Cubicescape – Memento [Review]

I can’t remember…

Location:  San Jose, CA

Date Played: November 5, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $40 per player for 2 players down to $30 per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Cubicescape’s Memento was an intimate, narrative-centric escape room which made me feel things.

I volunteered to represent the main character, and my teammates became my subconscious. While this distinction only affected a few small moments of the game, these moments had a strong framing effect on the rest of the experience. As the game progressed, I was impressed by how Memento told a vivid story through a first-person perspective โ€”ย somewhat of a rarity amongst escape rooms.

A room with walls covered in newspaper, in big red letters are the words, "Save him!" painted on the walls.

As the room progressed, fragments of my forgotten memories pieced together into something bigger, ending with a sense of nostalgic โ€” yet somewhat hopeful โ€” gloom. Whereas most escape rooms end in jubilant victory, I actually found it refreshing to end feeling something I hadn’t fully expected when the room started. While I found some narrative details of this ending didn’t fully culturally translate, the underlying emotions still came through strongly.

Memento is not for everyone. If you’re allergic to reading in escape rooms, you might want to skip this one. But for those looking for an escape room strong on narrative, strong on emotions, and which will lead to an interesting, educational, and potentially polarizing post-game debrief, I recommend giving Memento a play.

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Cubicescape – Room 2217 [Review]

(Escape) Room Service

Location:  San Jose, CA

Date Played: November 5, 2021

Team Size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: from $50 per player for 2 players to $37 per player for 6 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Cubicescape writes on their website that their rooms “take pride in crafting intense and immersive storyline[s] to create a compelling experience that is beyond simple puzzle solving.”

This intention was abundantly apparent in Room 2217. Each interaction and each puzzle directly furthered the plot or justified our involvement in it. Compared to Cubicescape’s Project Delta (reviewed in London), Room 2217 felt more tightly edited and a notch more accessible.

A room that looks remarkably like a hotel room.

But while the story was clearly communicated, there were some opportunities for improvement. I wished there had been a better attempt at gating or at least obfuscating information which came into play later on. We noticed too many details early on and it significantly dampened the effect of the ending.

If you’re looking for a room where the puzzles embody, rather than just accompany, the story and theme, this is it. Room 2217 wasn’t perfect, but it absolutely was engaging, exciting, and thought-provoking.

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