The Hemingway Room needs an editor.
Location: Freehold, New Jersey
Date played: September 19, 2015
Team size: up to 8; we recommend 4-6
Price: $28 per ticket
Theme and Story
This room was themed on the life on Ernest Hemingway. Ironically, it doesn’t have a story.
Traditional First Room
The Hemingway Room fit a mold: Some of the puzzles fit the theme of the decor. It had a lot of locks.
The space was pleasant to inhabit. It looked nice. Amazing Escape Room used solid set pieces that harkened back to a different era. We weren’t about the break this room.
There is a fine line between challenging and annoying:
It was challenging to complete a puzzle that relied on extended concentration and dexterity. It was annoying to find halfway through that there was a hidden trick forcing us to start solving the puzzle again.
It was challenging to complete strange math. It was annoying that the clues didn’t use the correct operators… And why was there math in a room themed on a writer?
You don’t need to know anything about Hemingway to solve this room, but the more you know about him, the faster you’ll solve some of these puzzles.
Escape rooms should be self-contained experiences. You don’t use your phone, and you don’t use outside facts. They pit your brain against a setting and what you can derive from it in the moment. Everyone is on even footing. And it’s worth noting that Amazing Escape Rooms made a big deal about not using your phone in The Hemingway Room.
Should I Play Amazing Escape Room’s The Hemingway Room?
This room had some good puzzles, but they were overshadowed by the obtuse, annoying ones.
This theme will probably resonate well with some people, but the way it’s executed will inhibit the fun for others. I would rather have had the room show me Hemingway’s life or stories.
We didn’t win this one, and thus we didn’t get to experience what was probably the most exciting part of the game.
The staff at Amazing Escape Room will point you toward this room over their others, but of the two we’ve tried, we recommend The Black & White Room.
The Black & White Room didn’t have a story either, but it didn’t feel like a story was missing the way it did in The Hemingway Room. Furthermore, The Black & White Room is designed such that random puzzles are less likely to feel out of place and a logic flow is less important.