- Played May 2017
- Long Island City, NY
- 75 minutes
- up to 15 players
- $65-$99 (varies by package)
- No one under 18 will be admitted
- What People Say
[We are not providing a score for “Puzzles” as this adventure does not follow a traditional escape room path.]
First Person Xperience is located in Long Island City, accessible by the 7 train to Vernon Jackson Boulevard. After you leave the station, pay close attention to your GPS or you may find yourself on the wrong side of the highway! Find your way to the Pulaski Bridge, walk the bridge until you encounter some stairs and from the bottom of the stairs it’s just two more minutes. We wished there was some kinds of signage on the way or at least a meeting sign when you get to the bridge.
[Please note that our group attended a special media week preview on multiple days. The experience now has more interactivity and tracking systems in place.]
The scenario we played is called RED. This live action experience is an apocalyptic adventure where civilization as we know it has collapsed. You are one of the survivors that made it to a camp, trying to find your loved ones as well as basic supplies. Your aim is to survive and your actions and decisions determine the course your story will take. This experience is different from escape rooms as we know them (and it doesn’t claim to be one). You won’t find puzzles, locks or a strict storyline. As the company name suggests, this is all about the experience.
The pre-room area begins outside of the location on the streets of Queens. A host will take the group up to the main building and eventually you’ll find yourself in an all white room with a bluish lighting and LED monitors. Here we encountered our first actor who did a fabulous job with her character. The high tech environment sets an interesting atmosphere and it is in stark contrast with the “room” itself. This is an intentional move by First Person Xperience. They may have other scenarios in the future, but the anteroom can remain the same. Numbered boxes are provided for you to store your stuff. This is very nice, but travel light since the boxes are not that big and a regular backpack won’t fit.
Once you enter the main playing area you’ll soon realize that it is very prop-heavy. This was quite overwhelming at the beginning. They did a great job with the interior; everything is in a worn-out condition which fits the theme perfectly. The space is huge with multiple levels and many different areas to explore. Large groups will have have plenty of space to move around and explore.
The RED experience is about interacting with the scene, the actors and the other adventurers. We did not solve any physical puzzles in order to open something locked, but we got the sense that there are some individuals tasks available if that’s how you want to explore. We had the feeling that the story is intended to be nebulous and it will change to meet your group’s interactions. However, we would have like at least some kind of directions or milestones. The absence of of specific goals or puzzles made it hard for us to track our progress and it wasn’t clear enough how our decisions affected the story.
At the beginning of this experience we felt quite immersed. It is clear that a lot of time, money and energy were put into this space and the result is pretty amazing. When they throw you into the room with all those props you actually feel like you are in a camp. The actors also helped greatly with the immersion, but there were times where we didn’t really know what we were doing or what we were supposed to do. Most of the time we felt that our actions weren’t doing anything and our explorations were futile. Since there are so many people involved in this experience you can’t keep track of what your teammates are doing nor actively make group decisions. The actors we encountered all get high marks for staying in character, however it often felt like they were playing their roles around us rather than with us. At times one of the characters would prompt us with a question, but our responses were often ignored or in some cases intentionally resulted in wrong information.
Our ERA members played on different days and we had contrasting views about the overall level of enjoyment. We all agreed that this is was a very unique 75 minutes and that the room quality is excellent, but some had more fun than others. There are different characters on different days and the group of other guests you are paired with will drastically affect your experience. We didn’t like that there wasn’t an easy way to bond with our teammates and we can imagine that this experience would be more fun if you’d go with a group of people that you already know. The business model here is designed for guests to come back and play again, but that may be asking a lot considering the costs involved. Prepare to test your reactions to intense situations and for your reality to be challenged. Do not expect an escape room or adventure room. This activity is for people who are interested in interacting with character actors in a first person survival experience.