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Portsmouth Escape Room - "The Surgeon"

Updated: Nov 11

LOCATION:  Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA

Photo above is property of Portsmouth Escape Room

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


You’ve been kidnapped by a madman: a surgeon with an unhealthy obsession with human body

parts. As you wake up, you find yourself chained to the walls in a blood-stained operating

theater, with just an hour left until the psychotic surgeon comes back. Will you make it out alive, or will your dismembered organs be part of the surgeon’s next experiment?


  • The decor and props in this room are not only consistently creepy, but also well integrated into the puzzles instead of standing wholly apart from them. Horror fans will have a good time here!

  • Puzzles are well designed and appropriately balanced for a lower difficulty experience, without any unfair leaps in logic or tedious time-waster puzzles.

  • The design of this room makes it easy to stay organized. There is a large work table positioned at one end of the room so as to be useful without being in the way, plus a helpful discard bin to get rid of used props. This is an aspect of escape room design we find is sometimes neglected, but always appreciated!


  • Your team starts the room handcuffed to different walls, but it takes all of 30 seconds to find the key that gets you all out. This feels like a missed opportunity to throw in some puzzles with asymmetric information access.


Horror escape rooms aren’t for everyone… or at least they typically aren’t. While in my

experience the creepier rooms are generally higher in difficulty, Portsmouth Escape Room has made an interesting choice in making their lowest difficulty, most beginner-friendly room also their creepiest! Though this might discourage families with younger children from trying this room out, its fun yet approachable puzzles and creepy but not over-the-top-terrifying decorations make The Surgeon an excellent way to dip your toes into the worlds of escape rooms and live horror attractions at the same time.

In most respects, the puzzle design of The Surgeon satisfies, with plenty of fun secrets to

uncover and creative integration of the room’s creepy props in the solutions. One aspect I saw as a missed opportunity, however, was the room’s beginning, which saw your team handcuffed to separate walls and looking for a way to escape. This scenario would have been a perfect opportunity to ask players to use teamwork and communication skills to solve puzzles relying on scattered pieces of information, but instead The Surgeon just had us spend a few moments looking for a key, which was easily within reach of one of the players and wasn’t protected by any puzzles. Given we were only stuck to the walls for about a minute of the experience, this part of the room felt largely unnecessary, so I would encourage the designers to get a little more creative with such sequences in the future, as they can be the highlight of a room when well-integrated into the puzzle design.

That aside, the rest of the room was a good experience, and one which we had a lot of fun with. We asked the staff to turn off the flickering light due to photosensitivity. The room was still plenty doable and enjoyable in the dark. We had a great time uncovering all the gross little surprises the room’s titular surgeon had squirreled away in all the hidden corners of the room, and even though the difficulty was a little lower than what we normally go for, we still had a great time completing the puzzles.

All in all, I’d say this is a good escape room, especially for people new to the hobby, new to

horror, or both. If that’s you, this one is probably worth a shot… pun intended!


  • Plenty of parking is available outside the building.

  • The building and its individual rooms are largely handicap accessible.

  • The lobby features merchandise for purchase, as well as some small puzzles to pass the time if your room is not yet ready when you arrive.

  • There is a flickering light in this room (for atmosphere). There is an option to turn it off by request.

Photos above are property of ESCAPETHEROOMers


(If you do decide to try this game, give us a shoutout or tag us on social media so we know you heard it from "ESCAPETHEROOMers"!)

Disclosure: We thank Portsmouth Escape Room for offering us a media discount for our tickets to this game. Although a media discount was generously provided, it does not impact our opinion on the review whatsoever.

#KevinHelock #IRLescaperoom #EscapeRooms #PortsmouthEscapeRoom #Horror #USA #NewHampshire

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