Cipher Escape – The Geek Room (Review)

Location: Morrisville, NC

Price: $25 Per Person

Players: 4-12 (4 is a hard minimum, we recommend 6)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

 

The Geek Room is proudly touted to be Cipher Escape’s most difficult room on their website, and it really does deliver on a tough, but fair, experience.

Theme:

The story of the Geek Room is that you’ve been asked to take care of your elderly neighbor’s cat, but once you’ve entered, the door has locked behind you and you need to search their techie house to escape. Why 4-12 people are needed to feed this cat is a conundrum in itself, but that’s beside the point. Overall, the story is just there to set up the “geek” theme, which doesn’t really hold up throughout the whole experience.

General Thoughts:

The Geek Room is very obviously just a big puzzle to solve, since the story and theme seem like more of an afterthought. This isn’t a bad thing, however, since the puzzling is solid, and the metapuzzle was fun to figure out. The room is littered with objects to find and interact with, and puzzles made good logical sense. Our group of four attacked the room fairly chaotically, which worked to our advantage, since there was just so much to do during our escape. There were a couple of fun technological surprises that worked very well and added to the fun, but I never felt immersed in a story.

High Points:

There were several puzzle paths to take, so none of us were at any point bored or lacking in things to do. All the technology worked smoothly and gave proper feedback, and many of the puzzles were well thought out and original. One interaction early on helped cement our need to work as a team, and had a satisfying conclusion.

Low Points:

One puzzle we spent the entire room coming back to and trying was one you’d expect grandma to buy and keep in her living room. It was off theme, cheap looking, and just a poor puzzle overall. In order to get past it, we asked for a hint and were told “I don’t have one for you.” This did nothing but frustrate us further, forcing us to give up and roll the dials on the lock until we’d skipped it. A couple of the puzzles were poorly clued, and one was already halfway open when we entered. It was explained that, yeah, it does that sometimes, which was a wholly unsatisfying answer.

Verdict:

Barring a frustrating gate puzzle, and a few failures on the part of the GM, The Geek Room was a fantastic time. Though it felt like a pure puzzle room rather than an immersive experience, this worked in it’s favor. Make sure you have a big enough group to tackle all the room has to offer, as though we escaped with only 4 teammates, we cut it close and were told that we were the first to successfully do so with the bare minimum. Beginners will enjoy the approachable puzzles, and enthusiasts will find fun technology to puzzle with. You can book your adventure in the Geek Room here!

7.5/10 (Good)

Welcome and A Word on Scores

Welcome to Escape Room Adventurer! Here you can expect to find reviews about a myriad of Escape Rooms, based mostly out of the South, an area I’ve found to be lacking in well thought out reviews. For each review, I’ll provide a score, and while many people don’t like to include scores, I find a simple 1-10 ranking scale can help quickly assess the quality of a room. They will be used subtly, however; casually added to the end of any review, so you can always ignore it if you don’t think it is useful.

Please also note that all reviews are the sole opinion of myself, the weirdo pictured here. Though my team photo is regularly featured, my opinion of the room is not necessarily in line with theirs.

Below, you’ll find a more in depth explanation of each score. I intend to use the full scale, with 1 being a functionally unplayable, or an experience devoid of joy, while a 10 will be reserved for those games that really blow the mind. Therefore, 5 is your average serviceable, if not all that interesting room.

10 (Phenomenal): A 10 represents the absolute best the industry has to offer. While perfection might be impossible, these rooms are pretty close. And rare. A 10 represents the current pinnacle of escapes, and are what all other rooms should seek to be.

9 (Excellent): A 9 represents a consistently excellent experience. While there may be negligible problems, these games are some of the finest I’ve played. Any enthusiast will enjoy this.

8 (Great): An 8 represents a room that most people will enjoy, even though the experience may include a blemish here or there. The room is a solid experience, and any hiccups are quickly recovered from.

7 (Good): A 7 represents an escape that is fun to play, and good for an afternoon’s fun, even if it may not be an exemplar of the genre. May have some dips in the overall flow, but is a serviceable game that will entertain those who like the theme or style of room.

6 (Alright): A 6 represents an acceptable game, these games are slightly above average, and would be an okay choice when booking a room. Nothing’s going to blow your mind here, but with the right team, you’ll have fun.

5 (Mediocre): A 5 represents “true neutral” on the scale. It doesn’t stand out in any way, but it doesn’t offend terribly. Could use some work to make it truly recommendable, these rooms do the bare minimum to qualify as run of the mill.

4 (Subpar): A 4 represents is an inferior experience. Though there might be a fun puzzle or interaction, it mostly gives way to banality. A lot of off theme, or just plain boring puzzles make this feel like filler rather than an adventure.

3 (Poor): A 3 represents a game with some serious problems. Any glimmer of hope is immediately squandered. Think a room that includes newspaper puzzles and those weird block games your grandmother had in her living room. Nothing much of note, but there are puzzles and it sort of counts as a room.

2 (Bad): A 2 represents a complete disaster. These games are broken, full of leaps of “logic,” and should only be attempted by the truly desperate. Might be worth going to if only for a laugh.

1 (Rubbish): A 1 represents a complete waste of time and space. A game here is offensive in it’s lack of redeeming factors. You will not have fun here. This room is bad, and the designer should feel bad.