• Puzzle Out: Escape-the-Room Game Comes to Hoboken

    Group activities are a ton of fun. And while it’s a blast to enjoy a big group outing for drinks and dinner, group activities that don’t just involve food and drinking can be hard to come by {unless you’ve read this list}. So, when we heard Hoboken had its own version of “escape the room,” we were super-psyched to try it out.

    Puzzle Out is a a live escape game where you are locked in a room and have one hour to get out by finding clues and solving puzzles that lead you to the key that unlocks the door to the room. The room is good for 4-8 players and is perfect for a girls’ night out, couples date night, or even a team-building event. We went with a group of six {four ladies and two gents} at their 9PM time slot. Read on below for more details about how it works — and to find out if we puzzled our way out, OR ended up taking pics along the loser wall {womp, womp…}.

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    Location

    Puzzle Out is located at 1 Newark Street, #22 in the Hoboken Land Building {the same building as Bean Vault Coffee}.When you enter the building, Puzzle Out Room is on the 2nd floor. The building was built in 1889 and definitely maintains a pre-war antique feel ambience, which sets the mood as soon as you walk in.

    IMG_6654

    ^Hoboken Land Building

    Arrival & Debriefing

    When we first arrived we sat down in the reception space and were greeted by Shamiq. Shamiq and his brother are the creators of Puzzle Out Room and literally came up with every single puzzle in the room on their own {whhaaattt?!}, which I was very impressed by. Shamiq was so nice and did a great job of answering our questions and explaining all of the rules. He was also sure to see if anyone needed to use the restroom before we start because for real- you’re actually locked in the room for a full hour.

    puzzle-out-welcome

    ^loved this welcome sign for HG! 🙂

    During the debriefing they gave us a complete rundown of how the game would work and what items were not part of the game {most are}. They also filled us in on the theme of the room- an office from the pre-WWII era-  and how each piece of the room is either handmade or an antique from that time period. Throughout the hour, you get up to three clues at no cost to your team. If you want additional clues beyond that, they’ll give them to you but each costs 5 minutes of time.

     Game Time

    We couldn’t take too many pictures inside the room and can’t give you all the details or we’d spoil the fun {duh}. Buuuut, we can give you a few insider tips to show you what sets Puzzle Out apart from other escape-the-room games.

    puzzle-out-room

    ^Interior of the room.

    The goal of the game is to solve all of the puzzles and eventually find the key to open the door and escape. Everything inside the room is either an antique or is hand-made for the room. The old-style decor definitely adds to the atmosphere and makes the game even more fun because it feels like you’re in an old house.

    Unlike other escape-the-room games I’ve tried, this one is a cell phone free game both to fit the theme of the room, and to make you really use your brain rather than relying on Google. You don’t need research in order to solve the puzzles and we all found it refreshing to put the phones away for an hour and rely on creative thinking and teamwork.

    puzzle-out-map

    ^Hoboken map that is related to the game {so cool!}.

    We can’t go into too much detail about this, but this game is totally Hoboken-centric. Hoboken is weaved in throughout various puzzles in the game and we love that the room has a very local and personal feel. There are a lot of puzzles to get through in order to escape, so it’s absolutely necessary to divide and conquer. Our team of six felt like the perfect number because there were enough of us to brainstorm and solve multiple puzzles at a time, but there also weren’t too many cooks in the kitchen. It was great to see how each member of our team brought different strengths to the game, and the variety of puzzles require all different skill sets — so a diverse group of smarty pants types are good. Just sayin’.

    Seconds to Spare

    We did it! It was a close call but our team escaped with 16 seconds to spare. The crew at Puzzle Out told us the average escape rate is 40%. I’m not gonna lie, we all felt pretty smart after escaping. The puzzles are so so entertaining, but not that easy.

    puzzle-out-winners

    ^Team picture with the winner signs!

