Komnata Quest – Bullets and Broken Hearts [Review]

“This is puzzle for puzzle and by the gallons. These are the old days man, the bad days, the all-or-nothing days. They’re back! There’s no choices left. And I’m ready for an escape room.” – Almost Marv

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: August 14, 2017

Team size: 4-10; we recommend 4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket on weekdays, $38 per ticket on evenings, weekends, and holidays

Story & setting

We stepped into the black, white, and red world of Komnata Quest’s massive Sin City-inspired world. We were on a mission to dig up evidence of corruption, murder, and other more gruesome crimes that went straight to the highest echelon of the city, or to die trying.

From the aesthetics to the story, Bullets and Broken Hearts leaned heavily on Sin City’s first (and most entertaining) volume The Hard Goodbye. This set was massive, especially for New York City. It was a dark adventure through the back alleys and casinos of Sin City.

In-game: A casino setting with cages. A roulette table in the foreground, guns and a painting of a stripper resembling Nancy in the background.
Nearly everything was black, white, and red… I just happened to shoot one of the only things that had another color.

Puzzles

As we’ve come to expect from Komnata Quest, Bullets and Broken Hearts was less of a puzzle game and more of a set- and task-driven adventure. There were a few things to reason out, but the bulk of this room escape was built around exploring the space and building connections between the strange things that we found along the way.

Standouts

Aesthetically speaking, Bullets and Broken Hearts largely achieved its goal of looking and feeling like Sin City’s unique style.

The set was huge, unusual, and fun to explore. Another thing we’ve come to expect of Komnata Quest is interesting use of space; they delivered that once again in Bullets and Broken Hearts.

The interactions were varied and mostly thematically relevant, which greatly added to the adventure.

The final moments of Bullets and Broken Hearts were badass.

Shortcomings

Komnata Quest tried something new to commence the experience and it didn’t work. Half of our group started with a tedious puzzle in a bland location, in comparison to where the other half of the group began. This split beginning also created a significant imbalance in knowledge of the gamespace for the group that was locked in the less interesting location.

Bullets and Broken Hearts included too much irrelevant reading material. Komnata Quest attempted to create that internal monologue exposition-y vibe that Sin City was so famous for, but it didn’t work in a live immersive game environment.

One key puzzle was coming apart and that confused the hell out of us. It ultimately worked, but if it isn’t rebuilt in a more stable way, it will get murdered by the villainous scum who visit Sin City.

The tasks and interaction only kind of told a story and only if you were already familiar with the story.

Komnata Quest sells up to 10 tickets to Bullets and Broken Hearts. The space was more than large enough to fit 10 people, but there was nowhere near 10 players’ worth of gameplay.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Bullets and Broken Hearts?

I’d forgotten just how messed up Sin City’s The Hard Goodbye was until I reread it after playing Bullets and Broken Hearts. Through this escape room, Komnata Quest paid homage to Frank Miller’s classic noir tale and touched on all of the high points in an entertaining set- and task-based way. It was nowhere near as dark, demented, or frenetic as The Hard Goodbye… but if we’re being honest with ourselves, absolutely no sane human being would want to accurately recreate that story.

Many of Komnata Quest’s escape rooms put the players in an adventure scenario at the expense of more in-depth puzzling. This was absolutely one of those escape rooms. Its difficulty stemmed from its size and scale. Bullets and Broken Hearts’ entertainment was born of exploration and the strangeness of exploring dark alleys in an escape room setting.

Beginners can absolutely make it through Bullets and Broken Hearts as long as they are willing and able to simply explore the crazy space. Just know that this is an unusual game among escape rooms.

Experienced players will find a fairly easy and mostly intuitive puzzling game coupled with an entertaining immersive environment.

Regardless of your escape room experience level, at least one player needs to be mobile. Things get a touch physical. The more able-bodied you are, the more fun you will have in these dark streets.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Bullets and Broken Hearts, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Komnata comped our tickets for this game.

