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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

Escape Room Reviews: The Lab

One Saturday night with nothing much going on, with our usual room escape partners on vacation, we looked online, saw there was an escape room that nobody had booked any tickets for starting in an hour, and raced across town to a terrific adventure as a duo!

Company: Exit Game
Room: The Lab
Date Played: 8/20/16
Player Count: 2

Success:  Failure, but only barely. No hints.

Premise: I can't really say. I know it was vaguely Area 51 themed, but I'm not 100% sure who we were supposed to be or what exactly we were officially trying to do. Get in the room and then escape from it, I guess!

Immersion: Just enough to be fun. This was by far the biggest space we've been in, and the game took full advantage of it. Probably none of the objects in the room would really make sense in a military installation, but this game is immersive in the way a game of Laser Tag is immersive. Speaking of which, our flashlights were mounted on rubber handguns. We took two each!

Highlights: The space. It's really satisfying to get to move around as the game progresses instead of rotating to face the next wall of a small room. The watchword for the whole experience was "satisfying." There's a really well-designed part that punishes players if they choose to act like jerks or rewards them if they don't.  Since I considered the jerk behavior and then decided against it, this made me very happy.

The hint system was a button at the beginning of the game. Since this was a kind of spread-out area, the one time we were ready to press the button, it required us to backtrack through the space and we stumbled over the clue we were missing. No more need for a hint!

In my last review, The Will took top prize for best game intro.  A week later, this one is taking the prize for best explanation of the rules.  We were shown a video with some decent production value, decent jokes, and a good explanation of what's what.  

Lowlights: We got to the final puzzle but didn't actually escape. Either we missed the clue for the finale, or it's significantly more abstract than every single thing that came before it. When someone came to get us at the end, it seemed that either they weren't our GM, or if they were, they weren't really watching us.  

And Finally:   Of the escape room companies we've visited, Exit Game seemed the most like a real business. Our host, Remy, was far and away the most professional host we've encountered so far. There's a large lobby for some reason, even though there doesn't seem to be anything to do there, and there's a photo station that automatically emails you your photo after you take it. My earlier comparison to a Laser Tag... game? arena? parlor? Place you play laser tag, is probably apt here. It doesn't feel like a startup or someone's hobby.

This room says it can take 10 or 12 players at once. That seems like a crazy amount. We breezed through most of it with only 2 of us.  With 3 or 4, I'm sure we would have had enough extra eyes and hands to escape. With 12... by the time everyone travels from one area to another, whoever's in the lead would already be done and on to the next space. We didn't get out, but it felt like we saw everything, and my overall feelings toward this one are very positive. Since we're sort of new to escape rooms, it's great every time we enter one that's unlike anything we've seen before.

I recently discovered bestlaescaperooms.com, and I'm delighted to see this is their least favorite room at this location, because it was great fun. I'm looking forward to bringing more people and checking out The AI and the Sorcery School. Out of 6 rooms played, I'm ranking this one #2. 

How to book this room yourself: Visit http://www.theexitgame.com/m2-ch6g

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