Exit Escape Room NYC – The Mission [Review]

Execute Mission.

Location: New York, NY

Date Played: February 19, 2018

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

REA Reaction

The Mission started off uninspired, but turned into something interesting. While we wished some of the execution was cleaner, The Mission conveyed narrative well and the second half was filled with innovative interactions.

(Interestingly, for the reverse structure, play Exit Escape Room NYC’s High Speed.)

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Novelty hunters
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The second half
  • Unusual interactions
  • Narrative-driven gameplay

Story

Our agency had been infiltrated by a double agent. We had to identify this individual, determine their location, and eliminate the threat.

In-game: A black box with 9 binary switches hung on a wall beside top hats and overcoats.

Setting

While the late-game setting for The Mission was unusual and exciting, the initial set was an uninspiring barebones office with an unfinished look.

I can’t spoil the late-game reveal because it was worth being surprised. 

Gameplay

As the name implies, The Mission was mission-based. Our objectives were explained clearly in the pre-game:

Identify the double agent.

In-game: A black suitcase on a desk, the wall behind has 12 portraits of different people.

Track the double agent.

In-game: a world map covering a wall with black dots over select major cities.

Eliminate the double agent.

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While we were following a specific mission plan, the game itself was still an escape room with equal parts searching and puzzling.

Standouts

The Mission escalated. From set to effects to interactions, it built excitement over time.

The late-game mechanical puzzles facilitated interactive group solves.

As we solved the puzzles, we learned mission-critical information. Both the puzzles and our intel flowed well and flowed together. This made for a cohesive story.

Exit Escape Room NYC included a time-consuming mid-game narrative sequence. They structured their timekeeping to ensure all players receive a full 60 minutes to solve the puzzles. When you reach this sequence, you’ll know it. Relax, you’re off the clock. 

Shortcomings

The first act lacked excitement. The mundane office set felt tired. Its puzzles didn’t engage the physical space.

Exit Escape Room NYC installed this escape room in an unfinished space. Despite some interesting set pieces in the later portions of the experience, it felt unfinished.

The final interaction missed the mark. The concept was really cool, but the props and set pieces didn’t breath life into the moment. In addition, they didn’t engage the team. We escaped without fanfare and weren’t even sure that we had won until the door opened.

Tips for Visiting

  • Exit Escape Room NYC is easily accessible on public transportation.
  • We recommend Black Iron Burger (across the street) and Thai food at Larb Ubol (on 9th ave).

Book your hour with Exit Escape Room NYC’s The Mission, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Exit Escape Room NYC comped our tickets for this game.

 

Exit Escape Room NYC – High Speed NYC [Review]

Please mind the gap.

Location: New York, NY

Date played: October 16, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

We were trapped on a 1 Train in the NYC Subway. A vengeful conductor had abandoned the train after forcing it into high speed and disabling the breaks. It was up to us to save our own lives as well as the other passengers on the train.

The entryway to game looks like a subway platform with a white tiled wall. The door itself is built into a recreation of a subway car.

High Speed NYC captured the look and vibe of a New York subway car. From entry to exit, it had nearly accurate layout, temperature, lighting, and aesthetic. Additionally, Exit Escape Room NYC used video to create a sense of motion.

Puzzles

Exit Escape NYC put their own twists on a few common escape room puzzle types. The puzzles flowed well. Most of the puzzles were embedded into the set and environment.

The puzzles took inspiration from the theme. This was more pronounced in the first act of the experience.

Standouts

The theme and the set were quintessentially New York City. Given Exit Escape Room NYC’s location in midtown Manhattan, this made so much sense.

In-game: Orange seating a metal polls in the interior of the subway car.

The set looked and felt like a New York subway car. It was deliberately crafted to conceal puzzles within a familiar space. It was surprising.

We especially enjoyed how Exit Escape NYC turned subway riding actions into puzzles.

High Speed NYC included primarily large-scale, tactile, group puzzles. They took a few common escape room puzzle types and made them their own.

The ending was adorable.

Shortcomings

While the puzzles were on theme, they didn’t really tell the story of the escape room. At times they just felt like assorted puzzles from subway-esque props. This was more pronounced in the later potion of the escape room. Exit Escape Room NYC could work to tell a story though puzzling, instead of by way of gamemaster introduction, which would bring this experience to the next level.

There are small places in the set where the set construction could be more polished.

The second act of High Speed NYC was more challenging than the first act, but less exciting. The intensity of the room escape dropped over the course of the game.

Should I play Exit Escape Room NYC’s High Speed NYC?

High Speed NYC is one of very few New York City-themed escaped rooms in this city. Its local theming and convenient midtown location make it a particularly fun choice for tourists.

Note that you don’t need to know anything about the New York City subway system to solve these puzzles, but if you do, that might give you a leg up on one or two occasions.

If you’re new to escape rooms, High Speed NYC will be pretty challenging, and definitely surprising, but highly enjoyable. From puzzles to technology, it will give you a good feel for what escape rooms offer. I can see High Speed NYC hooking new players. More experienced players will appreciate clever and clean execution of escape room gameplay.

High Speed NYC was an enjoyable adventure. From the set to the puzzles to the story, it was a lot of fun to play.

Book your hour with Exit Escape Room NYC’s High Speed NYC, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Exit Escape Room NYC comped our tickets for this game.