Escape the Ordinary – Mystery Room NYC: Review by Jamie Levine
















Do you love puzzles or strategy games? Are you looking for an entertaining way to release some stress? Or simply a fun and exciting outing with friends or family? Or maybe you’re seeking a new way to celebrate a birthday or special occasion. Mystery Room NYC is the answer. This innovative venue taps into one’s desire for social and physical interaction while also providing intellectual stimulation and a bit of a thrill.

Last Friday, I was joined by my 10-year-old daughter and our friends (both a 9- and 13-year old girl, a 10-year-old boy, his mother, and my boyfriend) as we were challenged to escape from Chapter 4: Forgotten Library, one of the 4 escape rooms featured in the 2 locations of Mystery Room NYC. Before we began, we were greeted by Lydia Lilli, the PR/marketing director of this venue, who explained the background of this small escape room company that is taking the city by storm. Lydia highlighted the unique fact that Mystery Room NYC was designed by a high school biology teacher, who brings his relevant knowledge and teaching experience to this venture. He has custom designed all of the Mystery Room NYC escape room experiences, or “chapters” (and has more in the works), and revolves all of them around the case of missing scientist Dr. Edward Daniels. However, though the rooms are related in storyline, they can be played in any order (and they all feature different puzzles and provide unique escape experiences). Chapter 2: Biotech Labs and Chapter 3: Café Belim are located in midtown and Chapter 4: Forgotten Library and Chapter 5: Secluded Vault are in the Soho location. Lydia advised us that the Forgotten Library and Café Belim are the most kid-friendly, and that Mystery Room NYC was recently named “NY’s most kid-friendly escape room venue” by Red Tricycle. Though I haven’t experienced all the other escape rooms NY has to offer, I can vouch for the kids who accompanied me that attempting to escape from Forgotten Library was, indeed, an incredibly entertaining experience for them.

After speaking to Lydia, my team and I were introduced to our “clue master”—an energetic young man who showed us around the library-themed room from which we were to escape. First, he debriefed us on the sinister mystery into which we’d been plunged, and then he explained that he would be watching us on a video camera throughout the game, deciding when we needed clues (and which ones to give us) and sharing them with us on a video screen in the room. Finally, we were locked in the room and the numbers on our time-clock began to count down: We had one hour to piece together clues, solve the mystery, and escape the room.

Strategy, problem solving, and cooperation are key to escape room success, and both the children and adults in our group worked together well, sharing their independent discoveries as they opened desk drawers and studied book titles for clues, decoded both numerical and logic puzzles, and literally discovered surprises across every surface of the room. There were puzzles to solve and clues to find for all of us, and the children fared just as well as the adults with contributing to the problem-solving that moved us closer by the minute to finding our way out of the room. In the end, our group did not beat the clock, and came up just 2 clues short of escaping the room. (Upon releasing us, our clue master praised us for our hard work, and revealed the final clues and the location of the elusive key that would have freed us from the library). But although we did not escape from the room as we’d hoped, we did not leave Library Room feeling discouraged; in fact, my daughter announced what I’d been feeling, myself, “I can’t wait to come back and try another Chapter!”

Get clued in to the escape room phenomena that’s sweeping the nation—and check out Mystery Room NYC, yourself. You won’t be disappointed.
Tickets/Info –   For special lunch/daytime bookings during the week or for special events and group requests, e-mail

Mystery Room NYC
Tickets: $28/person
190 Mercer St.

365 7th Ave.


Note: We received press tickets, but our opinions are our own.