5-Wits at Patriot Place is a Room Escape Challenge at Movie Set Quality
by Johnny Monsarrat
If you've heard of room escape adventures, 5-Wits started it all a decade before. You buy a ticket and enter a series of rooms decorated like a theme park. Each room requires you to solve puzzles and explore a storyline to progress to the next room. It's remarkably fun, especially in a group.
5-Wits has 4 locations in New York, and one in Massachusetts, at Patriot Place in Foxboro, which if you're not a football fan you may be surprised to learn has a giant mall surrounding Gillette Stadium. It's a great excuse to arrive early to a concert or sporting event and they seem to have everything. There's even a bank.
In Foxboro, 5-Wits has two attractions: Espionage and 20,000 Leagues. In Espionage, you're a spy who must inflitrate an enemy base and identify the mole in your own organization. In 20,000 Leagues, you're trapped about the Steampunk times submarine of Captain Nemo and must explore to find the way out. Each takes 50 minutes.
There's no comparison with other room escape adventures. Competitors put you in a single room, and with 5-Wits you explore several. Competitors have low production budgets, but with 5-Wits every room is dressed up like a movie set. Competitors save money by having staff watch you on camera, and at 5-Wits you get a personal guide.
The attractions are kid-friendly but genuinely fun for adults. If I had to choose, the special effects at 20,000 Leagues were better and the challenges were less confusing. Fortunately, you have a guide to give hints and explain what is going on. They'll even help out in a pinch if you've lost your way. Kudos to the staffer who stood on his head to entertain us. You're not getting paid enough to do that 5 times a day!
I don't want to spoil the story, so I'll make up a typical challenge as an example. You find a toy train track that's missing its trains. You see a bucket of toy trains and must follow math-like puzzles to put the trains on the track in the correct order. Something like, oh, each train has a number painted on its front and back and you need to match them up so that each train combination adds up to the same number. Then you press a button and the train speeds away, opeming a door. It doesn't make any sense, and by that I mean the puzzles don't connect well with the story, but they're fun to do and it's also fun just to step back and watch kids try to do them.
You can do one adventure for $20 and both for $25. That makes 5-Wits a must-do adventure, even if you're not already in the area for the mall or a stadium event. I'm glad to give 5-Wits 5 stars!