Exit Escape Room NYC – High Speed NYC (Review)

Location: New York, NY

Price: $30 per person (Private games are available on a sliding scale, see website for more information)

Players: 2-8 (We recommend 3-4)

Time to Escape: 60 Minutes

End of the line!

Theme:

From the Exit Escape Room NYC website:

You hop on train heading to the park for a fun day, but before you know it you realize that the train has been abandoned by it’s conductor and is now moving at high speed without a driver… You must figure out how to activate the emergency systems and stop the train… before it’s too late!! High Speed NYC is an exciting, innovative, technologically advanced hi-tech game that is guaranteed to give you an escape experience like no other.

First Impressions:

If the fact that we aren’t wearing our Keyed Up! team shirts in our group picture doesn’t give it away, our trip to Exit Escape Room NYC was completely spontaneous. We were able to get set up with a room pretty quickly after giving them a call and walking over from our hotel, and we are very grateful to our game master Allison for her excellent customer service in helping us out so last minute! From looking up open games to helping us choose our adventure, to providing a choice clue or two when we started to overthink things, she did a great job.

High Points:

At the beginning of High Speed NYC, we were led into the subway car and immediately launched into the madness of an out of control train. Excellent technical touches and train announcements kept us immersed within the moment, and the consequences of failure were very apparent. Sound and set design really hammered home the theme of the room, and we were immediately transported into the New York subway system. The promise of a high-tech game was absolutely delivered on, as there were only a few classic locks inserted into the game flow, and almost every puzzle involved some sort of well themed technological magic. Clues were hidden throughout the room, sometimes in plain sight, and they delivered marvelous moments of revelation as we realized that sometimes those items that fade into the background were some of the most important once we’d taken a moment to have a really good look at them. The game contains some really clever interactions throughout, and each step of the game flow is intuitively laid out with original clues and signposting to ensure teams remain challenged, but never completely left flailing in the wind. Most puzzles involve some sort of tactile interaction as well, which is always an excellent touch that ensures the room remains highly immersive.

The game is semi-non linear, with a few moments of linearity for story’s sake, but when the room does become linear, puzzles are designed with a focus on teamwork to ensure that larger groups won’t have much, if any, down time and as the difficulty curve rises, so too does the non-linearity. The design of High Speed NYC does an awesome job weaving the puzzles into the experience, ensuring they don’t feel like puzzles for puzzles’ sake, but rather a convincing part of the game world. The climax of the mission is excellent, and a unexpected surprise kept up the fun with a new twist inserted into the story. Everything rounded out in an entertaining way, and by the end, we were left wanting more in the best of ways.

20190826_1253102577516349583284046.jpg

Themed entrances to the room are always such an astoundingly good touch.

Low Points:

The room loses some of its steam during the latter parts of the game, introducing a surprising twist that offers a great reveal, but ends up taking some of the urgency and excitement out of the game that was omnipresent during the initial stages. One puzzle in particular feels out of place, and with the many other excellent interactions around, this one becomes more apparent. The late game definitely becomes more challenging, which is a plus, but the set design is a step down from the fantastic environs of the earlier levels of the adventure.

Verdict:

High Speed NYC lives up to its name as it delivers a high octane experience aboard a realistic and immersive subway car. An exciting adventure from the start, enthusiasts will find a lot to love about the excellent technology and teamwork based puzzling, and new players will love how the game makes players feel like they’re in their own, subway based version of Speed. If you’re in Manhattan looking for an escape to remember, this is definitely a solid choice. Book your time on the runaway rail car here!

8.5/10 (Great)

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