The Inventors Paradox at Enter The Imaginarium – Full Review
The Inventors Paradox at Enter The Imaginarium is a Escape Room located in , .
32 Alpha Drive W, Pittsburgh, PA 15238View All Details
This attraction was reviewed on May 27, 2018 by Team Houdini.
Final Score: 9.83
Team Houdini recently received an invitation to ‘Enter the Imaginarium’ where we had to navigate the ‘Labyrinth on the Minotaur.’ Here, we delved deep into the madness of The Inventors Paradox and the Chamber of Illusions, two of the Imaginarium escape rooms. We were also lucky enough to discover that a third room is in production. Unfortunately, we could not get any additional info on this new room.
The Imaginarium offers a mix of first generation (basic locks and puzzles) and second generation (advanced puzzles using computers and advanced technology) puzzles. What sets the Imaginarium apart from other escape rooms is that it is a collaboration between the Scarehouse, one of Pittsburgh’s most theatrical haunted attractions, and Bricolage Production Company, an immersive theater experience in downtown Pittsburgh. I have had the pleasure of visiting the Scarehouse on numerous occasions over the past 20 years and have never been let down. Knowing the Hollywood style sets and detail that is put into the horrors at the Scarehouse, I had high hopes for these escape rooms. Although I am unfamiliar with Bricolage Production, after our experience I will definitely be looking into their theater experiences!
Atmosphere & Customer Service: 9.5
We had no trouble finding The Imaginarium using Google Maps on our GPS. The event is located in the heart of Harmarville, in an old nightclub. It is difficult to see from the main road as it sits behind a few buildings. There is a sign on the corner with the name and a picture of a brain. The building has a quiet, industrial look, with only a small awning with the name listed on it. Although plain, the lack of d������cor adds to the mystery of what is to come.
As we approached the doors, we noticed the glass was blacked out, which provided no clue of what was inside. The doors were locked and we had to ring the doorbell for entrance. As we waited, an ominous voice instructed us to enter. As we opened the door, we arrived in what I would refer to as a pre-lobby. We don’t want to spoil what was inside, but after a minute or so, the ominous voice returned and instructed us on what to do next. This provided a cult-like vibe, like we were part of some secret society. My recommendation; be prepared. The Imaginarium will begin to reveal itself soon.
Before the games begin you will be taken to a different world; something unexpected. While looking around, our game master (Scott) appeared from a large room. A face to the intimidating voice, calm and poised he greeted us and invited us to look around and use the restrooms. The d������cor was antique except for the bathrooms, which were modern and very clean.
I introduced myself and tried to discuss some things in regards to our team and review process. The game master did not break character, keeping the immersion and illusion of being in another reality. Although there are no puzzles to warm up your brain before entering, that doesn’t mean that you won’t need to work your brain. The Imaginarium definitely has some interesting concepts that I have not seen before. Pay attention.
The Inventors Paradox is a journey into the mind, memories, creations, and secrets of the creator of the Imaginarium. This was unanimously Team Houdini’s favorite room (we also played Chamber of Illusions during our visit). Not saying that the Chamber of Illusions is subpar by any means; the sets were large and lavish, engulfing your senses and providing a larger-than-normal area for exploring. These were not just decorated or detailed areas, but completely immersive. To elaborate, we were not simply in a room that was decorated with a certain theme. We were definitely in this inventor’s world, which provided a very unique experience.
Unlike other escape rooms we’ve tried, the game master here did not provide detail before entering the room, nor did he tell us how to contact him for questions. You will hear an auditory backstory as you arrive and progress through the puzzles, unlocking more of the story and clues as you complete more and more puzzles. Subtle music played in the background and the surroundings provided additional sounds. Lighting enhanced the room as we progressed through the story. We were immersed in this game so much that not once did we feel as if we weren’t in a creator’s workshop. The story was interesting and picked up as we progressed, but I’m really disappointed that we didn’t get to learn how it ended (We didn’t complete the game).
The room is advertised with a success rate of 20% and we feel that’s an accurate measurement. We were very close to succeeding, but we just didn’t have enough time to release the secret.
Having a diverse team will definitely help out in solving the multitude of puzzles. The puzzles here felt fresh, meaning we weren’t familiar with any that we encountered. One of your team members may be better at math, while another is good at memory. Bring as many skill sets as you can. Both of the games that we tried are similar in that you will need to utilize your memory, deduction, word puzzle skills, math, and teamwork, among others. The puzzles followed a linear pattern, but multiple puzzles could be worked on at one time. The puzzles were very logical and interactive. Since you will be immersed in large sets, you will be moving around a lot. Remember, communication with your team is very important.
One thing about Imaginarium: there’s no way to communicate with the game master. However, they are always watching (imagine that in a creepy monotone voice)! When we were stuck on a puzzle or close to an answer, but not quite able to get it, the game master would offer a hint. Because they are focusing on immersive theatrics, they want you to feel as if you are locked in these rooms alone, and it certainly does feel that way.
There was no way to track our time, but every 15 minutes, an audible clue would inform us of the time. Some of our team members liked this and some did not. On one hand, you don’t have the timer constantly staring you in the face. On the other hand, you don’t know how much time you may be spending on one puzzle since you can’t just look up at a timer.
Entertainment & Value: 9.96
We were so close, but yet so far from escaping. We encountered fresh and interesting puzzles that mixed well with the theme. Each team member’s skills were needed to solve this room which involved mixing math, time, wordplay and more. The decor and storytelling were so on-point that we experienced total immersion.
The cost is $31.99 a person (less if you book the whole room) up to a total of 10 people. This may be two dollars above the average price of rooms we’ve been to, but this is far above your average escape room and totally worth the extra cost!
At a more difficult success rate of 20%, this is one of the most challenging rooms we have experienced to date. It is definitely worth an hour of your day. Even though, in the end, we weren’t successful, we had an amazing time. We can’t wait to come back to visit their new room!
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