Published August 1st, 2023 @ 8:33 am EDT by Michael


Review by Michael and Chat-GPT


This review is co-written by Chat-GPT because I (Michael) was having trouble translating my reaction to this room into an even-handed and succinct review. I gave my opinions to Chat-GPT and asked it to clarify them for me. This isn’t something I would normally do, it’s not even something I approve of doing, but in this case it seemed appropriate. I’m not sure why, but this escape room brought up certain questions for me, something about using technology to achieve tasks that are far simpler and more mundane than the what the technology was made for, and how that can leave people with a feeling of emptiness and insignificance. It’s complicated, I guess, but after playing with the toys and gizmos of this room, that’s the vague theme that preoccupied me, so I thought I’d use ChatGPT to take my opinions (the opinions are all mine, not the AI’s) and express them with a flatness commensurate with my enthusiasm for the medium after I was done with this room (or after it was done with me). Anyway, ChatGPT will take it from here:

ExMachine” is a time-travel themed escape room located in Redmond, a chic suburb of Seattle, and housed within the Conundroom venue. It boasts high-tech equipment, dazzling lights, and futuristic sound effects, making it a promising destination for escape room enthusiasts.


However, the reality of the experience proved to be frustrating. While the room was visually impressive, with a large, ostensibly interactive Time Machine as its centerpiece, functionality was a challenge. A key task involving laser sensors proved dysfunctional, initially leading us to question our understanding of the task rather than the equipment’s reliability.


The primary issue was the seeming inversion of the appeal of using complex machines. Generally, we expect big machines to accomplish tasks that smaller ones cannot. For example, had the lasers been used to match objects to their respective years of origin, this would have provided an intriguing, technologically advanced task. Yet, the actual task was simply entering a digit between 1 and 9. It felt like an unnecessary complication for a task that could have been achieved more simply.



The argument that “this is just how escape rooms are” doesn’t hold up. Yes, many escape rooms overcomplicate simple tasks, but it doesn’t make for a quality experience. A few interesting toys, embodying puzzles based in irrelevant math and an ambiguous way of giving the player feedback, were a welcome distraction from the room’s plot (whose details were not clear to us).



The room also included a comic book, meant to enrich the story, yet it only contributed to the confusion. The thematic journey to the future had potential, but fell flat amidst an overall lack of clarity.



Finally, a detour into a plumbing task felt irrelevant to the theme, causing some of our team to disengage. One brief highlight was a task involving a gun, providing one of our team members a moment of joy.



Overall, “ExMachine” fell short of expectations.


    Here are Michael’s ratings:

Type: Tech

Awe: 6/10
Care: 5/10
Challenge: 3/10
Teamwork: 4/10
Theme: 3/10


16261 Redmond Way, #150, Redmond, WA, 98052

(425) 906-1094

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