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2021 Escape Rumors Achievement unlocked Medalists

We had the chance of playing 77 escape rooms in 2021, more than double the number of games when compared to 2020. There were some spectacula...

July 6, 2022

Best Rooms In The Netherlands & Belgium: A Traveller's Guide

Beautiful Bruges (Belgium)

I finally made it out to Europe this year to play the top games in The Netherlands and Belgium after the initial trip in 2020 got postponed because of the pandemic. This was part of a larger tour of 39 games played that also included Paris and Geneva (these cities will featured in a separate post).

The games in this part of the world were outstanding with some great storytelling and smart uses of physical space. We were thrilled to be able to play so many wonderful games and highly recommend a visit to this area for all escape room enthusiasts.

Special thanks to local enthusiasts Helena and Sven for joining us for some of the games we played! It is always great meeting new people and so far every single person we have met over the years has been a blast to hang out with.

Impressions & Observations During The Netherlands & Belgium Escape Room Trip

Getting Around
To play the top games in this region, a car was needed in order to get around. Unfortunately, the games were really spread out in various cities so there were no other feasible transportation options.

English Translations
All but one of the rooms we wanted to play were available in English. GM's were perfectly fluent, some videos had English subtitles and there were no major language issues at all.

Cash Is King
Many games required payment to be made in cash, so it is wise to prepare for this and not be caught off guard. Be aware of daily limit cash withdrawals from ATM's.

More Action, Less Puzzling
There were more physical elements in the games in this part of the world when compared to the U.S./Canada but less than what we experienced in Barcelona. You should be prepared to crawl and get dirty.

Private Bookings
Like most of Europe, all the games we played had private bookings. You could get away with two players but for economic reasons you would have to book for three or four players.

The Netherlands & Belgium Escape Room Recap

Mama Bazooka: The Dome
The Dome was the reason why we made it out to The Netherlands. It was voted the #1 escape room in the world for a few years on TERPECA. We have played other former #1 rooms and usually, hype kills. Would The Dome also be cursed with unrealistic expectations? I am happy to say that this game lived up to its reputation.

The Dome was a technological marvel with great reveals and creative puzzles all blended into a fun theme. The experience was so magical and we really felt immersed into the world they laid out in front of us. It is hard to be impressed after playing almost 500 rooms but The Dome was able to do it! If you are an escape room enthusiast, this is a a must play.

Difficulty: MediumPrice: 169€-189€/team
Number of players: 4-6, private (we recommend 4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★★

Mama Bazooka also had a massive lobby with tons of games!

Down The Hatch: Molly's Game
Another top room with an expansive set and some physical elements that surprised us. Molly's Game redefines how to create an escape room that delivers on storytelling in a creepy environment with some great moments. I thought I was done with the "creepy house" settings but I was wrong!

Difficulty: MediumPrice:165€/team
# of Players: 2-5 (we recommend 3-4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★★

Dark Park: Stay In The Dark / The End / The Orphanage
Dark Park was a premier Escape Room company with multiple high quality games.

Stay In The Dark: This game took place in what is likely one of the largest facilities for an escape room in the world. It spanned over multiple floors with each floor being larger than 95% of the escape rooms I have played. The premise was fun in that we were "looking to purchase real estate" and stumbled upon this old factory and then the shenanigans began. I don't want to spoil this so I will not say more but it was quite an ambitious project that lasted 2.5 hours.

The End: A very interesting story with a twist and a super fun ending that I highly appreciated. There are some fun moments as well that really make this room unique. Sven was also a pleasure to play with!

The Orphanage: This was one of the first rooms that we played in The Netherlands and I was extremely impressed with the lighting effects. The timing and use of effects were great at moving the game along.