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)

 

Komnata Quest – Chinese Jewelry Box [Review]

A pass / fail class.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Date played: June 19, 2017

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $38 per ticket on evenings and weekends, $28 per ticket on weekdays

Story & setting

We befriended our ill-tempered teacher’s daughter in order to gain access to his home and steal a copy of his class’s final exam. The twist: she locked us in the home with a laugh, warning that her father would be home in an hour… and he would be furious if he were to find us there.

In-game: A metal comb with a dragon on it beside a coin with a snake on it.

Chinese Jewelry Box was one of Komnata Quest’s rare family-friendly room escapes. Taking place in a well-lit home with a Chinese flair, the set was simple and elegant.

Puzzles

Komnata Quest’s escape rooms tend to be less puzzle-driven and more focused on adventure. Chinese Jewelry Box departed from their typical approach; it played and felt like a more traditional scavenge-and-puzzle escape room.

Standouts

This was a straightforward, but fun escape room. Most of the puzzles and even the searches felt satisfying.

One room within Chinese Jewelry Box was beautiful.

Chinese Jewelry Box was family-friendly. I imagine that younger players would have a lot of opportunity to contribute.

Shortcomings

Chinese Jewelry Box was light on wow moments.

Some of the closure mechanisms felt out of place, and in one instance, a bad idea.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Chinese Jewelry Box?

The last time we saw Komnata Quest produce a more traditional escape room, we did not enjoy itChinese Jewelry Box was Komnata Quest doing a standard escape room design right.

It had all of the base components of searching, teamwork, set design, and puzzling present and working well together in a straightforward, family-friendly escape room.

While I cannot recommend that experienced players go out of their way to experience Chinese Jewelry Box, if you’re already visiting Komnata Quest and want to tack on an extra game, you’ll likely enjoy it.

Chinese Jewelry Box, however, will really shine for newbies and families. This would be a great experience for introducing new players to escape rooms. It’s approachable, fun, and unintimidating.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Chinese Jewelry Box, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

Komnata Quest – Limitless [Review]

Limitless placed one big limitation on us.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Date played: June 19, 2017

Team size: 2

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $50 per ticket on evenings and weekends, $40 per ticket on weekdays

Story & setting

We explored a long-shuttered lab that had spent decades researching the limitations of the human brain. Now, locked in separate compartments of this abandoned research space, we had to work together to uncover its secrets.

In-game: A completely black image with nothing visible.
Actual game photo.

Limitless was a game for 2 players set in complete darkness. With the exception of the cameras, there was nothing to see. We had to explore the set and solve the puzzles using our other senses.

Puzzles

Limitless was built around darkness and separation. Every puzzle involved observing our respective environments, communicating, and collaboratively reasoning through our options.

Standouts

Komnata Quest used the darkness of Limitless to mess with our senses. In absence of sight, some simple interactions became perception-bending puzzles.

Similarly, the cooperative element was persistent and generally put to good use.

Shortcomings

There was some finicky tech.

We got stuck due to a missed observation and it was very difficult for the gamemaster to hint us back on track.

The story was a little hard to follow. Post-game, I only kind of understand it.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Limitless?

Limitless was a lot like Komnata Quest’s Boxed Up, but more fun and less extreme. Both are games of courage, darkness, and collaboration between a pair of teammates.

I do not recommend that newbies play Limitless, as it would likely prove frustrating and incomprehensible to blindly sense through an escape room without really understanding the nature of these types of games.

For experienced players, I encourage you to give Limitless a try if you:

  • Aren’t afraid of the dark.
  • Have a teammate whom you trust and collaborate well with
  • Aren’t going to miss the $50 it costs on evenings and weekends ($40 on weekdays)

Don’t drag just anyone to Limitless; if one partner shuts down, the team shuts down.

As far as the value for admission is concerned, Limitless essentially costs $100 per pair to play. I don’t necessarily think that it’s worth it for every player out there. That’s a lot of money and there are a lot of great games with exciting environments that cost far less… You don’t even have to leave Komnata Quest’s building to find some of them. The choice to play Limitless is a value judgment.

