Puzzle Room Pittsburgh – The Study [Review]

Reading Between the Lines

Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

Date Played: July 2, 2021

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Stairs, although not necessary for all

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

With a room named The Study, I was fully-prepared to search for puzzle codes given a chapter and page number, to arrange encyclopedias in order on a shelf, or a dozen other consistently-used puzzle formats in a library setting. Instead, we found that Puzzle Room Pittsburgh cleverly sidestepped stereotypical thematic puzzles while introducing unique tech interactions throughout the space.   

An old typewriter in the foreground, a beautiful bookcase wall in the background.

Of particular interest was the layered manner in which puzzles were assembled, allowing us to unpack the storyline from multiple viewpoints in the room. The pacing of gameplay appropriately escalated as we progressed, with one particularly delightful reveal awaiting us at the finale.

Although the room took advantage of non-standard locking mechanisms, enhanced audible or visual feedback would be welcome – we had to search for what had changed within the space after a few successful solves.

The Study was a solid escape room and certainly worth the trip if you are in the greater Pittsburgh region.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Any experience level
  • Puzzle lovers
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Escape Room Pittsburgh – Tomb Explorer [Review]

The Search for Isis

Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

Date Played: July 4, 2021

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $32 per player

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

I’ve seen the inside of a lot of Egyptian tombs in my escape room career. I’ve seen overwhelmingly fancy Egyptian tombs… and I’ve seen Egyptian tombs that looked an awful lot like offices. I can best describe Escape Room Pittsburgh’s approach as dynamically minimalistic. It hit all of the right beats, and felt great without a ton of detailing.

In-room: A wheel with multiple levels, covered with symbols in an Egyptian tomb. A skull, satchel, and femur bone sit atop.

From a gameplay standpoint, The Tomb was entertaining and engaging. It had strong Indiana Jones overtones, and a plot twist that we didn’t see coming and enjoyed wholeheartedly.

At times, we found ourself frustrated with laggy technology, and some apparent ghost puzzles (we also found these in Escape Room Pittsburgh’s Carnegie’$ Million$). Those hiccups aside, The Tomb was thoroughly enjoyable, and well worth playing if you are in the Pittsburgh area.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Indiana Jones fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Fun interactions
  • Expansive, themed set
  • Plot twist

Story

Andrew Carnegie had funded a famed Egyptologist to search for the lost tomb of Isis. Their last messages suggested that they had made great progress, but no one had seen or heard from them since. We were sent to learn their fate and complete the work.

In-room: A corridor in an ancient Egyptian tomb. At the end of it is a chamber with a table and a skull.
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Enter the Imaginarium – The Chamber of Illusions [Review]

Magic Maze

Location:  Pittsburgh, PA

Date Played: July 3, 2021

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $165 up to 4 players, additional $26 per person up to 10

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

For many years we’ve been told that we needed to get to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania specifically to visit Enter the Imaginarium. We’d heard tale of their unified game world, in-character gamemasters, and whispers of a remarkable set of interactions.

The Chamber of Illusions was a special game that did things that we’ve rarely and never seen before… and it did them with a style that was unique to Enter the Imaginarium.

An intimate magician's stage surrounded by magical props and posters.
Image via Enter the Imaginarium

Now, I don’t want to overhype The Chamber of Illusions. In many ways it was a unique and spectacular work; in others it was flawed. In the end, this was classic escape room with excellent execution.

It was worth traveling to visit this unusual world. The unusual interactions and heavy atmosphere left me with memories that I won’t soon forget.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Fans of stage magic
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A world class opening sequence
  • Fantastic atmosphere in a fully realized game world
  • Strong puzzles, gameplay, and interactions
  • In-character gamemastering

Story

We were charged with entering a funhouse to match wits with an infamous illusionist and his numerous creations.

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