Location: New York, NY
Date Played: October 13, 2023
Team Size: up to 8; we recommend 2-4
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $44.99 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Timeliner: Train Through Time from The Escape Game is exploring the relatively rare escape room setting of time travel, transporting players to multiple different time periods within the same experience.
It is a great onboarding (pun intended) experience for new players, but lacks any real pizazz expected by escape room veterans for a room that opened in 2023. For enthusiasts considering playing, I’d recommend experienced players wait until they visit a city with a lower cost of living, as public booking and the price point mean it’s not an experience I would be rushing to play in an expensive market.
Wait until you’re visiting friends or family in another city, bring those friends to play, and you’ll almost certainly create some new enthusiasts with this experience.
Who is this for?
- Scenery snobs
- Your non-escape room friends
- Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle
- To introduce your new friends to escape rooms
Our group boarded the Timeliner, a time traveling train, where our computer assistant informed us that we would need to work together to restore the timeline. The only way to do this is to travel through time, to first locate, and then retrieve the missing golden time card.
Stepping aboard the Timeliner, we were surrounded by the set that assured us we were aboard an old-timey train. The wood-paneled car we were in was complete with “windows” and mid-20th century pieces of luggage stowed above our heads.
The Escape Game’s Timeliner was a standard escape room with an easy level of difficulty.
Surprisingly to me, most of the puzzles within Timeliner were self-contained, 1- or 2-step puzzles, making this an excellent onboarding experience for first time room escapers, but potentially leaving seasoned escape room veterans wanting more from the experience.
➕ The sets looked great, and The Escape Game used technology in clever ways to enhance the main set, giving players a window to other time periods.
➖ As an escape room enthusiast, I expected more from The Escape Game in 2023. While I haven’t played a lot of time travel themes, this didn’t feel as much like time travel as it did ‘find the MacGuffin’ which lacked novelty. I wanted more from the premise.
➕ This game explored time travel in a new way, using a vehicle to transport you to several different time periods, leading to fun reveals.
➖ Timeliner included some locked boxes with an unusual amount of wear for the game being relatively new to the market. While the boxes were on theme with the magic of time travel, the well constructed and beautiful set provides opportunities for more exciting set-based reveals.
➕ There was a strong fun personalized element to this game at the beginning, and an opportunity to put your own twist on the ending.
➖ The story was very loose. Upon reflection my team was unable to remember what specifically was wrong with the timeline (it was broken?), who we were thwarting (anyone?) and what we needed to do to repair it (just find the golden timecard?).
Tips For Visiting
- It is close to Grand Central Terminal.
Book your hour with The Escape Game’s Timeliner, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.
Disclosure: The Escape Game comped our tickets for this game.