PuzzleWorks – The Hospital [Review]

The HospitalΒ is one of the best escape rooms in St. Paul. Here are our recommendations forΒ great escape rooms in Minneapolis/St. Paul area

A matter of the heart

Location: Saint Paul, MN

Date Played: May 31, 2022

Team Size: 2-10; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $35 per player for the first two players, $26 for each further ticket

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I’ve played countless escape rooms in medical settings, and they have almost always been horror themed, with blood-spattered operating tables and ungodly torture tools. PuzzleWorks’ The Hospital was decisively not that. It took the hospital theme more seriously… and did so with a healthy dose of hilarity.

Our objective was simple: break into a hospital to return a heart that a heart surgeon had accidentally taken home instead of his lunch. A reverse heart heist, if you will.

The puzzles in The Hospital were solid, standard escape room fare, appropriately themed around what you’d find in a hospital, with a few fun twists here and there. The set sufficiently conveyed “hospital” yet felt a bit underdressed. But I will most remember The Hospital for its sense of humor, from the initial premise up through the final scene.

A hospital room with a beg and imaging equipment.

If you are visiting PuzzleWorks and only have time for one room, The Dungeon features a much more immersive set and a higher density of dynamic and more fully developed puzzles. But if you have time for both, The Hospital is a stellar game that would make a delightful addition.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Story seekers
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The humor
  • The uncommon take on a hospital theme
  • The transition

Story

One of the leading heart surgeons in the world had hurriedly left the hospital with a cooler containing a heart instead of his lunch. He enlisted us to sneak back into the hospital and make the swap before anyone noticed.

Setting

The Hospital was set at a hospital. A storage room gave access to the elevator, which in turn would lead us up to the operating room where the heart was to be returned.

A mess hospital lap, with containers turned over all over the room.

Gameplay

PuzzleWorks’ The Hospital was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and searching.

Analysis

βž• The Hospital had a great sense of humor, permeating the entire experience from the gameplay to the story.

βž• The puzzles were fun and polished. Employing plenty of escape room logic, the puzzle-ification of certain serious hospital items was implicitly silly and delightful.

βž– The set was overall quite sparse and felt under decorated in parts, even for a sterile hospital environment.

βž• Padlocks typically are not funny… and yet there was a padlock on a particular, um, compartment in The Hospital that absolutely made me cackle.

βž• The Hospital pulled off a magic trick when we least expected it. I’ve seen versions of this effect in other escape room markets, often with greater panache, yet the context and timing in The Hospital were perfect.

βž• The ending was adorable. Though the story could have wrapped up earlier, I’m glad it didn’t.

Tips For Visiting

  • There was a parking lot.

Book your hour with PuzzleWorks’ The Hospital, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: PuzzleWorks provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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