    The Puzzle Out team said they do get bachelor/bachelorette parties that do this after a few cocktails. Honestly, it’s probably for the best to NOT go to happy hour first. Unless you’re Dougie Houser + Magellan, it will be more difficult to escape if you enjoy a glass of wine {or five} before playing…for obvious reasons.

    puzzle-out-loser

    ^Signs for a team picture if you can’t escape 

    There is only one room available at the Hoboken location so once you’ve played, you can’t really go back again. But, we were happy to hear that Puzzle Out is in the process of opening a Jersey City location right near the Grove Street Path — so fun! This location will be bigger with plans to have three different rooms, including identical side-by-side rooms where you can race another team to see who gets out first {love that competitive spirit}.  We can’t wait to play again once the new spot opens.

    puzzle-out-card

    If you’re looking for something fun, challenging, and different to do — Puzzle Out is the perfect choice. Tickets range from $25-$32 depending on the number of people on your team. The room is available by appointment only on weekdays at 6pm, 8pm, and 10pm.  On weekends appointments are available at 2pm, 4pm, 6pm, 8pm, and 10pm Click here for the full schedule and to book your game.

    Have you tried Puzzle OutLet us know if you escaped or stayed trapped in the comments below.

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    *This post is sponsored but all information and opinions are the true experience of the author.*


    Written by:

    Kate Lombardo is Hoboken Girl’s Marketing and Events Manager. She joined the HG team in February of 2015 and loves keeping readers up to date on news and things to do in Hoboken. Kate lives uptown with her husband and can often be found shopping her way through Hoboken’s boutiques or taste-testing her way through the mile square’s amazing restaurants. She’s a local yoga teacher who loves helping people live the healthiest and happiest version of their lives. Check her out on Instagram @katelombardoyoga.


    3 comments

    • For anyone who wants to learn more about escape games, check out RoomEscapeArtist.com, which publishes well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous escape room reviews, design and players tips. This blog is run by two former Hobokenites (now Weehawkenites). They are scheduled to visit Puzzle Out in just a few weeks! If you enjoyed Puzzle Out, reach out to RoomEscapeArtist for room escape recommendations in NYC and other parts of the country.

      Reply
    • My husband and I woke up with hand, foot, and mouth disease this morning, which we caught from our two year old daughter. My husband is miserable and I am in a lot of pain. Neither of us foresaw this and we were both looking forward to attending prior to becoming ill.

      I am aware that there is a $30 rescheduling fee (which seems high, as each of our tickets cost $30 as it is) but I thought that illness might be an exception, especially as this rash is highly contagious and I did not develop the blisters until this morning (the day of the booking). Unfortunately, upon calling, the employee informed me that his manager could not authorize the waiving of our rebooking fee.

      I honestly find this to be ridiculous! When exactly does the manager find a situation necessary for the fee to be waived!? Only after someone dies? Am I really expected to come in and participate, possibly infecting all those I come into contact with and while in pain?

      My husband and I are first time parents and live in Jersey City with no nearby family. We literally had this date night planned for weeks and it was devastating enough just to have to reschedule it, let alone find I needed to cough up ANOTHER $30 just to schedule it for another day. I am not made of money as it is and have to budget out the things we do paycheck to paycheck. Not only do I not have an extra $30 on hand, I also feel strongly that it was not fair or just to expect me to pay.

      I honestly feel like the manager I spoke to had no empathy or compassion for my situation and when I expressed my frustration with him and ultimately told him I planned to communicate via the website and other online forums about my feelings he smugly told me to use my freedom of speech and hung up the phone.

      I am now out $60, with no experience, and feel like I’ve been treated like a dispensable piece of garbage. I will NEVER give my business to puzzle out again and will specifically seek out alternative puzzle room companies to give my business to in future. I also plan to provide an in depth review of the company and how I was treated to every website I can find.

      The employees should really be trained to have more compassionate toward their customers and attempt to treat people with more genuine respect.

      Reply

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