Difficulty: Easy-MediumPrice: +145€/team
Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 4)Duration: 60-150 minutesOverall Rating: Stay In The Dark ★★★★★, The End / Orphanage ★★★★½

Epic Escape: Illusion
There are a lot of magic themed games out there but Illusion was able to make us feel like we were actually in a magician's studio. This game was more puzzle-y than others in the area and I was fine with that. We also had Helena join us and that made it even more fun!
Difficulty: Medium- Difficult
Price: +135€/team
Number of players: 3-6 (we recommend 3-4)Duration: 90 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★½

Kamer 237: Kamer 237 / The Concierge
The original room, Kamer 237, was about 5 years old and it was incredible in terms of physical manipulation and story progression. The mechanic used to progress to different rooms was simple yet so satisfying and we slightly preferred this game over The Concierge which can only be played by two players.
Difficulty: DifficultPrice: 80€-125€
Number of players: Kamer 237 - 2-6 (we recommend 2-3), The Concierge - exactly 2Duration: 70-75 minutesOverall Rating: Kamer 237 ★★★★½, The Concierge ★★★★

Time Adventures: Inferno
This fireman themed escape room had a feature that I don't think I will ever see again. It was quite crazy and it was worth playing just to see it.
Difficulty: EasyPrice: +89€/team
Number of players: 2-6, private (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★½

Escape Room Katwijk: Here I Am
This game was inspired by the Spanish show "Vis-a-Vis" and somehow made us feel like we were in a real prison, despite having played so many games of this theme. Make sure you read the email they send you before playing this game.
Difficulty: EasyPrice: 150€/team
Number of players: 2-5 (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 70 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★½
Rock City Escapes: Soup Du Jour I loved the start of this game and how the GM role played when introducing the team to the room. The first half started off great with some smooth puzzling and it transitioned into more of a traditional escape room setting towards the end.
Difficulty: Easy
Price: 140€/team
Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 4)Duration: 75 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★½

De Gouden Kooi: The Secret of Saint-Rumoldus
The game flow of "The Secret of Saint-Rumoldus" was seamless and the unique story line towards the end made us laugh. Definitely a standout in the Belgium market!
Difficulty: Medium-DifficultPrice: +120€/team
Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 3-4)Duration: 70 minutesOverall Rating:★★

Escaping Belgium: Le Prince
Le Prince was one of the more puzzle-y games we played on our trip and we were lucky to have Helena for the added brainpower! Overall, it was a clean and polished experience that would satisfy many puzzlers and escape room enthusiasts.
Difficulty: Difficult
Price: +90€/team
Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 2)Duration: 90 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★½

Other Notable Escape Rooms In The Area

In The Netherlands:
Escape From Wonderland: A colorful room with a ton of puzzles!Escape Room The Cube - Triplicate Institute: Great execution in creating a mind-bending experience

In Belgium
Push Mystery Rooms - The Movies: An ambitious take on the world of blockbuster movies

We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to The Netherlands or Belgium to play world class escape rooms!

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January 31, 2022

2021 Escape Rumors Achievement unlocked Medalists

We had the chance of playing 77 escape rooms in 2021, more than double the number of games when compared to 2020. There were some spectacular games which we believe stood out even compared to games played prior to the pandemic.

Achievement unlocked medals are awarded every year to the top escape rooms played by Escape Rumors. There is no limit in terms of rooms awarded and they are sortedalphabetically.
The escape rooms with direct links have reviews. Feel free to contact us at for any comments or questions.

Escape Rumors Achievementunlocked Medalists

Below Zero (CryptoEscape, Toronto, Canada)Crypto once again delivered on an amazingly immersive experience with clean puzzles and a great A.I. character that really made us feel like we were in a movie.
Evil Robots (Nemesis Club, Phoenix, Arizona)With Disney quality builds and a whimsical sci-fi theme, this TERPECA winning game had a seamless game flow and great moments!
The Last Supper (Quest Tavern, Los Angeles, California)The Last Supper featured an actor that was witty, played off our interactions perfectly and was the indisputable star of the experience!
Mogollon Monster(Nemesis Club, Phoenix, Arizona)This game (might actually be even betterthan Nemesis Club's Evil Robots) had an engaging intro and an exciting ending that you will never forgot.
RAIN Corp (Escaparium, Montreal, Canada)A science fiction game in a large physical space with the best possible A.I. hint system that I had ever seen.
Robotcalypse (Omescape, Toronto, Canada)Robotcalypse made us feel like we were in an episode of Star Trek and the finale was great in a silly and awesome way.
Servant of Sleight (The Exit Game, Clearwater, Florida)This magic themed game perfectly blended the narrative and interactions into the environment with some hidden surprises.
Time Machine (Not Another Escape Room, Brea, California)Time Machine was what a proper time traveling game should be and the game mechanics were amazing.
Volcano Views: Aerial Tours (Escape The 6, Mississauga, Canada)Some great physical elements sets this escape room apart from so many others.
Wardrobe For Sale (Escaparium, Montreal, Canada)A two hour long experience that took immersion to the next level and really put us in the middle of our own movie!
Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to an even better 2022!

