Escape USS Requin – Escape Room on a Submarine

Published by Jeremy. Last Updated on May 15, 2024.

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When we heard that our resident submarine, the USS Requin at the Science Center, was getting an escape room, we knew we had to check this out immediately. Although we're not that big on escape rooms overall, we're all about the unique concept of one on a submarine and tried to get a booking right away.

The emphasis should be on tried because this one's limited operating hours meant that the initial tours sold out quickly- within minutes of posting for the first few dates.

It wasn't until the second season of Escape USS Requin that an appreciable number of timeslots were added, and we booked one right away to go with friends. As far as escape rooms are concerned, this one was a real treat!

Note: Photography is prohibited on board the USS Requin during the Escape Room experience. All on-board photos here are from a visit during the conventional tour outside of escape room season. Do not expect hints to escape room games in photos here, because there are none.

An Escape Room on a Submarine

USS Requin with Rainbow

During our visit, we tried the “Escape USS Requin: Pittsburgh Legends” escape room experience. While we never like to give away the finer details, what we will say is that this one followed a plot to discover the missing WWII bomber that crashed in the Monongahela.

The plot of this one starts with clues from someone who was on the hunt for the missing wreckage. You are tasked with solving clues found on board the submarine to identify the final resting place of the missing plane.

Now, you may be wondering just how an escape room works on a submarine that is normally open for tours during conventional business hours. What makes Escape USS Requin interesting is that they really lean into the theming of the submarine for this one!

On Board the USS Requin

In the first room after entering, you are restricted in the area you can explore as the door to subsequent submarine sections is locked. You then have to find clues to find the key to progress down the submarine all while picking up more details about the missing plane. This process repeats itself as you go through further (and locked) sections of the submarine at large.

This is where we will stop giving away details of the experience, because, honestly, we cannot say anything more without spoiling the puzzles. But what we will say is that this one really incorporates the theming of the submarine quite well, and when searching for clues we got a much more intimate experience with some of the final design details in the submarine we do not normally focus on in a conventional tour.

On Board the USS Requin

Of course, if you are looking for a high-tech escape room with all the bells and whistles a custom design can offer, this one is not it. They do not modify the submarine too much, so some of the things you interact with are, on the surface, at least, quite simple- just trust us when we say it fits with the theming. Truly, the best part is being on the submarine itself!

That said, you must also be on top of your game with this one. We felt like we were finding the clues and progressing at an appreciable speed, but despite this, finished with only a few minutes left. So do not spend too much time standing idly by. If you find you are at a point where you are not progressing, the docents on site do allow for clues to help you move along (which I am not ashamed to admit we used a couple of).

A Few Notes on Booking the Escape Room

On Board the USS Requin

Finally, there are some things you should know about booking the escape room on the USS Requin.

First, the submarine still operates for conventional tours during the day, so escape room experiences are typically in the evening hours only at set timeslots. Advanced registration is required, as this one always sells out. We booked our reservation date three months in advance to ensure we could lock it in!

Second, group sizes are limited to a minimum of four and maximum of six participants. It does get fairly cramped in the submarine, but we do recommend trying to get six people in your party to maximize your ability to look for clues- we definitely split into smaller groups at times to spread out the work!

Third, as always, the submarine is not accessible. If you do not have full mobility and are comfortable in a small environment, we advise against booking this experience. You will be locked inside the submarine for an hour with no outside elements involved.

Fourth, the Science Center offers discounts to Carnegie Museum members, to the tune of about $25 off when we visited in 2024- a savings of about $4 per person if you go with a group of six. So either picking up a Carnegie Museums membership yourself or strategically inviting a friend who has one could be a good idea. The savings here is appreciable.

Overall, we absolutely loved our time on Escape USS Requin and really love the concept of having an escape room on a submarine. If you are looking for a different kind of escape room experience, with a Pittsburgh-forward theme, do not miss out on this gem!

Escape USS Requin takes place on board the submarine docked behind the Science Center in the North Shore. Purchase tickets here when the seasonal experience is offered.

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