- Played June 2018
- New York
- 60 minutes
- 2-6 players
- $28-60 per person depending on day of week and number of players
- What People Say
Once you are able to locate the company, The Experiment at Escape Games NYC is pretty cool. The actual site for the game is located in the basement of a building on a side street in New York City, so to find it you really need to keep your eyes peeled for the correct sign so that you can be buzzed down. Please note that if you are playing an evening game, besides a bodega or two a few blocks away, there isn’t much in terms of food or drink in the vicinity if you wanted to stop and grab something before or after. So be prepared.
The pre room/lobby worked for the short wait. The temperature was perfect, considering the weather, and the facility was clean. There was water available and also shared restrooms, though during our visit one of the restrooms was out of order. The lobby was decorated nicely with team photos and cool artwork, though on the whole, the waiting room lacked practice puzzles or locks or interactive novelties to help get players in the mood. The staff was extremely friendly and accommodating. One of our players was about five minutes late, but our game master didn’t rush us to get going once they arrived.
As far as the pregame narrative goes, our story and set up was a little jumbled. The mission wasn’t super clear concerning what our goal was or our purpose for being there. As far as story line explanation, the narrative seemed like our game master was creating the details on the spot as he went along. The mechanics of the game were explained well though. We knew exactly where the clock was, how to obtain clues, how to exit in case of an emergency, etc.
Once we entered the room, our interest increased. The room is not what you would expect for “The Experiment”, which conjures up imagery of bubbling beakers and clear science-oriented décor. If there was one critique about this room, we would emphasize a lack of immersion. The “environment” that was presented just felt a bit minimalistic, almost like a beta test for an experienced puzzle maker starting in the escape room business. We want to emphasize again that this setting did not detract from the joy of the puzzles themselves, but we felt that the setting of the room just wasn’t enough when you consider the puzzles that the room entailed. Quite a few of the puzzles didn’t really relate to the theme of “The Experiment”, and the atmosphere didn’t make us feel like there were any stakes in our success versus our failure.
This room shined on puzzles. For the most part, all the props and items in the room functioned well. There were no broken or out of place puzzles or props and it’s clear that this company focuses on effective and thorough game resets between teams. There were a few instances where we felt the quality of certain items could have been a bit elevated (e.g. numbers written in marker versus printed or etched numbers for example), but on the whole, all puzzles served the function that they were intended for. There was one instance however, were a teammate unintentionally used brute force on a puzzle from a certain mechanism due to a lack of instruction on the puzzle. Overall though, we thought that as the room progressed there were enough “surprises” and “woah” moments to consider this room a strong escape room.
Based on the theme of the room, we were expecting more psychological puzzles and the reality lead to more linear puzzles that excelled in difficulty but not in story line. There’s a solid variety of puzzles, from coordination to logic to math to visual, and especially group communication. About three or four of the puzzles explicitly require more than one person to complete. The teamwork puzzles really rocked! None of the puzzles in this room require any specialized skill or prior knowledge. We liked that the progression of the room can easily be tracked as you solve the puzzles. From the perspective of confusing puzzles, the difficulty was not super high, though there are a few tricky ones in there. Based on this combination we would definitely recommend this room for novice escape room players. If you have an experienced team and you are looking to go in and dominate a challenging room, you might find this room too easy.
All in all, the entire game unfolded for our team in an exciting, upbeat, and cohesive manner while playing the game. The puzzles were simple enough to not be frustrating, but complex enough to keep us engaged. This is what one team member called “a feel-good room”. Our mixed experience team had a good time, with lots of synergy and fluidity during our game.