RATING: 5 / 10
Clues allowed: 3
Did we beat it? Yes
As my first escape room, the Gallery will always have a special place in my heart. My day job is marketing, (that is, until I become a full time escape adventurer) so I took my team to The Room in Lisle for a team building event over the holidays. We divided up the department and raced to see who could complete their room first. My team won - beating the Gallery before our colleagues could escape the Einstein room.
From an entertainment standpoint, the Gallery room is really fun! Art is central to the theme and players must gather clues hidden deep within works of art to solve all of the puzzles. The room is smaller than most, so I recommend no more than six players.
The game flows sequentially, so dividing and conquering really only helps you for the initial discovery phase when you enter the room. You find a few key pieces quickly so it's intuitive to know which puzzles to solve first. Most of the locks are traditional - opened by key or a three or four digit combination.
The difficulty of this room is really balanced and it's appropriately challenging for beginners and intermediate-level escapers. No one in my team had done an escape room before and, using only two clues, were able to solve the problems with relative ease with what was provided.
With a lot of handcrafted signs and room elements, The Room has a 'mom & pop' feel. The materials within the Gallery room were pretty nice and fit well with the theme. There are a lot of books, treasure chests and wooden boxes, and framed art. The finale puzzle is pretty cool, with a big sculpture that must be unchained and spun to unlock the door. They also found a way to use magic sand!
The Gallery is a great starter room for first-time escapers, or groups of friends or co-workers new to escape games. It's not as polished as some of the rooms I've played, but the mental challenges are on point.
Insider tip: there's a math sequence you must know to escape the room. I'm not sure if it's hidden somewhere within the clues, but thankfully someone on my team knew it, or else we might not have succeeded.