Location: Durham, NC
Players: 2-6 (We Recommend 2-4)
Price: $26 per person
Time to Escape: 60 minutes
Why would you want to save the world? Because I’m one of the idiots that lives in it!
A mad genius has been under surveillance by a secret government agency due to their suspicions that he is building a doomsday device. Recently, he entered his mansion, and never came out. Your superiors are worried that he may have noticed he was being watched, and has escaped! Break in to find out what he’s been up to and where he is going, but do so quickly, since the trail is quickly going cold!
The Study was nicely laid out, and while it may not have been as immediately impressive as Ex Machina, there were many different devices that slowly revealed themselves as we started our black ops mission. It felt very much like a dim study, and we felt very immersed in the story once we were given our briefing and set loose on the room.
The non linear room ensured both of us had plenty to work on, but also included several teamwork based interactions so that we also enjoyed working together on several capstone puzzles. Technology was peppered throughout, and was well hidden and a nice surprise as we tackled the challenges. Feedback on puzzles was very clear and flowed well from one to the next. This room again did not allow us a method for taking notes, but this did not frustrate, and enhanced the few puzzles we would have taken notes on for teamwork purposes. One late game puzzle was particularly creative, and gave a great a ha moment when we finally figured out why we were undoing the locks we were working on.
Another late game puzzle was creative and straightforward, but the accuracy of the props were slightly off, leading to a bit of frustration in determining where things should be, rather than where they actually were. Some story related items felt under utilized, and just sort of felt like they were there for the sake of being there. The later stage of the game felt a little sparse, as it felt like there could’ve been much more room for theming. One puzzle in particular led us to work together, as it would’ve taken a long time for one person to follow through, but it felt like busy work and way overstayed it’s welcome. Some red herrings popped up due to unintentionally misleading cluing, which brought us off track. The ending was fairly anticlimactic, and didn’t seem to tie up the loose ends as well as we had hoped.
Despite a few hiccups affecting game flow, The Study was a good experience that should be a fine introductory experience for beginners, and an enjoyable time for teams of enthusiasts. I would definitely suggest doing this room before Ex Machina, though, as that one is a tough act to follow! I certainly recommend both, however. Book your time in the madman’s Study here!