The Maze – Cube [Review]

“Not all of us are conceited enough to play hero.”

Location: Petah Tikva, Israel

Date Played: May 15, 2022

Team Size: 3-6; we recommend 2-3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: 120 NIS per player for 3 players to 100 NIS per player for 6+ players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Climbing and crawling on uneven surfaces for all players, not recommended for players with claustrophobia

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

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I first watched the film Cube a few years ago after seeing it on a list of puzzle- and escape room-related media. It was a before-its-time predecessor to a more contemporary formula for escape room movies: a group of strangers shows up at a mysterious facility and must solve puzzles to save their lives. I’m not generally the biggest fan of this format and the type of publicity it creates for the escape room industry, but I’ll readily admit that I enjoyed Cube‘s surrealist environment and some of its characters.

The Maze paid tribute to this film franchise in their aptly named escape room Cube. Set in a dystopian facility of interconnected cube-shaped rooms, this was one of the more unique escape room sets I’ve experienced. Like in the films, each chamber was an eerily sterile environment that subtly concealed its secrets and its traps.

Cube excelled in its physical transitions, from start to finish. We quickly became disoriented as we climbed and crawled through various lighting conditions. There was a crescendo of impending doom as we progressed, though the game overall wasn’t really horror and there were no jump scares.

Elaborately designed, abstract walls of the cube, lit in green.

With fully linear gameplay, Cube was ideal for a small team. At 2 players, our team had plenty to do. But in a visually sparse environment that revealed its secrets one at a time, more than 3 players would likely leave some players inactive.

Each room at The Maze was a unique standout in the Israeli escape room scene, and Cube was no exception. I highly recommend giving them a visit.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Any experience level
  • Fans of the Cube film franchise

Why play?

  • The unique set design and layout
  • The transitions
  • You like Cube or similar films

Story

We’d discovered a strange maze-like structure called The Cube. It was filled with thousands of rooms, some of which contained traps and puzzles. We entered The Cube in an effort to find the control room and put an end to this all.

Panoramic image of the cube.

Setting

Cube was set in a multi-cube structure, inspired by the aesthetic of the titular film franchise. Each cube-shaped room of The Cube was nearly identical. Metal ladders surrounded access hatches on each of the six faces, and glitchy monochromatic patterning covered the walls.

Gameplay

The Maze’s Cube was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles and navigating the The Cube.

Analysis

βž• The set was well designed and constructed, with an industrial combination of metal bars and access hatches covering all walls, floors, and ceilings. All components felt solid and real.

βž• Some creatively implemented effects made the space feel vast and dynamic, just as in the films.

βž– Given the story, the feeling of danger was appropriate. But some small compromises could have been made to ensure the set wasn’t actually dangerous. In particular, the dips in the floor and spinning of metal bars felt rather precarious as we navigated various heights and lighting conditions.

βž•/❓ The puzzles were simple but logical, fitting for the tone of the environment and the feelings of danger and surprise. The gameplay was entirely linear without much to work on at any given time, making the game best suited for smaller teams, regardless of experience level.

βž– One puzzle was random and underdeveloped, divergent from the rest of the game’s design.

βž• A late-game set piece delighted us with with its vibrant presentation and creative usage.

βž•/βž– The finale was physically and visually powerful. I see what it was going for, and I was into it. Unfortunately, it moved too slowly and took too long to fully have the intended impact.

❓If you’ve seen the Cube films, you’ll be delighted by how faithfully the environments were reproduced and the plentiful Easter eggs. However, we questioned if it might have been an even better experience if we had not seen Cube. Then we would have experienced the environment and story from the perspective of the characters in the films, not knowing exactly where we were or what to expect.

Tips For Visiting

  • English playability: The game was sufficiently translated, and most puzzles were language agnostic.

Book your hour with The Maze’s Cube, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: The Maze provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Update November 15, 2022: To hear more from designer Gai Bosco, check out this interview on The Reality Escape Pod.

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