TLV 2048 [Review]

Pushing all the right buttons

Location: Tel Aviv, Israel

Date Played: May 19, 2022

Team Size: 2-5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 150 NIS per player for 2 players to 130 NIS per player for 5 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Basic fitness level – climbing, crawling, and balancing required for all players

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

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

TLV 2048 immerses players in seven thrilling physical challenges throughout an expansive post-apocalyptic environment.

Self described as an “action game,” this was neither an escape room nor an obstacle course, though it included elements from both genres. If you took the top physical challenges from Boda Borg, turned the fail states into a points-based system, and pipelined them together into a single cohesive hour-long experience, you’d get TLV 2048. And on top of that, it was a great workout.

In each space, we had a concrete objective and a fixed amount of time in which to complete it. Sometimes points resulted from how fast we hit a goal. For other challenges, failure would reset our point count, and we were trying to reach the highest possible score before time ran out in that room. Across a variety of visually and physically stimulating environments, our goals often involved pushing glowing buttons in hard-to-reach places.

A painting of a post-apolyptic scene, with "TLV2048" in a dramatic font with a metal look.

TLV 2048 did not contain any puzzles, yet it still felt lightly puzzly in the same way that a “boulder problem” in climbing might be. Our strategies around physical cooperation evolved as we progressively “solved” how to optimally play each environment with our particular team configuration.

Upon finishing TLV 2048, I immediately wanted to play again. Like any great game that leaves you wanting more, TLV 2048 was filled with moments of challenge, satisfaction, and joy. Though not an escape room, I very highly recommend that escape room players with a decent level of fitness give this unique experience a try.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Players who like physical challenges

Why play?

  • The physical challenges
  • The workout
  • The industrial set
Heavy garage door with paintings of robots on it.

Setting

TLV 2048 was set in an industrial, futuristic, post-apocalyptic world built solidly of metal and concrete.

Many surfaces were designed to look weathered and grimy, but were actually clean.

With occasional splashes of color and lots of salvaged metal parts, much of the set reminded me of a steampunk-inspired art installation I might find at Burning Man.

Gameplay

TLV 2048 was an action game with a variable level of physical difficulty.

This was not an escape room. Gameplay involved a wide range of physical challenges, including climbing, crawling through obstacles, coordinated movement, and much more. Instructions at the start of each challenge clearly laid out the specific objective, often involving activating buttons or other inputs scattered around the space.

Additionally, there was an optional bonus challenge in each room. Upon completing a room’s primary objective, teams could activate a certain number of additional, smaller buttons to play a video. Upon exiting that room, correctly answering a question about a small, random detail in the video (like the color of a certain object) would award bonus points.

TLV 2048 was a pipelined experience. While each team had an hour in the game, a new team was able to enter approximately every 20 minutes. While a team repeatedly returned to a central area, the timing was synchronized so that they never crossed paths with other teams.

A dramatic looking wall of technology.

Analysis

βž• TLV 2048 was challenging, but above all else, it was incredibly fun. The ways in which it was challenging never felt overly cruel or antagonistic towards players.

βž• The gameplay in TLV 2048 was cleverly designed to accommodate players with a range of preferences and abilities. While all players should have a reasonable level of fitness going in, you also don’t need to be a Ninja Warrior to play. Many challenges subtly had multiple tracks of difficulty built in β€” some areas that were easier to reach, others that involved more advanced climbing, swinging, flexibility, or strength. As mentioned above, the vibe strongly resembled the physical challenges at Boda Borg, and I grew particularly nostalgic upon playing one challenge that was nearly identical to a now-retired Boda Borg quest.

βž• The industrial, post-apocalyptic set aesthetic was compelling. Each environment was a new adventure, while still looking like it belonged in the same overall world. Given the game’s constant physicality, every part of the set needed to be solid β€” and it absolutely was.

βž– One challenge had unreliable floor sensors. It was a palpable drop in energy to constantly fail a challenge when it was the game’s fault, not ours.

βž•/βž– TLV 2048 will certainly get players’ hearts racing and provide a decent workout. With 7 minute sprints and short rest periods in between, the energy level stayed high throughout β€” except for when we finished certain challenges early and sat on the floor for up to a few minutes waiting for the door to open back up.

βž•/βž– The bonus video questions were a nice, low-stakes memory challenge amongst all the physical activity. The videos were always sufficiently short that remembering specific details never felt unfair. The videos and questions seemed to be randomized, though, and we experienced the same video and question multiple times.

βž•/❓ TLV 2048 was highly replayable. There’s an added element of novelty in the first play-through, but since all the challenges are skill-based, repeat visits allow for continued mastery. My teammates had both played TLV 2048 multiple times before, and it diminished neither their enjoyment nor mine. As a one-time experience, TLV 2048 was a bit pricey, but totally worth it. For repeat customers, the lack of some sort of membership or loyalty program seems like a missed opportunity.

Tips For Visiting

  • Wear clothes and shoes you feel comfortable moving and climbing in.
  • All players are provided with a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads. Make sure they fit and keep them on the entire game. I can attest to their value: you are padded in ways that the room is not.
  • English playability: Most of the gameplay did not require any language. The intro instructions and bonus questions were all available in English.

Book your hour with TLV 2048, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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