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December 31, 2021

2021 TERPECA: Top Escape Rooms Project Enthusiasts' Choice Award

If you were ever wondering what the top escape rooms in the world were, TERPECA does a pretty good job at aggregating ratings across trusted enthusiasts across the globe. In my opinion, this is vastly superior in comparison to sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google Reviews and even the Facebook Escape Room Enthusiast group. For TERPECA, only enthusiasts who have played +200 escape rooms can nominate rooms and those who have played +50 can stack rank the games they have played. Note that only games that can be played in English are eligible. From TERPECA's site:

"...each stack rank was used to create all possible pairwise comparisons between rooms (or companies) in a given stack rank, and then those were used to create a matrix of scores between rooms using all the direct comparisons from any of the participants".

I have played 10 of the top 50 rooms which are listed below (links for reviews). These are all great games and I would say that there are many other rooms that did not make the list that are just as fun as the below. Anything with a 5 stars in my ratings are all top notch and must play escape rooms.

Top Escape Rooms

11. Strange Bird - The Man From Beyond (Houston, TX, USA)

13. Cutthroat Cavern - 13th Gate (Baton Rouge, LA, USA)

21. Ghost Patrol - Trivium Games (Emeryville, CA, USA)

25. The Lost Island Of The Voodoo Queen - Escaparium (Montreal, Canada)

28. Servant Of Sleight - The Exit Game FL (Clearwater, FL, USA)

31. Evil Robots - The Nemesis Club (Phoenix, AZ, USA)

32. The Edison Room - Palace Games (San Francisco, CA, USA)

35. Mogollon Monster - The Nemesis Club (Phoenix, AZ, USA)

37. The Attraction - Palace Games (San Francisco, CA, USA)

45. Lab Rat - Hatch Escapes (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

2021 was a tough year to travel and play escape rooms so hoping that 2022 will be a better year!

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November 28, 2021

Interview: Sarah From Escape Rumors

Technically, Sarah does not consider herself as part of the Escape Rumors blog although she has accompanied me on most of my trips. Even though she has played almost 300 games, she does not consider herself an enthusiast. So how does someone who gets dragged along to play so many rooms, actually feel about escape games? We have the uncensored interview below!

What are your favorite types of escape rooms?

I like bright colorful rooms with some silly elements and uncommon themes given that we've done so many rooms. I appreciate crafty sets where the game owners wow us with their creativity.

What was the funniest thing you have seen in an escape room?

I remember Lab Rat in LA had several laugh out loud moments. The premise is ridiculous to start with, there's literal puns all over the walls and some glorious celebration moments with accompanying music. Most of all, it toyed with our team dynamics and left us dumbfounded.

How do you cope with playing so many escape rooms and not being an enthusiast?

Not being an enthusiast doesn't mean I don't like escape rooms. I just would prefer to do one a day instead of say five or six! I have a good time tagging along, but by the end of the day it's all a blur! It's a puzzle in itself to schedule so many rooms in close succession, so I'm grateful to everyone that is willing to do that amount of planning! I guess in general I'm more of a generalist that does a little bit of everything than a specialist that goes all in like you, but I admire your passion.

What is your favorite escape room of all time?

I'll always remember Abduction 4 in Barcelona. Already the rooms in Spain were next level in terms of immersion and physical challenges, but this one brought it to the next level. It starts as you walk in the door and doesn't stop till the last second!

What are your favorite elements in an escape room?

As mentioned before, I like funny elements a lot. If I'm going to play an escape room, a big part of it is the social element, so cooperative puzzles are always a win, whether it's being locked in separate rooms and having to communicate back and forth, or having to coordinate triggering multiple elements in succession. Interacting with actors is always memorable too. And finally, I enjoy large physical puzzles, because those are more immersive and take me out of my routine. I spend my days behind a computer screen at work, so when I go to an escape room I'd rather it be real world interactions.

