At times, the room felt like a class lecture on scientific topics. This is not a con, and for this reviewer, I applaud its efforts at fusing learning with play. The room does a fantastic job at demonstrating the various science experiments and lets players interact with them, somewhat like a hands-on science museum. Little placards with background information on each experiment imparts knowledge to those wishing to learn more.
Puzzle design leans toward the stronger side, with many of them sticking to the theme of the room. Difficulty varies between easy and medium, but none of them struck me as too difficult.
High praise goes to the efforts at making the room more accessible for those with disabilities. One color-based puzzle had the colors paired with numbers, making the puzzle solvable for those with color blindness. I hope to see this trend continue so more people can enjoy these games.
However, plot and set design are relegated to the background. The introduction to the story was fun but afterwards didn't really play a part in the room until the very end. The sparsely decorated rooms felt somewhat appropriate, but did not feel lived-in. Props and puzzles jut out as the only decorations in the room, further detaching the players from any immersion.
One aspect of rooms I don't like is when they rely on small items that can be easily lost, and sadly this room is guilty of that. One key item of the game is about the diameter of a pencil eraser and can easily be lost if a group is not careful.
I recommend smaller groups for this game, as most puzzles are large enough for only 1 or 2 people to operate at a given time. The room is also fairly small, making it harder to move around with more people.
Tucker, our gamemaster, was welcoming and friendly. He was attentive during our gameplay; for example, he fixed a malfunctioning prop immediately, saving us from wasted time. He also engaged with my group and I in friendly banter before and after the game, making us feel welcomed.
Time Machine is worth a try if you are more interested in puzzles and/or learning and don't mind the lack of atmosphere or decor.