One last note: Limitless is played without shoes, so wear socks… and unless you want to go barefoot through one of the puzzles, I’d encourage you to wear the lightest colored socks you own. If you want to find out why, you’ll just have to play Limitless.

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

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Komnata Quest – Heir To The Throne [Review]

When you play a game of thrones you win or you run out of time and mope.

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Date played: June 19, 2017

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $38 per ticket on evenings and weekends, $28 per ticket on weekdays

Story & setting

Our great house had fallen to invaders and we found ourselves chained up in our own dungeon. We had to escape… and set things right.

In-game: A metal and brick dungeon wall.

Designed in clear homage to Game of Thrones, parts of Heir To The Throne pulled directly on George RR Martin’s fantasy world and most of it alluded to the source material. Komnata Quest sent us on a journey through a surprisingly expansive and generally compelling castle dungeon adventure.

Puzzles

As with many of Komnata Quest’s escape rooms, Heir To The Throne was an adventure experience. It was, however, decidedly more puzzley than most of their escape rooms.

The puzzles required more physicality than those in most escape rooms.

Standouts

The large set just kept going. We’ve gotten out of a lot of Komnata Quest’s room escapes pretty quickly and this one had three moments when we thought we were finished.

While some segments looked better than others, the set generally looked good, and some portions looked fantastic.

There were plenty of fun and unexpected interactions.

Shortcomings

For a portion of the game, our team was chained together. The restraints were cumbersome and uncomfortable with no safety releases. The mechanism that was used to release the restraints was equal parts interesting and cheesey… which is a strange statement that you’ll only understand after experiencing it.

Heir To The Throne had some questionable props and interactions from a safety standpoint.

I was expecting a more dramatic climax to the narrative.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Heir To The Throne?

Komnata Quest lives on the edge and Heir To The Throne is a prime example of their style of game design. It was an intense, unusual, adventure that was at times uncomfortable and a little unsafe.

If you struggle with mobility or do not feel comfortable being restrained, then you should skip Heir To The Throne.

If you’re a newbie or experienced escape room player looking to feel like you’re escaping from the dungeon of Winterfell, you’re probably going to have a pretty good time.

Not every decision made in Heir To The Throne was 100% sound, but that’s life in Westeros.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Heir To The Throne, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest provided media discounted tickets for this game.

 

Komnata Quest – Maze of Hakaina [Review]

Demons, intrigue, and answers hide in the shadows.

Location: New York, NY

Date played: January 30, 2017

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $28 per ticket

Story & setting

The samurai warriors once tested themselves against the demons of the Maze of Hakaina. Centuries later, a boy found the maze and became trapped within it. When we entered its dark corridors to save him, we found ourselves in a battle of wits with its ancient terrors.

The video-gamey labyrinth was dark with high ceilings, creating a foreboding atmosphere.

While the set was absolutely a maze, getting lost in the Maze of Hakaina wasn’t a risk. Progress within the game allowed for access to new segments and challenges. It felt a little like an early Metroid game, but with a feudal Japanese vibe; that is a compliment, to say the least.

In-game: A red glowing demon's face in the shadows.

Puzzles

Exploration was the biggest challenge in The Maze of Hakaina. There was a lot to find and it wasn’t all strongly clued. This escape room rewarded keen observation.

Like many room escapes from Komnata Quest, this experience was task-centric, but certainly offered its share of puzzles.

In-game: Close up of a wall with Japanese writing all over it and a small scroll rolled up and tied to the wall.

Standouts

The Maze of Hakaina was actually a maze. Doors opened up new passageways. Komnata Quest manipulated the gamespace to create an expansive adventure with exciting reveals.

Komnata Quest minded the details. Our gamemaster’s introduction set the tone and the set took over from there.

There were a few brilliant uses of space, light, and trigger design.

