Thriller City: Spooky “Escape The Room” Fun

By Lily Dolin, Staff Writer

Every year, as soon as October rolls around, all traces of summer are gone, all anyone can talk about is fall, PSLs, and of course, Halloween. There are tons of spooky things to do around New York City for people looking to get in the spirit, but for those looking for a bit of creepy interactive fun, check out Thriller City, a new escape the room experience in the West Village.

Thriller City is the brainchild of former hedge fund analyst Alan Gelogaev, who created it after being disappointed with the lack of storyline in most escape games. Thriller City offers five different games, “Gauntlet,” “Lost Treasure,” “The Penitentiary,” “Coma,” and “Da Vinci.”

What sets these escape games apart from others are the intricate storylines and design. Each room in a specific game has multiple puzzles to solve, all linking back to each other in interesting and sometimes convoluted ways. At the center of every puzzle, however, is the story. “The Penitentiary,” for example, was inspired by Al Capone and an underlying escape story, and as a result each team is split up and locked in separate cells, forced to utilize clues and smarts to escape.


“Gauntlet” and “Coma” are among the creepier options, the former being inspired by the movie franchise “Saw,” and the latter placing teams in a jungle setting under the pretense that they have just woken up from a coma and are trying to piece together past events. For people seeking Halloween themes, check out these two.

The set design is extremely impressive. There are so many hidden details in every room, it would take more than an hour to find them all. All the props are realistic and clever, and while playing each game players feel truly immersed in the experience.

My friend and I played “Da Vinci,” a game with a plot revolving around the quest to find the holy grail. At first, we were plunged into a dark room with only a lamp and a scroll, from which we had to find a hidden passageway to another room (those with claustrophobia should not play this one). Once in the main room, we had to fumble around for clues using logic, luck, and our very limited Latin vocabulary.

The game is supposed to be played with up to eight people, so playing just the two of us was very hard. Everything in the game relates, so we spent a lot of time running back and forth to retrieve old clues. Visitors should plan on coming with larger groups.

Now, my friend and I are intuitive, but many clues had us stumped. The one pitfall of Thriller City is that sometimes the clues and connections can be too confusing, and a little too intricate. Without Gelogaev’s help, we never would have gotten out. So beware! This experience is not for the faint of heart. You will probably find parts of it very difficult. Still, for those looking for challenging Halloween fun, Thriller City is the place to go.
NYU students receive a 30% discount with coupon code, VIP30. For tickets, visit https://thrillercity.com.

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