. Puzzles and story together drove forward our adventure with compelling, if at times ridiculous, reasons for our being there. Environmental ahas, puzzle ahas, and unexpected transitions were plentiful. Across all these dimensions, the pacing and flow was spot on.

The Intervention is one of the top escape rooms in Israel. Kami Temple is equally a must-play, and which of these two games will be your favorite is but a matter of personal preference. With these two top-notch rooms, Escape Center has established themselves as a rising global escape room destination.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level
  • HIMYM fans

Why play?

  • The set
  • The puzzles
  • The HIMYM references
  • The ending twist (which escape room enthusiasts will especially love)

Story

Our friend Barney invited us out for a drink at the local bar. The wild adventure that ensued was as epic and unpredictable as Barney himself.

Closeup of a beer tap in a dramatically lit bar.
Image via Escape Center

Setting

The Intervention started off at a well-stocked local bar with a pool table and comfortable seating.

But that was just the beginning.

Gameplay

Escape Center’s The Intervention was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and making connections.

Analysis

βž• The Intervention‘s opening scene smoothly transitioned from the real world into the game world in a cheery, immersive hangout.

βž• The set of The Intervention was an absolute trip. To discuss any details would be to spoil the plot, and the nonstop surprises and contrasts were in large part what made this game shine. From start to finish, across a vast range of environments, construction techniques, and tonal shifts, the build quality was superb.

βž• Creative physical transitions between spaces, and even into an unexpected space, made for a grand adventure. A high attention to detail extended into the design of these transitionary spaces, and it was clear that the designers also considered the ergonomics of how humans would move through each space.

βž• The Intervention communicated a clear story through video content, the gameplay, and the environment. The “why” behind our presence and our actions almost always made sense.

βž• The puzzles were fun and funny. They felt like they belonged in the set and story of The Intervention.

βž– We unintentionally solved a few puzzles before discovering the intended first interaction. A spotlight on the singular starting point could have sidestepped the potential for this sort of light sequence break.

βž• A “magical” sequence was a shining example of setting players up to amuse themselves with their own amusing behaviors.

βž•/❓ I’d say the ending stunk, but it really didn’t. A narrative reframing made for a satisfying and hilarious finale. We learned after our game that there’s a pun in the Hebrew version of interaction that added even further depth to the situation.

βž• The Intervention included a smattering of Easter eggs for HIMYM fans, but was totally playable without recognizing any of them.

βž– A puzzle referenced Barney’s misogynistic tendencies, but the joke didn’t land. Whereas his portrayal on HIMYM at least attempts to be an over-the-top parody of misogyny, the representation of this in The Intervention lacked sufficient context to be either funny or self-aware. In the scheme of things, this puzzle was relatively tame and was unlikely to offend most players, but it equally didn’t add anything to the narrative.

Tips For Visiting

  • English playability: The game was fully translated into English. One audio element had an English version following the Hebrew version that wasn’t immediately evident to our team.
  • The entrance to Escape Center is tucked around the side of the building and a bit hard to find. Arrive early and look for subtle signage.

Book your session with Escape Center’s The Intervention, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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