The presence of multiple win conditions made the game’s closing act far more dynamic. While we couldn’t win without escaping, along the way we could accomplish additional goals. Depending upon how we had played the game, these additional tasks may or may not have been achievable in the end. It was truly fulfilling to have accomplished them all.

There was an utterly unforgettable and theatrical moment.

Shortcomings

At times the cluing was tenuous. We needed a few hints to help us find and connect in game elements. After a few months, Komnata Quest still hadn’t had a team escape without any hints. These moments felt like great opportunities to transform obscure search tasks into clued puzzles.

Maze of Hakaina hadn’t been open that long, but already, many of the props and set pieces showed signs of wear in the form of chipped and faded paint. Without continual upkeep, this escape room will become increasingly easy and decreasingly immersive as the wear gives away the game’s secrets.

The lighting was incredibly dim and there was no shortage of reading material. We strained our eyes to read information and input lock combinations. Komnata Quest should add light strategically so that these tasks don’t become insurmountable challenges to some teams.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Maze of Hakaina?

Maze of Hakaina was an exciting and memorable adventure.

While it was more puzzley than many of Komnata Quest’s room escapes, this was a task-centric experience. The challenge was in observing and making connections.

Experienced players can enjoy the additional challenge of layered win conditions. Veteran players will truly appreciate unconventional use of space and the drama that it creates.

Newer players will still thoroughly enjoy this experience, but will likely need a bit more guidance from their gamemaster.

Note that the lighting will be incredibly challenging for some players and that there are truly tight spaces that can’t be avoided. If you are comfortable with that, then this is a must play.

Play hard and play to win. You do not want to miss the ending.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Maze of Hakaina, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

Komnata Quest – Mousetrap [Review]

The first time I’ve been in a phone booth since 2001.

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: November 6, 2016

Team size: 1; we recommend 1

Duration: 15 minutes

Price: $15 per ticket for a 15-minute solo game

Story & setting

Mousetrap was a single-player game that locked individuals in a bepuzzled phone booth. Similar to Komnata Quest’s far more extreme Boxed Up, Mousetrap cast me as Sherlock Holmes caught in another of Moriarty’s dastardly schemes.

The gamespace was small and simple: a well-lit box designed to look like a replica London phone booth.

It had a phone, a shelf, and not a whole lot more.

Game exterior, a red phone booth with frosted glass. The silhouette of a person stands behind the glass.

Puzzles

Mousetrap was a remarkably standard room escape experience, albeit for one person. The 15-minute game had your standard searching and solving structure.

It was reasonably challenging, especially considering that each player had to solely rely on themselves to work through every aspect of the game. Four of us played and our completion times were 7, 10, 11, and 13 minutes. My time was the fastest, but it was only because I bypassed a third of the game. Everyone felt the pressure of the clock.

Standouts

There was a lot of game for a single player on a 15-minute timer.

Speaking as a player who never solos room escapes, it was fun and intense to play alone.

Komnata Quest did a lot with a little on this one.

Interior of the phone booth: A pay phone is mounted to the wall.

Shortcomings

While Komnata Quest managed to squeeze a lot of gameplay into Mousetrap using very few props, it got a bit redundant as a result.

One key prop in the game will be subject to heavy wear. By the time I used it, the wear allowed me to bypass a lot of the game by accident. If Komnata doesn’t stay on top of replacing this prop, the quality of the game will suffer.

Even with regular upkeep, Mousetrap as I played it had too much potential for bypassing. It’s possible to make a few small tweaks to prevent what I did, but they need to take the initiative to actually do it.

Mousetrap was expensive for what it was.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Mousetrap?

Mousetrap is not an entree and I cannot recommend that anyone visit Komnata Quest explicitly to play it. It’s either an appetizer or dessert.

It was a fun experience to solo a game and we enjoyed competing for the fastest time in the group. Mousetrap wasn’t incredible and it didn’t push boundaries, but it was a good way to spend a few minutes after playing a larger team game.

The big catch with Mousetrap remains the price. $15 for a 15-minute experience is tough to justify, especially considering that it is possible to win in half the time. More than a dollar per minute is a big ask for what really is an add-on experience.

