Riddle Room – Imaginasium of Intrigue [Review]

Bananas!

Location:  Warwick, RI

Date Played: July 10, 2022

Team size: 3-10; we recommend 2-4 (due to physical constraints, not gameplay constraints… details below)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $29 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Imaginasium of Intrigue was a delightful oddball game.

Over the years we’ve seen many different takes on 80s nostalgia, but we’ve never seen anything like this.

Riddle Room more or less took the concept of South Park’s epic 3 part story arc, threw it in the blender with 8-bit era video games, and tossed in a little bit of Indiana Jones… because you can’t really go wrong with Indiana Jones. (Well… Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the exception that proves the rule, but I digress.) The whole experience was playfully nutty. As far as I know, there’s nothing like it.

Imaginasium of Intrigue's door with a royal ape holding a Nintendo controller, the door is framed with Nintendo cartridges, and along the side are a series high scores.

From a gameplay standpoint Imaginasium of Intrigue was no joke. There was a lot of puzzle and challenge content in here – more than most teams will ever be able to accomplish. However, it was cleverly designed keep things achievable.

Overall, it was impressive to see how far Riddle Room has come over the years. They went from making truly humble escape rooms to literally outgrowing their space. This game felt crammed into its cubic footage and it certainly seemed like Riddle Room wanted more space than they had. The other area for improvement we noticed was opportunities to improve fit and finish.

Imaginasium of Intrigue is well worth playing if you’re in the region, especially if you like challenging games and off the wall narrative concepts.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • 80s video game fans
  • Best for players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • An engaging mix of novelty and nostalgia
  • So much gameplay content
  • A variety of puzzle and challenge types

Story

King Kongo had conquered the Land of Imagination, but a war of resistance raged on. It was up to us to carry on the fight, defeat King Kongo, and restore peace.

The triforce symbol with the master sword embedded.

Setting

Imaginasium of Intrigue brought us into a colorful world of conglomerated video gaming joy. The gamespace was packed from floor to ceiling with references and interactions. It was remarkable how much was crammed into this experience.

Mechanically, Riddle Room accomplished some nifty physical and technological challenges.

Aesthetically, the space felt fun and inviting, but also a little cramped in some spots and in need of a little more attention to detail.

The fertility statue from Indiana Jones locked within a box.

Gameplay

Riddle Room’s Imaginasium of Intrigue was a standard escape room with a lot of bonus content. Because of the high volume of available content, it had a high level of difficulty.

As we solved the content, we scored points. We aimed to achieve a high score. Most groups will complete only a fraction of the available content. This makes Imaginasium of Intrigue replayable. Teams can come back, solve more, and score higher.

Core gameplay revolved around observing, making connections, solving puzzles, and finding (and earning) bananas and things. Seriously.

Mayan art beside a massive green pipe.

Analysis

➕ Imaginasium of Intrigue offered a strikingly different take on 80s video game nostalgia than what we typically see in escape rooms. Instead of referencing the experience of being a gamer, Riddle Room elected to evoke the games and worlds themselves.

➕ Each set was its own ridiculous world. The scene changes were exciting surprises. The sets were whimsical and delightful.

➕ The puzzles were well clued and solved cleanly. We loved interacting with the handmade chunky props.

➖ Some of the construction felt a bit too DIY. There was room for further polish.

➕/➖ Riddle Room has enhanced their set design, building bigger, and across all surfaces. This delivered the fun whimsy. However, it came at a cost. The sets felt cramped. We were a small group, and at times we struggled to maneuver through the space. The amount of time we spent looking up was uncomfortable.

➕ Imaginasium of Intrigue gave us control over a surface that we rarely get to interact with.

➖ We struggled with lighting throughout this experience. It was needlessly difficult to differentiate color. While in one instance this was likely intentional, it was frustrating.

➕/❓ This design around points and bonus content had its trade offs and it won’t be for everyone. Whereas some teams will be jazzed to beat their score (a point for replayability), other teams will be disappointed leaving so much content unsolved. To Riddle Room’s credit, bonus content was clearly marked, and didn’t disrupt the primary puzzle path unless you wanted it to.

➖ The ending was a bit of a let down. It wasn’t clear when we should call it quits to optimize our score… and we were then confused when the last interaction (that we were not good at) turned out to be a bonus, but somehow we thought it was part of the game.

➕ Imaginasium of Intrigue was 💯 committed to its own nonsense. Of course we were going to find that gold banana!

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.

Book your hour with Riddle Room’s Imaginasium of Intrigue, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Riddle Room comped our tickets for this game.

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