- Played June 2017
- Buffalo, NY
- 60 minutes
- 4-8 players
- What People Say
3600 Escape, marked with a bright green frame of lights, is easy to find on foot or by car. Depending on the traffic, finding parking (accompanied by parking meters) may vary in difficulty. For our team, who went during the evening, parking was not only free but literally at their doorstep.
Inside you will find their two escape rooms, a well-lit lobby loaded with refreshments, a leaderboard, lockers with keys, and a friendly welcome. What you won’t find in many other places is a meeting room used for training, learning, debriefing, and everything in between.
One of the most fascinating things about 3600 Escape, an aspect lovingly cultivated by the owner Erica, is that it doubles as a full-fledged team building and training space. In addition to escaping, 3600 Escape offers a full comprehensive personality assessment and team building workshop that use your interactions with your teammates to spring into a deeper analysis of who you are and how to optimize your performance in a group. This addition makes 3600 Escape ideal as a corporate exercise. Most escape rooms are already effective team-building activities: 3600 Escape just takes it to the next level.
The pre-game video, like the company itself, had an educational feel to it. It’s reminiscent of a ’90s PBS block; explaining the history of the mines and the unsolved mysteries that lie within. Every player gets to don a hard hat for the game, an excellent touch to the old-timey abandoned mine theme.
The props in Mineshaft were excitingly reminiscent of an actual coal mine. Many of the props were spot on: they looked like they had been excavated from a historical site and brought directly to this room. Other props were newer-looking, unlikely to have been from a miner’s era, or looked a bit too home-made. The area is very believably set up as the spot miners would begin and end their shifts. Any player can tell a lot of thought was put into the props and room.
The mini history lesson interweaved into Mineshaft made the story feel plausible. The story was straightforward and had a clear beginning and ending, although much of it remained a mystery up until the last few minutes of the game.
Everything that was in the room (except one safety padlock) was free game: you could touch it, turn it, tug it, whatever! Although exposed cameras, receivers, and ceiling panels took away from some of the room quality, the overall effect was not ruined. Mostly because you spend so much of your time looking for clues and solving puzzles! Mineshaft also would strongly benefit from some atmospheric sound and less number-and-letter-combo locks. Ultimately however the room quality and props created an immersive and convincing experience!
Mineshaft includes an array of puzzles that would appeal to any group of escapees. They range from tactile puzzles, communication puzzles, visual puzzles, and mathematical puzzles, to pen-and-paper ciphers. A variety that’s perfect for testing different skills. There are usually enough puzzles to be solved at any given time that there are no bottlenecks, and many of the puzzles are suitable for more than one player. We wouldn’t recommend going over five people at once since the space is a bit small. But overall Mineshaft is a great experience for a small-to-medium group of escapees. It’s immersive, educational, and the puzzle variety is excellent.