Signature Color: Gray
“This room makes fantastic use of a unique space. Located inside the Casino at Dania Beach, Puzzle Room Escape’s premiere challenge The Green Room is literally a one-time staging area for a live concert venue; apparently, Sandra Bernhard is performing there this weekend. Sadly, this fact also made it more than a little hard to find. I’d convinced some novice friends of mine to finally see what all the fuss was about. They were convinced we were in the wrong place right up until we were greeted by our game master. It was clear that the staff cared greatly that we had a good time and wanted to offer something unique and memorable; unfortunately, it didn’t really go over that well because they seemed to care just a little too much. Puzzle Room encourages players to live the fantasy of being rock stars; to that end, they offer a wide variety of celebrity-inspired costumes to wear during guests time in the green room. It’s a neat idea but for (sober) first-timers who didn’t know what to expect from escape rooms, the museum-like tour we got before the game started seemed a bit too intimate.
Puzzle Room’s calling-card is ‘high tech escape games’, and they really do have some nifty gadgetry going on in some of their challenges, but if you’re not specifically looking for it, it’s easy to miss. Even though the independent puzzles, multiple starting points customization based on party size kept our group engaged, a few of those puzzles were a bit lacking, particularly early on. A well-designed challenge should make players feel that they were given all the pieces needed to be successful and, if they are not successful, that the onus is on them for not putting those pieces together correctly; when a player has the correct answer to a challenge, they should know it’s right before they use it. On a few occasions, we ended up feeling like we were either guessing or eliminating options by trial and error. While this was frustrating for me and my newbie friends, a group coming up from the casino with a bit of a buzz might enjoy it.
Where The Green Room really shines is how well it executes its theme. Aside from the ambiance provided by the location, Puzzle Room has done a great job tying nearly every challenge back into the theme of music or living the rock star life. In fact, it’s so consistently well executed that the three puzzles that don’t quite fit stand out for all the wrong reasons (despite being perfectly fine puzzles in their own right).
Once we finally found our groove (see what I did there?) and got past those first few hurdles, we ended up having a really fun time. We even escaped with about twenty seconds to spare. Of my two friends, one might be a lost cause, but the other has clearly been bitten by the escape room fiend and eagerly awaits our next venture. Overall, this room left me a little frustrated and cold, earning it the Signature Color Gray.
It would be interesting to see if this room changes at all, but either way, I’m looking forward to their next Room, slated for the near future.
Puzzle Room Escape
In the Casino at Dania Beach
2nd Level (VIP Room, next to Stage 954)
301 E. Dania Beach Blvd.
Dania Beach, FL 33004