What was the last escape room that you played?

We got to play the newest room, The Attraction, at Palace Games in San Francisco. It was super high tech, almost too much, bordering becoming a video game.

What type of escape room would you like to see get created?

Maybe an outdoor escape room, that blends orienteering, obstacle courses, and puzzles... But maybe I'm describing a different sport! I'd like to see unusual yet educational themes for escape rooms, like a magic school bus.

Do you ever follow the story in an escape room?

Sometimes, but typically we're too busy trying to get out in time! A simple, easy to follow, plot with an immersive setting typically fares better than an intricate plot that distracts from the action. It's tough to be asked to pause and hold still to listen to story points or to read a whole diary when the clock is ticking.----
Thank you for being the best Sarah :)


October 24, 2021

Trivium: Ghost Patrol (Emeryville, CA)

What do you get when you combine a beautiful set with clever puzzle design? You get one of the top games in the country! Trivium's "Ghost Patrol" is at the top of almost every Northern California enthusiast's list for a good reason. This ghost themed room was actually not scary at all so we can recommend it for enthusiasts and families alike. From their website:

"Spirits can be a real nuisance for the living. So how do we deal with these pesky poltergeists? Just trap them, right?! And then what, store them in some big, central containment unit indefinitely?! Imagine the liability! We're not animal control, we’re detectives! If we can figure out why the ghost is hanging around and fix its problem, then POOF! No spirits to store and no messy clean up. "

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

Ghost Patrol's set design was impeccably clean and visually pleasing. The attention to detail was apparent in so many parts of the game ranging from the environment to the puzzle flow. The early puzzles built up the knowledge base needed for the later puzzles which was just brilliant and frankly uncommon in many escape rooms. What we also loved was that it was very clear what objects were "in play" and which ones were not so we didn't lose any time debating if we had all the necessary elements to solve something.
The technology used in the game was well hidden and just like many other aspects of this escape room, seamless. The crafty use of lighting and sound enhanced the gameplay and added to the overall immersion of the game.

Memorable Moments

The originality and continuity of one of the main puzzle elements was great! Many other items in the room were also custom made which added to the uniqueness of the experience. On a completely different note, the odyssey began with a memorable sci-fi Easter egg.

Room For Improvement

Ghost Patrol did extraordinarily well in most departments, however, I would have loved to have more action-oriented or "wow" moments. This is personal preference as I am not as puzzle oriented as many enthusiasts.

Overall Thoughts

If you are ever in the San Francisco Bay Area, you should 100% play Trivium's Ghost Patrol. The game is accessible to all skill levels (unlike, say, Palace Games in the area) and is family friendly as well. The puzzle flow was world class and you'll have a blast! For this reason, we have awarded Ghost Patrol with the Achievement unlocked Award for one of top escape rooms played!

Set design:Great!Difficulty:AveragePrice:$225-275 for 4 players, +30$/ additional playerNumber of players:4-8 (recommend 4)Duration:90 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★★See their website here:

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September 27, 2021

Best Escape Rooms in Phoenix, Arizona

During my latest trip to Phoenix, I teamed up with the amazing Scott who was a local enthusiast. Even though it was the first time I had met him, it felt like Scott was an old friend that I had not seen in a while. I have met so many great folks in the escape room community and I encourage everyone to reach out to play with new people!

Phoenix Escape Room Standouts

The NemesisClub: Evil Robots (Phoenix)The Nemesis Club had an ice cream shop called "Soda Jerk" as a "front" and you needed a secret password to be let into the back of the store and into the escape room area. The funny part about this was that the ice cream shop served actual desserts. It had a massive line up out the door and most clients didn't even know there was an escape room in the back! It was a sweet set up.The first game we played, "Evil Robots", was fantastic. The overall build out was top notch and on par with Disney attractions. The immersion and tech were solid and the overall experience was a couple of levels above anything else in Phoenix. My only complaint was that I wanted more! I have a soft spot for whimsical sci-fi themes so this game really checked off a lot of boxes for me.We were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of their second game, "Mogollon Monster". This monster was the local version of "Big Foot" and our role as scouts was to find him. The creativity in terms of the use of technology in storytelling was something I had never seen in over 400 escape rooms played. The start and the end were incredible and such a pleasure to experience. Both games at The Nemesis Club were highlights not only in Phoenix but in the country as well!Set Design: GreatDifficulty: MediumPrice: $35/personNumber of players: Up tp 8 (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★★
Great Room Escape: Spellbound (Tempe)
We played this game back when the company was called "Mindspark" and it was the highlight of our trip back in 2018. A great "cabin in the woods" atmosphere along with some satisfying puzzling and a very thematic finale made for a must play in the Phoenix area. There was a time where this game was also available in Louisiana.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: DifficultPrice: $29/person# of Players: Up to 10 (we recommend 4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★½
North Valley Escape Room: Big Top Circus (Anthem)

