Time Travel Lab

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Ever wonder what it would be like to go back in time and change your future? Well, now you can! Fans of escape rooms AND time travel (or even just fans of Back to the Future) can get their fix at Scrap’s Time Travel Lab.

It was only a matter of “time” that what originally started in San Francisco would eventually make its mark in Los Angeles. Located in the heart of Little Tokyo, on the second floor of the Weller Court near the Friendship Knot and Astronaut Ellison Onizuka, is Scrap’s LA Real Escape Game. Those familiar with the area know that parking can be tough, so allow plenty of time to find a spot, and expect to pay for parking unless it’s on a Sunday where street parking is free. There are dozens of great restaurants nearby if you’re hungry. Or, grab a snack or drink from Marukai and sit on some benches nearby while you wait for others in your group to arrive. If you need to use the restroom (which is always advisable), ask them and they will give you a key to the one located behind their business.

Even though the time allotted for your group is 1.5 hours, you only get an hour to escape the room. The extra 30 minutes is to cover introductions and rules, and to explain your mission: confirm that time travel IS real and escape before you fall into the spatiotemporal distortion.

Inside, the “lab” is relatively clean and everything you find seems to be either lab equipment or a clue. Plenty of clipboards and pens are provided since most of the puzzles within are logical instead of physical. That being said, the puzzles themselves are very challenging, as proven true by the low success rate. Bring someone who likes puzzle books because crossword puzzles abound in this room, not unlike Scrap’s other rooms.

The gameplay and its concept are clever. Just like real life, what you do in the past affects your future. Players may find that traveling back and forth through time can be, well, time consuming, but fortunately the actors within play their roles and add that extra element of humor and a sense of comfort.

It was a very fun room, exciting concept, but Scrap could have pushed it even more… Being that they are the very first company to introduce escape rooms to the U.S., maybe they could give this room a makeover and introduce more varying puzzles. Some of the puzzles flirt with the storyline, but others don’t seem to relate at all. To be more immersive, wearing lab coats could have been fun especially if there is a pen hidden in one of the pockets. Little touches like that could add some “dimension” to the place, pun intended. 🙂

Overall, the room was a lot of fun, and the staff had high energy and were incredibly generous. They even offered to keep our drinks cold by putting them in the fridge while we played. And what made our experience even better was the fact that we not only escaped the room, but we broke the record! So instead of continuing to wonder what it’s like to travel back in time, why not test it out for yourself? You just might find the answer you were searching for.

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