This was my yelp review back in 2018:
"I have done over 40 escape rooms and was initially excited to hear that Madame Tussaud was opening an escape room. Just imagine what they could do with the props they already have. When a Groupon became available, I purchased it for my group. In the back of my mind, I thought about the escape room companies that typically offer Groupons. It was such a good deal though, so I figured it couldn't be that bad.
I was wrong. It started when we arrived early to check in. The woman who checked our Groupon tried to give me a hard time about how I had marked it as redeemed. Having used Groupons on previous rooms, I had always been instructed to redeem the Groupon and never had any issues. So that was an unpleasant way to start the room. I have to wonder if we were treated poorly throughout this process because we used a Groupon in the first place.
Then, we were greeted by the "prison guard," who wasn't the typical escape room employee with a sense of humor. Instead, he was both too into his role and indifferent towards the entire event. He gave condescending but also unhelpful hints throughout. It seemed that he had a script of hints to give out and he did not stray from that list. When asked to clarify things, he did not appear to know how to do that without referencing his list of hints.
The biggest issue was the puzzle our group got stuck on. We were sure we had done it correctly because it was pretty self-explanatory what needed to be done. Despite this, the guard kept giving us the same hint, even when we told him we knew this and wanted confirmation that the device was actually working. When our time was up, we had to ask multiple times for the puzzle to be explained to us. After going back to the control room and appearing flustered, we watched closely as he adjusted the puzzle to make it work. I could see that some of the parts we had aligned properly he had to misalign to make them work. Then he made a counterintuitive move with the last component and when we asked about why it in the opposite direction it was marked, he was dismissive and said there are a lot of red herrings.
First of all, if it was truly a red herring, then it was a poorly designed red herring. Secondly, a well-designed escape room has challenging puzzles and does not need red herrings. However, I am almost positive it was not a red herring at all. There was an issue with the mechanics of the puzzle. Any decent escape room with an attentive employee would have noticed this and either triggered the effect manually or given extra time. This was an issue of poor design and poor customer service. It is a disgrace for Madame Tussaud to open such an awful escape room in such close vicinity to Palace Games--the prime example of how escape rooms should be run. It's probably best to close it down now and pretend it never happened."
I know a lot of people like this room. I do not. There are several reasons, many of which come down to personal preference. I prefer rooms with a variety of puzzles and are decently immersive. I am willing to give up some immersion for high quality puzzles. I find that this room relied heavily on a novel idea to carry the experience. While being able to change a storyline through our actions was interesting, I couldn't help but think of other ways this could have been more immersive, more puzzle-based, and more interesting. What if we were split into two rooms with a sound-proof glass between us, actors on both sides, and what we did in each room affected the other room? What if rather than running the same scenario 10 times, it was one storyline that evolved according to decisions made throughout the game? I understand this is more complicated to plan, but if it was possible to escape regardless of the storyline, this would add another layer of variability.
We did not escape this room and perhaps the most frustrating part was knowing exactly what to do in the end but running out of lives.