If you’re a die hard escape room enthusiast, Mousetrap is fun.

If you’re looking for an approachable game to solo, Mousetrap is pretty much your only option in the region.

If you’re going to miss that $15, then I’d suggest skipping Mousetrap. It was a good time, but it’s nowhere near a must-play at that price point.

Book your session with Komnata Quest’s Mousetrap, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

 

Komnata Quest – Doctor Frankenstein [Review]

The steampunk room that ran out of steam.

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: November 6, 2016

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $28-$45 per ticket depending on day of the week, time of day, and team size

Story & setting

In Doctor Frankenstein we had to revive Frankenstein’s monster, since the doctor himself had somehow landed in another plane or timeline from messing with electricity. The story was pretty nonsensical.

The room had a steampunk, mystical science vibe. The decor made frequent nods to astronomy and physiology.

A steampunk-ish gear box with a crank. A chain leads out of it.

The monster himself, behind glass but clearly in view, was the primary set piece. He looked a little too cartoonish and Halloween-y for the set.

Puzzles

Doctor Frankenstein was Komnata Quest’s take on a more traditional, puzzle-centric escape room. Until the introduction of this game, Komnata Quest’s New York games have leaned heavily into more extreme themed adventures.

The puzzles were hit or miss. A few made use of interesting props while others were wholly unexciting.

The puzzles generally connected to the theme, disjointed as it was.

Standouts

Komnata Quest relied on some tech-driven props that delivered, enhancing the experience.

Doctor Frankenstein had a dramatic and exciting introduction.

Shortcomings

Doctor Frankenstein lost momentum as the game progressed. The latter half of the game felt like a throwaway. There wasn’t enough there.

One of the late-game puzzles was as cliché as it gets. It would have still been a cliché had it been the first puzzle, but its late game position felt especially underwhelming.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Doctor Frankenstein?

Komnata Quest is not known for puzzles, but with this game, they attempted to deliver an approachable room escape in the puzzling style of the majority of the New York market.

There were some great puzzles here, especially through the use of technology, but there was also too much filler and not enough content. In the absence of an extreme situation, Komnata Quest lost a lot of what made their earlier offerings remarkable.

This wasn’t a bad game. When we interacted with elements that captured the steampunk vibe, it was a fun time. Despite what we considered filler, there will be a lot for new players to enjoy.

It’s also worth noting that the variable pricing can make Doctor Frankenstein an expensive game if you play with a small group on a weekend. Choose your bookings carefully as $45 per ticket on the high end is way too much.

Ultimately, for the seasoned player, Doctor Frankenstein probably won’t hold the intrigue of Komnata Quest’s other games. Visit them for their extreme adventure games; it’s an exciting lineup.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Doctor Frankenstein, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

Komnata Quest – Suicide Hotel [Review]

[At the time of this review, this escape room was called Room 1409.]

“Even if you leave this room, you can never leave this room!” – Stephen King

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: September 19, 2016

Team size: 3-5; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

We were guests in New York City’s Dolphin Hotel; upon check-in, we found that our room was haunted. We had to escape before an unspeakable horror overtook us.

This escape room was based loosely on Stephen King’s short story 1408, published in 2002 as part of the Everything’s Eventual compilation. Visually, the room strongly mimicked the story. The plot, however, strayed from the book.

A dingy hotel room with a painting of a bishop hanging on the wall. A Holy Bible is in the foreground.

It was not necessary to read King’s story before playing this game. However, hardcore King fans will recognize certain plot points carried out in the room escape. Fandom enhanced my experience in this game.

Puzzles

This room was a typical Komnata Quest design – heavy on immersion and tasks, light on puzzles.

Our favorite puzzle in the game made fantastic use of the setting while incorporating a direct plot point from the King story.

The tasks in this immersive environment were fun, and in several cases, unusual.

