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Review: Floor 23

RATING: 5 Keys          RESULT: Win          REMAINING: 2:00

Going Up! Hop into this escape room and take a ride to the 23rd floor!


Strange activity has been taking place on the 23rd floor of the abandoned Jefferson Hotel. Others have gone before you to investigate, but none have returned after going up the elevator. Can you find out who’s behind the strange activity and make it out alive?

So, it might not be the best idea to test out the trustworthiness of an elevator located in an abandoned hotel. Let’s just say, it doesn’t sound like the safest course of action. However, the intrigue that exists on the mysterious 23rd floor is simply too tempting to stay away! Sure, there may be a perfectly good stairwell somewhere close by, but we’ll assume it has long since crumbled and the only means for reaching the floor is the rickety, old lift before us. Nevertheless, there is a mystery to be solved and so we must enter the elevator from which there may be no return.

Floor 23 immerses players so well in the story that most of the allotted hour is spent attempting to rise to the 23rd floor. The journey to the top is full of mystery and intrigue – plus a few bumps and hiccups that certainly add to the excitement of the mission.


We begin our adventure in a narrow hallway just outside the elevator. The setting and components of this area are not overly decorative or typical of what we would normally expect to see in a lobby entrance greeting guests, so one would conclude that this room is seemingly on the basement level. The presence of darkness and unlit buttons on the operational panel allude to the fact that the elevator is currently not running.

Once we make our way into the elevator, armed only with an old locked suitcase full of unknown contents, we are in for a memorable ride. In one of the best simulations we’ve experienced, we are set to enjoy realistic movements and effects that ring true to what riding an old elevator might actually feel and sound like.

On the walls of the elevator, a series of excerpts and imagery from nursery rhymes dance around us in colorful and playful painted strokes. What could it all mean? Above us, a maintenance access door teases a possible escape route should we ever need one… if only we could reach it.

In case of electrical failure, a mess of wires is hidden behind a locked, rusted panel. An old directory is mounted near the door so that lost souls finding themselves trapped within the elevator might reach out for help – if there is any to be had.


As one might suspect, simply hitting the “23” button and shooting straight to the top is not likely to happen. It was up to us to figure out how to restore power to the elevator so that we could actually make our way upwards and onwards. As with all mechanical things, a single repair does not the forever fix make. After hitting a few snags and obstacles along the skyward journey, we needed to resolve all issues that arose before continuing on our way.

The means of maintaining ascension utilizes a wonderful mix of different types of puzzles that is designed to touch on the best strengths of all players. You’ll need to roll up your sleeves for a physical challenge, but the next minute you’ll be donning your thinking cap to make sense of a visual riddle. Both physical and mental tasks are well-balanced and are presented at just the right pace throughout to keep the suspense and excitement going. Who knew an elevator could be so thrilling?

Along with a most enjoyable gameplay, the consistent use of tech stays true to the storyline as it literally unfolds before your very eyes.


Floor 23 is quite a thrilling ride! There were a few unexpected surprises awaiting us in this room, and it made for a truly great experience. The story kept clocking along at a steady pace, and we never quite knew what was coming our way next. Surprising as that may be (given we were within the confines of an elevator), this was most definitely the case. In fact, we were quite impressed with just how much gameplay was packed into this elevator-themed room.

While we’ve played all the rooms at Escape Plan Columbia and enjoyed them all, this is by far our favorite one. We also spent some time speaking with the owner, who was genuinely open to feedback and ideas, which we love.  While those prone to claustrophobia may have an inclination to pass on this room, please do not. This delightful adventure with all its authentic and clever details is an elevator worth squeezing into!

Venue Details

Venue:   Escape Plan Columbia

 Location:  Columbia, SC

Number of Games:  4


Duration: 60 minutes

Capacity:  2-5 people

Group Type: Public / You may be paired with strangers.

Cost:   $28.00 per person

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