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Tales from The Social Club: Crime vs. Time

Meeting Date and Time: Tuesday, May 7, 2024 from 5:30 PM to 7 PM

Meeting Location: Escape Room Madness, 38 W 32nd Street, Floor 6, Ste 606, New York, NY

This event was a mission: get out of an escape room while bringing a high profile criminal Ludovico Manin (a wealthy and renowned composer) to justice by solving a series of puzzles in only one hour. Should we fail to solve all the puzzles, Ludovico would get away with stealing a diamond. Stay tuned to the end of the blog post to find out if we managed to bring Ludovico to justice (win the game).

I will now go a little bit back in time so to speak to when we were in the waiting room before the game began. I observed a very interesting clock. While this clock was not part of the game (it was just a decoration), it was still incredibly unique (unlike anything I have ever seen before).

A Very Unique Clock
A Very Unique Clock

This clock had a mathematical calculation for each number. For example, the square root of 64 is 8. Another interesting thing about this clock was it was not working on the day we visited the site.

After getting checked in, we entered the escape room and were given our mission through instructions from staff and a video. The goal of the game was to solve a series of puzzles to find a stolen diamond that was hidden by Ludovico Manin, a wealthy and famous composer. We only had one hour to find the diamond. A series of puzzles had to be solved which ranged from number and letter combinations to open locks (where more keys were hidden) to lining up symbols correctly on a circular dial. Trying to solve the puzzle for the Piano was especially challenging as it was a word letter lock where you needed to get 4 letters of a famous composer. But even more challenging, we did not have all 26 letters in the alphabet to do it. From what I can remember there were approximately 10 letters. Also, what looks like a chess board needs to be solved by 2 people standing on the correct sequence of squares (see picture below).

Image Source: World of Escapes Website
Image Source: World of Escapes Website

I was not able to solve any of the puzzles which was frustrating but some other members of the group were far more skilled than I was so I deferred to them at times and asked for help. Admittedly, I was only mildly frustrated as I reminded myself that all you can do is try.

Before the puzzle began, we were told we could ask for 5 hints and to use them carefully. This was my role in the game. To watch the time (we only had an hour) and use the hints strategically. I would always ask the group for approval before using the hint so there would be consensus. One thing I would say about the hints is they are random. In other words, my questions were specific. For example, a question I asked was “could you give me a hint on solving the word combination on the piano?”. Instead of getting a hint about the Piano, I got a hint that told the group to look inside of the Globe for further instructions.

One thing I would say about the game is that strong attention to detail is critical. For example, a flashlight was used to observe patterns on the wall (one of which provided a clue to solve the next puzzle). There was also a panel on the wall which opened to provide a further clue. I would also say that the staff instructions at the beginning were somewhat misleading. The staff said not to touch anything with a red dot (straightforward) but then said not to try and pull apart objects (confusing as the globe and panel on the wall were both objects that needed to be pulled apart).

The final task we ended on was trying to line up different symbols on a cylindrical dial that had several circular dials where alignment had to be correct. I do not remember whether or not this puzzle was solved, just that it was our last attempt and I was not the one who solved it.

We did not have enough time to solve the puzzles and criminal activity ruled the day. While it was frustrating we did not finish the puzzle in time, we did get close and I will say there was a really neat video at the end about the criminal getting away with the activity which sort of softened the difficulty of coming up short. That being said, I had a really good time and a lot of fun playing the game.

Should you decide to go, the tips I would give to you are to work as a team, come up with a strategy to solve the puzzles, watch the clock and keep track of the time, and use your 5 clues wisely. Finally, remember that it is not whether you win or lose but how you play the game that counts. Have a good time and remember that this is just pretend and not real life.


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