Dare 2 Escape – The Archive [Review]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Archivists

Location:  Kissimmee, FL

Date Played: February 25, 2023

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: $39 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: To fully experience the game, all players will need to use a ladder and crawl. There is a bypass available.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Archive opened in a dramatic, memorable fashion.

It presented puzzle-forward gameplay across a variety of different sets.

A dingy brick sewer with faint lighting, and rats crawling along piping.

Environmentally, The Archive told more of a story through gameplay than the other Dare 2 Escape games that we’ve played. It still suffered from elongated pre-game exposition and more details than it could incorporate into the gameplay, but it showcased story more successfully than The Seventh Room did.

We wanted more from the finale, but overall, The Archive was a satisfying, puzzley game in a detailed environment.

If you’re in Orlando and you want a meaty game that you and your teammates can swim through for a full 90 minutes, The Archive is a great choice.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Anthropomorphic turtles
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Dramatic starting sequence
  • Puzzle-forward gameplay
  • Collaborative solves


As a group of urban explorers, we were chasing a myth in the sewers beneath Central Park. Could the Tillman archive possibly be true? Did this powerful family really hide some important relics beneath the sewers of New York?

Some construction equipment, a safety vest, and helmet in a sewer.


The set took us through the sewers of New York, making good use of vertical space and layering in a lot of detail. The late game introduced a different environment that was reasonably well executed, but didn’t quite achieve its goals as effectively as the first set did.

A construction cone knocked over beside an access hatch in a sewer.


Dare 2 Escape’s The Archive was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, and solving puzzles.


➕ The opening sequence was unusual and exciting. The effects added mystery, ambience, and drama.

➕ Dare 2 Escape used the space well, layering interactions and adding an element of exploration.

➕/➖ The story was unusual, combining two unlike themes into a single adventure. Dare 2 Escape puts a lot of emphasis on the story, with a saga that weaves through most of their experiences. Their characters have depth, relationships, and motives. Unfortunately, the story was more detailed than Dare 2 Escape was able to convey within the gameplay itself, which meant for a lot of exposition up front.

➖ A few of the puzzles overstayed their welcome, pushing into “homework” territory.

➖ The Archive relied too heavily on laminated paper as components of puzzles. There was a lot to read. It would have been more exciting if these elements had been worked into the fabric of the world.

➕ Our favorite puzzle layered spatially within a set piece manipulating words visually. It was a fun and satisfying solve.

➖ We received some game elements out of order. For example, we found an enciphered message before we found the cipher itself. (Two teammates hacked this just because we could, and we knew we were doing this, so we were on the lookout to not break sequence in the game. Still, this frustrated the other two teammates who unlocked some unnecessary information later on.)

➕ We enjoyed the soundtrack for The Archive. It added to our experience in the escape room.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • We enjoyed a quick meal at King O Falafel in the same plaza as Dare 2 Escape.

Book your session with Dare 2 Escape’s The Archive, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Dare 2 Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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