Escape Room Mystery – The Laboratory [Review]

Experimental storytelling.

Location: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Date played: June 24, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

It was our first day as lab assistants for our new boss, a mysterious Dr. Heisenburg… He had special plans for us. What could possibly go wrong?

Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory was as advertised: a sterile lab environment with the assorted props and trappings that one typically expects from such a theme.

In-game: A box displaying a skelaton in the middle of a white lab.

Puzzles

The Laboratory was a puzzle-centric room escape with a broad mixture of puzzles and plenty to accomplish. Only a few of the puzzles were truly memorable, but the memorable ones were pretty entertaining.

Standouts

The Laboratory began as a standard lab escape room and then ratcheted up the intensity of both the game and the puzzling at the halfway mark. The second act of The Laboratory was fantastic.

Escape Room Mystery included a common, and usually flawed, lab escape room interaction, but used components and design that made it work well where most have failed.

Shortcomings

In one strange instance, Escape Room Mystery straight up provided the solution to a significant puzzle in-game. A less heavy-handed approach to clueing would have made this puzzle a lot more satisfying.

One prop was overused. One of the puzzles associated with the prop was not on par with the rest of the puzzles in The Laboratory.

The introduction to The Laboratory seemed like it was setting up the escape room around a cartoonish, evil Nazi doctor. The whole intro was strangely glib, given its subject matter. Then that story, as well as the character, disappeared as soon as the game-clock began counting down. This intro was strange and unnecessary.

Should I play Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory?

Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory surprised our team in a number of ways. It started off seeming like it might be a pretty mundane game and then escalated out of nowhere into something far more intense and interesting.

My initial reaction was wrong. There’s something compelling going on in The Laboratory.

Less experienced players will find a solid adventure with a challenging puzzle set.

Escape room veterans who play for the puzzles and teamwork should give The Laboratory a shot. It took a few puzzles to find itself, but once it did, it executed a lot of things well that most escape room companies do poorly.

Book your hour with Escape Room Mystery’s The Laboratory, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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

Escape Room Mystery – The Egyptian Tomb [Review]

Puzzle raid.

Location: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

Date played: June 24, 2017

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

Trapped in an Egyptian tomb, we had to puzzle our way to freedom.

Escape Room Mystery’s The Egyptian Tomb was a bright, friendly, and non-horror take on the Egyptian tomb escape room theme.

In-game: Carvings on the wall of an Egyptian tomb.

Puzzles

The puzzling in The Egyptian Tomb was exceptionally well presented and organized.

There were a number of puzzles to work through and some of the later challenges added an extra layer of satisfying complexity.

It was heavy on deciphering, but clear which cipher elements connected.

Standouts

We loved the set of this particular Egyptian tomb. Escape Room Mystery added a few design touches that made the set more interesting than wall-to-wall sandstone. The hieroglyphs were aesthetically pleasing and not distracting or confusing. That might seem like a strange thing to say, but Egyptian tomb games generally have a lot of visual noise that makes it difficult to even identify what’s part of a puzzle and what’s part of the set.

The Egyptian Tomb had some surprising reveals. We were excited every time.

Overall, The Egyptian Tomb had a well-clued, well-connected, well-varied set of puzzles. We appreciated the fun, fair, and worthwhile implementation of a puzzle type we usually see botched.

Shortcomings

The Egyptian Tomb included a few items that broke the themed environment. These were generally in the form of bright, plastic or laminated objects that worked well in the puzzling, but needed aesthetic refinishing.

There was one puzzle input mechanism that we reused multiple times. It started to get old.

We loved one multistep puzzle, but the input mechanism was finicky enough that it was a separate puzzle to sort out how to operate the thing.

Should I play Escape Room Mystery’s The Egyptian Tomb?

In The Egyptian Tomb, Escape Room Mystery combined an enticing set with challenging and satisfying puzzles. They added in some surprising reveals to create a pretty exciting escape room.

A word of warning for players who are larger or claustrophobic: The Egyptian Tomb contains a brief segment of play that includes a tight space. It doesn’t last long, but if that’s going to be a deal breaker, you might want to check out some of Escape Room Mystery’s other games instead.

We puzzled through this room in a short amount of time, as the connections just clicked for us, but we still felt wholly satisfied with our puzzling experience. For experienced players, you can’t ask for much more.

For newer players, divide and conquer. There’s a lot of to do, but it should be clear which game elements go together, so as to make a challenging but approachable room escape.

Book your hour with Escape Room Mystery’s The Egyptian Tomb, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

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