Room 5280 – The Experiment (Review)

Location: Raleigh, NC

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 4-6)

Price: $28 per person

Time to Escape: 60 minutes

Complete my work!

Theme:

Professor Chladni has been working on an experiment that he claims will change the way we think about sound for years to come. Unfortunately, the Professor has gone missing; disappearing without a trace! It is up to you to visit his lab and find out just what it was he was working on. If you can solve the clues and riddles within, you’ll be able to complete his experiment and truly revolutionize the science of sound!

First Impressions:

Room 5280 is situated in Downtown Raleigh, a hence untapped area that seems perfect for an escape room. Even better, the rooms are housed within a historic home on Glenwood Avenue! When we arrived, we were greeted warmly by the owner, who was enthusiastic and obviously very passionate about escape rooms. The set up of this business truly was excellent, all that was left was to get our mission briefing and find out how the rooms stack up!

High Points:

Experiments and labs are an extremely common trope in escape rooms, but Room 5280 manages to take what could be a tired theme including zombies or a nebulous plague, and makes it into something way cooler! Based on the experiments of the historical “Father of Acoustics” Ernst Chladni, The Experiment really blew us away with its originality! Even before our escape, we were very excited to see what such a creative and historically scientific room could offer. The set is very streamlined, and presents a clean environment for the puzzling adventure. Very little is left to ambiguity and there aren’t a bevy of random and useless props scattered about to get in the way of the game flow or the environment. When the fantastic owner Andrew let us know that everything within the room was important, he really meant it! The items in the room are cleverly hidden, even in what is a very clean space, which is a testament to how excellently designed this room is. Each puzzle step is challenging and tactile, demanding that you challenge how you think about the mysteries, and involve some excellent perception based interactions. The ending is appropriately climactic, and caps off the room’s challenge in an exciting way we hadn’t experienced before.

The whole experience encapsulates an amazingly designed, multi-level puzzle into a room that presents just those things which are important, and though that could lead to an overly simple experience elsewhere, the folks at Room 5280 have managed to use a simple and elegant set design to develop a wholly original and engaging escape adventure!

Low Points:

The set itself is definitely a plus in my book, but if you’re an enthusiast that demands Hollywood set design, you’ll be disappointed as it this experience very much focuses on the game flow and experience above all else. The story itself also tends to make less sense if you focus too strongly on it, but is a very minor nitpick when looking at the experience as a whole. I would have liked to have a bit more closure about where the Professor went and why he disappeared, but the room’s focus is more on the Experiment itself, so any additions would probably throw off the extremely tight game flow.

Verdict:

The Raleigh escape scene has really upped its game with the addition of Room 5280! The Experiment really made an impression on our team with it’s awesome game flow, original content, and solid design. I cannot wait to return for their upcoming fourth room, and absolutely recommend giving them a shot if you’re ever in the area! You can book your time completing Professor Chladni’s Experiment here!

9/10 (Excellent)

Full Disclosure: Room 5280 comped our tickets for this room.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s