Exodus Escape Room – Exodus [Review]

Behold the service elevator of Anubis.

Location: New York, NY

Date played: November 28, 2017

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

REA Reaction

Exodus was a beginner’s puzzle game.

It was cute and family friendly. Exodus Escape Room creatively optimized a downright horrible space into a solid escape room, which was impressive.

Who is this for?

  • Beginners

Why play?

  • Puzzles
  • Humor

Story

Trapped within the ancient Egyptian exhibit at the New York History Museum, we had to explore the artifacts and determine how to appease an angry Pharaoh or suffer his curse.

In-game: The New York History Museum's Egypt exhibit. A large glass display case filled with artifacts.

Whereas most Pharaoh’s curse games lean towards intense adventure, Exodus was more playful.

Setting

Set within the oddly shaped room that formerly housed 59:59 Room Escape NYC’s Chamber of Dreams, Exodus Escape Rooms created a small museum exhibit displaying assorted artifacts from ancient Egypt. Therein were the puzzles.

Gameplay

Exodus was a beginner game built around searching and learning the basics of escape room puzzling. It was straightforward and flowed well.

Standouts

The introduction video was unexpected and kind of adorable.

The puzzles and gameplay worked well.

In-game: Another display case with a small pyramid and an Anubis bust.

One puzzle involved manipulating some strange material that we had never encountered before. It was certainly memorable.

Given the small and unchangeable space that Exodus Escape Rooms had to work with, the Egyptian museum exhibit theme was a smart choice. They never would have been able to produce a believable pyramid set in their location.

Shortcomings

The space was rough. It was awkwardly shaped. They lost a lot of wall space to immovable plumbing and a service elevator. While the museum set up covered this as well as possible, it’s still a tough space.

The adorable intro video was a little too long.

A critical late-game interaction that required player precision could benefit from additional visual cluing.

Tips for Visiting

  • There are 2 other escape room companies in this building. Go to the correct one.
  • Exodus Escape Room is located in Koreatown. On this block, we recommend Mandoo Bar for dumplings and Spot Dessert Bar for crazy and incredible desserts.

 

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

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

Exodus Escape Room – Sherlock’s Study [Review]

“The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes.”

-Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles

Location: Anaheim, California

Date played: June 4, 2017

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

Sherlock Holmes was kidnapped in the midst of an investigation and it was up to us to find him.

We played in a study/office setting that resembled many other escape rooms with similar themes. The room wasn’t the most exciting, but it was well constructed and hid a surprise or two.

In-game: A large wooden bookcase beside a red wall.

Puzzles

Sherlock’s Study included typical room escape-style puzzles, executed at varying degrees of difficulty but geared toward a beginner audience. Observation and searching skills were key. Puzzle flow was basic but solid, with some notable areas in need of refinement.

Standouts

There was one puzzle sequence that made excellent use of the set, leading to an unexpected reveal.

Another puzzle featured a small, easily-overlooked clue that those with keen eyes will find satisfying to solve.

Shortcomings

The puzzles in Sherlock’s Study relied heavily on paper props with lots of “whodunit” information printed on them. We became frustrated with multiple team members crowded around all these documents.

The study was predictably filled with books, which necessitated a lot of divide-and- conquer scavenging. One tedious puzzle could have benefited from clearer cluing.

One visually appealing clue lacked a clear connection to anything else. By the time we made the connection, we had already solved the puzzle, which negated the cool factor.

At one point, the use of space was a letdown after a grand reveal.

Should I play Exodus Escape Room’s Sherlock’s Study?

Sherlock’s Study was unapologetically a room for a beginner’s market; the folks at Exodus Escape Rooms were clear on this point.

Beginner players will encounter a solid experience with good puzzle flow that accurately represents room escapes. Experienced players will find exciting moments, but shouldn’t expect to be blown away at any point; Sherlock’s Study was decidedly for newer players.

Book your hour with Exodus Escape Room’s Sherlock’s Study, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Exodus Escape Room – Masquerade Manor [Review]

Let’s dance.

Location: Anaheim, California

Date played: June 4, 2017

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

Story & setting

We had infiltrated a masquerade ball to find a stolen object.

Masquerade Manor looked like a puzzle room, loosely themed on a masquerade ball. The set pieces and props were mostly musical.

In-game: A large gestures mask hangs in the upper corner of a room above a black piano.

Puzzles

Exodus Escape Rooms designed standard, escape room-style puzzles. We searched for oddities within the set pieces and props and followed the clues to the correct connection. Once we made the right link between puzzles pieces, we usually had to reason our way to completion.

Masquerade Manor was a puzzle-driven room escape.

Standouts

Exodus Escape Rooms hid information well and clued it fairly. This created a solid puzzle flow in Masquerade Manor, which was, at its core, a puzzle game.

A few of the puzzles in Masquerade Manor were gems. We really enjoyed one puzzle that made excellent use of the escape room’s theme.

Shortcomings

The series of puzzle rooms did little to build a fiction or make us feel like we’d entered a masquerade ball. While we appreciated the thematic nods, we never really left a puzzle room.

Two puzzles in Masquerade Manor relied on a piece of technology that didn’t seem to belong.

Masquerade Manor never built to a climax.

Should I play Exodus Escape Room’s Masquerade Manor?

Masquerade Manor was a well-designed and executed basic escape room. It was first and foremost about the puzzling and had a few standout puzzle moments.

Exodus Escape Rooms is targeting new players, introducing them to the concept of a themed puzzle room. For that audience, I think Masquerade Manor delivered. It will be challenging, but fair.

For more experienced players, this isn’t an adventure at a masquerade ball; it’s an escape room. Don’t go in expecting set design, narrative, or any suspension of disbelief. For those primarily interested in puzzles, however, you might enjoy a quick twirl through Masquerade Manor.

Book your hour with Exodus Escape Room’s Masquerade Manor, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.