Standouts

The set design was the strongest feature of this room escape. As a King fan, the design exceeded my expectations in capturing the madness of the story. For those who hadn’t read the story, the design was incredibly solid, realistic, and eerie in all the right places.

In several instances, we were required to interact with the room in unique and unexpected ways, which we all enjoyed.

Shortcomings

Because the room was task-based, it marched along quickly. Our experienced team blew through this game, and the end came far sooner than we expected. 1409 genuinely appeared larger than it was. This illusion added to our end-game confusion.

After the initial scene was set, any semblance of story faded quickly. I wasn’t expecting the room to mimic the King story, but there was an opportunity to design a narrative compelling enough to match the set. It was never really clear exactly who/what we were escaping from and why they/it were there to begin with.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Room 1409?

If you are looking for a fun, interactive experience in a spooky environment, then this is for you.

If you’re looking for more challenging or layered puzzles then this is probably not your room escape.

Note that this game was a bit creepy. It flirted with horror. Leave small children or sensitive adults at home.

Experienced players will probably finish this room quickly. If getting to Brooklyn is hard for you then consider adding one of Komnata’s other rooms. Their current Brooklyn collection includes a horror murder mystery, a sex dungeon, a claustrophobic coffin escape and a heist.

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s Room 1409, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale).

Komnata Quest – The robbery that changed the world [Review]

Infiltration, a bit of destruction, a dash of puzzles, and lots and lots of crawling.

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: July 25, 2016

Team size: 2-5; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & setting

In the The robbery that changed the world, we were thieves, hired to steal an important package from a high security safe and escape without getting caught.

The robbery took us through multiple sets as we worked our way deeper into the facility toward our prize. The immersion started strong and dissipated as the game progressed. Some segments of the robbery were brilliant and creative while others were spartan and repetitive.

A desk with three computer monitors on them. In front of the monitors is a baseball cap that reads, "security."

Puzzles

The robbery that changed the world was not a puzzle-y game. Rather, it was a task-based game. We had to interpret our next task, determine how to accomplish it, and move forward toward the object of our desire.

That said, there was one interaction that we considered a puzzle, and quite a good one.

Standouts

The robbery that changed the world incorporated exciting physical set interaction. It was an adventure to move through this set. It was also more physically demanding than the majority of escape rooms.

Komnata Quest built a number of different sets that we traipsed through en route to our prize. They were designed within the confines of the theme and story.

We played with some pretty nifty devices.

There was a moment in the game when we were required to break one of the standard rules of escape rooms. This was surprising, exhilarating, and clearly indicated.

Shortcomings

Breaking rules is a double-edged sword. Later in the game, we weren’t sure whether an object such as a fire extinguisher, which is normally out of play, might be relevant to this game. Once the rules shift from black and white to shades of gray, judgment calls become increasingly muddy.

On the Komnata Quest website, the game description says, “Be sure not to trigger any of the alarms or you’ll get caught.” However, there didn’t seem to be any real stakes to these alarms. Nobody was about to bust in and catch us, thereby ending our heist game. The alarms were an annoyance, not a puzzle or obstacle.

This game was marketed as an escape room, and while it certainly was a heist-and-escape adventure, it was hardly a puzzle game. As escape room aficionados, we were disappointed by items that seemed like puzzle components, but turned out to be red herrings.

When the game set up the heist, we were provided with the appropriate gear to complete the mission. Among this gear were knee pads that were in very rough shape. This was a problem because The robbery that changed the world was loaded with crawling.

Should I play Komnata Quest’s The robbery that changed the world?

Komnata Quest offers one of the most diverse and divisive game lineups. Their current collection includes an inquisition dungeon, a horror murder mystery, a sex dungeon, a claustrophobic coffin escape, and a heist. Each of these games has a specific audience; whether you love or hate the game will depend upon what you’re looking for. For example, if you aren’t comfortable with sexuality, then 7 sinful pleasures’ kink pastiche will be off-putting.

If you are seeking a puzzle adventure, then The robbery that changed the world isn’t the room you’re looking for.

