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Museum of Intrigue - Various

Updated: Apr 16


LOCATION:  Syracuse, New York, USA

Photo above is property of Museum of Intrigue


Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


📝  ETR DECODER

  • 🔑 GAME: Various

  • 📅 DATE PLAYED: March 17, 2023

  • 🎬 GENRE: Various

  • 🧠 DIFFICULTY (Based on 4 ppl): Varies (~2-6/10)

  • 👥 TOTAL # OF PLAYERS: Varies

  • 🕒 LENGTH OF TIME: ~30-90 Mins. per story

  • 💰 PRICE: $18.00/ pp (for prologues, $31.00/ pp (for standards)

  • ☎️ BOOKING TYPE: Private

  • 🔓 ESCAPED/ COMPLETED?: Yes (everyone does - nothing is timed and live actors can guide you as needed)


The museum currently offers four Prologues (~30 mins) and 10 Standard (~60-90 mins) Stories. Each has a distinct backstory and theme, though they all co-occur in the same spaces throughout the 9,000 sq. ft. facility. Suggested number of players for these regular games ranges from 1 to 16, with a number of games requiring 4 or more participants. Some of the games for 4+ include the option of competitive formats and/or hidden roles for group members, so we weren't able to try them but are excited to come back!


GAMES PLAYED

  • "BFF": An imaginary friend was accidentally left behind at the museum several weeks ago! Can you help him remember the name of his best friend and how to get home? A super cute and creative Prologue that is suitable for all ages, and the most appropriate Story for younger children.

  • "The Treasure of Captain Williams": This Prologue was one of our favorite Stories of the day, with lots of hands-on interactions. You and your maties need to follow a treasure map to find the lost chest and collect the booty – arrrrr!

  • "A Voice in the Laboratory": In this Standard Story, you are working to concoct a serum to save the Professor from his otherworldly imprisonment. We particularly enjoyed how the narrative played out in this one, as well as all the scientific gadgetry we had to calibrate in order to save the day.

  • "The Toymaker": It’s Christmas year-round in this Standard story, where you have to help find the pieces of the broken toy machine. A very sweet and endearing game!

  • "A Robbery of the Intrigue Express": In 1904, a major heist occurred by the infamous Billy Gang on the Intrigue Express, and it has long been suspected that they had an accomplice among the passengers on the train. It’s your job to figure out what happened in this deduction-style Standard game.

  • "The Frame & the Fingerprint": There’s been an art heist at the museum, and it’s up to you to crack the case! You get your own little CSI kit and explore nearly every part of the museum in this deduction-style Standard Story.

  • "Cold Case": The museum’s ill-fated 1967 Artic Expedition ended badly and mysteriously…can you find the missing artefact? We loved the varied mini-missions and the way you had to build up to solve some of them, as well as the ending.


🎯 HIT THE BULLSEYE

  • The concept of the Museum of Intrigue is delightfully novel yet simple! The museum consists of a series of connected, themed environs (e.g., rainforest, library, pirate ship, lab), each filled with myriad objects. You select your Story, and are given a lanyard to designate what you are working on. This tells you how to begin, and also alerts the actors as to which game you are playing, so that they can respond or assist appropriately. In each game you are guided through a series of tasks or puzzles to meet a specific objective. You will end up finding and using objects from among many of the different environments for each game, so you are constantly walking back and forth between them, exploring the expansive space. We had to shift our mindset a bit from the typical escape room. Rather than rushing to each conclusion, we enjoyed being able to slow down and appreciate the journey and detail-rich environment. The puzzling is fairly light, so it feels a bit more like walking into an adventure, some of which incorporate excellent narrative twists.

  • There is an incredible amount of stuff and multiple, different games are typically being run simultaneously, which could lead to disaster. However, clear signposting really helps to cut down on the overwhelm when searching, and the busy staff do an excellent job at constantly resetting items so that they are not out of place when you need them. (Many games only allow one group to play at a time for this reason.) And finding things that have been hiding in plain sight adds to some of the silliness and reward. Many times we found ourselves saying 'I can't believe I didn't notice that before!'.

  • The museum is an excellent activity that can cater to groups of any size and people of many ages. Their games range from very sweet and simple - suitable for small children - all the way up to rather scary and 16-18+ (for some of their special events, like The Haunt). While it may not be a hit for all, we really enjoyed sharing the space with other groups playing other games. It added to the intrigue and curiosity about other Stories, gave us the “insider” perspective when they were playing something we’d already done, and just added some joy and cuteness in seeing the enthusiasm and discoveries of other groups.

  • We very much enjoyed having a full day pass and seeing a shift in our experience as we progressed through the games. The first one did feel a bit overwhelming, being unfamiliar with the many spaces available and not fully sure what to expect. As we moved through the day, we were able to move far more quickly through the areas, though we often had “Oh! I saw that….somewhere…” moments. As we continued, we would also see items and puzzles from our previous game, which added to some of the fun of remembering our favorite moments.

🧩 MISSED THE MARK

  • There is a lot of atmospheric lighting, but it quite often made it challenging to read or see numbers on combination locks or details on other items. These days, with most folks having a flashlight readily available on their phone, this is not a huge issue, but something to be prepared for.

  • There were a small number of puzzles that could have been refined to make the answers a bit clearer, such as a distance of 6.5 which needs to translate to a whole number. However, this was a very small percentage of the large number of puzzles that we did across the games!

  • We enjoyed the silliness involved in actor-assigned “side quests” you sometimes needed to accomplish to get them to help you with something. However, we did get the same one twice in a few hours, so having another option or two ready for folks there for multiple games would make sense.


🏹 TAKE A SHOT?

We had a fabulous day at the Museum of Intrigue and absolutely recommend it for anyone looking for some light-hearted adventures through an innovative approach. If you are looking for brain-burning puzzles, it likely won’t scratch that itch, as the games we played leaned towards searching and tasks with light puzzling. However, the sense of exploration, discovery, and narrative all drew us in, and there are a wide variety of Stories to choose from to suit your mood, timeframe, and group composition. If possible, we do encourage you to stay for multiple games - you will want to carry on to see how strange things you have found are incorporated into other stories. We are still dying to know what all the rubber duckies are for! It is a uniquely charming experience, and it certainly leaves us eager to return (and perhaps try one of their larger events)! If you're a parent looking to entertain, engage, and enthrall your kids, this is the place to go! And even if you're not a parent, you can still take your inner child to the Museum for a fabulous day of play.


ℹ️ ADDITIONAL INFO

The Museum of Intrigue is located on the 3rd floor of the Destiny USA mall in Syracuse, NY. Parking, food (both restaurants and food court fare), and other activities abound. There are bathrooms available both in the mall at large, as well as in the museum itself. The majority of the museum appears wheelchair-friendly, and there are escalators and elevators available to get you upstairs from the mall entrance. They have also partnered with KultureCity to create a Sensory Inclusive environment, training staff in making sure those with sensory needs and processing issues are welcomed and supported. They have sensory bags available at the front desk that can be borrowed for the duration of your time in the museum. There are a few areas where you can have a rest within the museum, and some merchandise for sale as well. In addition to the types of Stories that we played and have described here, they offer a wide range of special events for groups of all sizes (up to hundreds of people!), both at the museum and elsewhere.


Photos above are property of Museum of Intrigue

 

*** We regret to inform this company has closed its doors ***


Disclosure: We thank Museum of Intrigue for comping our tickets for this experience. Although complimentary admission was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion of the review whatsoever.



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