Escape Trip 2019 – Buffalo

Hey everyone, its been a while.  In lieu of full reviews, we’ll give some abbreviated reviews for some of our travels.  Our most recent trip to Buffalo we finally got to visit 5Wits and Escape City Buffalo, but primarily to hang out with our friends, Dawn (aka Zwicked) and Ryan (who I’m calling Major Help).

In our previous travels we visited Mysterious Mind (in the Walden Galleria mall) and Locked Up (which is literally a 5 min drive from the mall).  Locked Up was a solid (haunt-leaning) experience, with some interesting game design choices for team dynamics.  Mysterious Minds was……. close to the Cheesecake Factory?

5Wits

What worked

Each of the rooms at 5Wits (we did Drago’s Castle, Deep Space, Tomb) had top notch set design, superb environmental effects and fun narrative.  In terms of puzzle design, it is largely task-based, so puzzle enthusiasts may be wanting something more to sink their teeth into.   Deep Space was a more ‘difficult’ room, but that had its own problems…

What didn’t work

We had issues with the tech in Deep Space, the final room wasn’t working at all.  We were stuck in the room for at least 5 minutes with no clue what we were doing wrong.
With no way to contact the GMs, we literally waited to fail the room.  After we left, we told the front staff what we experienced and they confirmed they saw the previous group struggle with the same room.  We asked if we could do the final room again, and they said they weren’t sure when it would be ready and sent us on our way.

Overall – as long as things are working, 5Wits is worth seeing to set a high bar on an immersive experience.  However, treat it like a Merry-go-Round, they weren’t great at customer service.

Escape City Buffalo

What worked

We had a great time at Escape City Buffalo.  Escape City definitely has some haunt roots, but Over the Falls and Hangover were solid non-horror immersive experiences.  The puzzles were fair and definitely the sort of puzzles we were looking to flex our collective might at.  The uses of tech throughout their rooms were really fun and unique which is worth seeing.  Great people behind the counter, and a great setup for a post-game photo.

What didn’t work

I think our only nitpicks were minor.  The first was in two of their rooms, there were elements of searching for small items in dimly lit areas.  Newer players may enjoy this, but as experienced players, we have become a bit weary of it.   The second was the voiceovers in the Hangover were a bit hard to understand and in our opinion, a bit off-taste for Ruby and I.

Overall – Escape City Buffalo is a must-see when in Buffalo.  A solid experience and a first stop in our recommendations.

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