This escape room was a task and set-based adventure. If you like the idea of a physically interactive bank heist game that feels like a movie from the late 90s and looks pretty solid, then look no further. It’s a cool game. You will get to explore and manipulate a fun set.

It’s not edgy or scary like Komnata’s other games. It’s a great game for families and kids (so long as everyone is mobile and can crawl).

Book your hour with Komnata Quest’s The robbery that changed the world, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you by using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.

Komnata Quest – Boxed up [Review]

Coffins for two.

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Date played: July 25, 2016

Team size: 2. Only 2.

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $32 per ticket

Story & setting

This game for two cast both of us as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Incapacitated by Jim Moriarty, Lisa and I were locked in slightly oversized coffins. We had 45 minutes to find a way out. The entire experience took place within the coffins.

From an aesthetic standpoint, there wasn’t a lot going on here. The coffins looked and felt more or less like the inside of a padded coffin. Mostly, it was dark.

In-game, a pair of handcuffed hands inside of a coffin.

From a story standpoint, the game was heavily inspired by the BBC’s recent Sherlock series. The narrative started stronger than it finished. The game leaned more heavily on the thrill of the environment than it did on story or puzzles.

Puzzles

The challenge in Boxed up was derived from being locked in a hot, dark, and generally creepy coffin. Under those conditions, easy tasks and puzzles became far more difficult.

Although the in-game puzzles weren’t particularly interesting, the overarching game itself was the interesting puzzle.

Standouts

We couldn’t do anything alone, and we couldn’t do anything together. I can’t think of a game that forced both self-reliance and teamwork as thoroughly as Boxed up.

The premise was incredible.

Our excitement levels were high going into Boxed up. We felt like escape room first timers. That mix of intrigue, apprehension, and the knowledge that there was a big challenge ahead made us feel a level of anticipation that we rarely achieve after having escaped so many rooms.

It was an intense experience… too intense for some.

Shortcomings

We played Boxed up on a 90+ degree day after a major thunderstorm. It was hot and humid before we were crammed inside of small pleather boxes. While there was a trickle of cool air flowing into the box, the temperature was almost unbearable. When we emerged at the end of the game, our clothes were soaked in sweat.

Our stay in the box was elongated by about 20 minutes due to a major technical failure. Our hint system was dead and we had no mechanism to resolve a few puzzles. This became overwhelmingly frustrating because we thought we knew the solution, but we couldn’t execute on our ideas, nor could we ask what was going on. We didn’t find out that we had solved all of the puzzles until our gamemaster came to let us out. We thought we had lost, but it turned out that we had won with plenty of time to spare.

I’m concerned about the lack of a safety release for the coffins. The game was monitored at all times, but in the event of an emergency, I’m not convinced that the Komnata Quest staff could retrieve players fast enough. This fear was amplified by Komnata Quest’s release form which includes the aggressive line:

“I comprehend the risks involved with participating as a spectator or participant. I assume all risks associated with participating including paralysis and death caused by course and contact with other participants or actors.”

Should I play Komnata Quest’s Boxed up?

Komnata Quest built this game to be a creepy, isolating, intense experience and they delivered. Big time.

Boxed up was one of the most memorable escape experiences I’ve encountered. It was unusual… and maybe a bit cruel. But it was also incredibly clever and a lot of fun.

This needs to be the right game for both players. Boxed up is not a game for the claustrophobic or chronically anxious. If you need to drug yourself in order to find the courage to enter your coffin, or you have a major medical issue, skip this game. Do not coerce a friend or loved one into a coffin. You will need a competent teammate who is up for the experience.

It’s important to know that the coffin is oversized, but it’s not dramatically oversized. The larger you are, the more restrictive the space will be. There is nothing that can be done about that.

Also, don’t wear a skirt. You’ll thank me later.

Book your session with Komnata Quest’s Boxed up, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you by using the coupon code escapeartist to receive 10% off.

Full disclosure: Komnata Quest comped our tickets for this game.