A colorful circus game with some cute puzzles made this escape room a good choice for players of all ages. There were a few other solid games at this locations, such as "Alcatraz", but it had been a while since we played it and we weren't sure if the game was still the same.Set Design: FineDifficulty: EasyPrice: $30/personNumber of players: 8 (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★
Eludsions: Mad Matter's Tea Party (Phoenix)This game had one of the largest footprints out of all the games we played in Phoenix. While a few puzzles were a bit tedious, overall the game exceeded my expectations and bonus points if you like the Alice In Wonderland theme.Set Design: GoodDifficulty: MediumPrice: $33/personNumber of players: Up to 10 (we recommend 3-4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★
Paragon:Return of the Pharaohs (Mesa)
Paragon had a really spectacular set design and some clean tech in their game. Although I was not too excited by the theme, there were some fun elements that excited the beginners in our group.Set Design: AmazingDifficulty: MediumPrice: $30/personNumber of players: 4-10 (we recommend 4)Duration: Dream 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

Here are some other honorable mentions:
Dare To Escape: X-Child(Tempe): Played back in 2018 and it was fun back then but could be dated today. There was a homemade feeling to this game but we enjoyed it nonetheless.North Valley Escape Rooms: Escape Alcatraz(Anthem): Back in 2018, this was our favorite in the area with a massive set that might have been reduced to make space for new games. There was a super memorable element near the beginning of the experience that we didn't expect.The Escape Game: The Theater (Phoenix): A very nice looking theater set with charming elements and at least one tedious puzzle. The game was relatively easy for us.We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Phoenix to play escape rooms!No comments:

August 23, 2021

Best Escape Rooms in Orlando (+ Tampa)

Orlando is known for its theme parks like Disney World and Universal Studios but as true enthusiasts, we came here to play escape rooms! We played 24 games in the Orlando area and four in Tampa (90 minutes east of Orlando by car). While the area is not known to be an escape room hot spot, there were a few games that were great and definitely worth playing.

Orlando and Tampa Escape Room Standouts

The Exit Game: Servants of Sleight (Clearwater, Tampa Bay Area)There are a lot of magic themed escape rooms out there but none are quite as spectacular as "Servants of Sleight". The overall narrative and unique interactions perfectly blend into the environment. This game did a good job across pretty much all escape room elements such as set design, puzzles and fun factor! Based on other enthusiasts reviews, this game could be the top game in Florida!Set Design: GoodDifficulty: MediumPrice: $34-$51/personNumber of players: Up tp 6 (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 90 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★★
Doldrick's:Captain Spoopy Bones and the Magnificent Quest For Some Other Pirate's Treasure! (Kissimmee, Orlando Area)Doldrick's was a standout in the Orlando area with multiple great games. This game was their largest creation and it had a wonderful final act with nice tech that set this game above all the other games we played in Orlando. All the games at Doldrick's were whimsical and I thought that the Captain Spoopy character was pretty funny and I am sure that this played a role in my rating. While at this location, you should also play "Spoopy's Ghoulish Graveyard" and "Super Bomb Squad" which were also solid games.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: DifficultPrice: $40/person# of Players: Up to 12 (we recommend 4)Duration: 75 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★½
Escape Venture: Bros For Life, Fraternity Heist (Orlando)

Having a theme that I have never seen in 400+ rooms was a bonus in my book. The start of this game was the highlight and it made us feel like frat boys doing stupid things which was very fitting. While at this location, you should also play their Christmas game, "Satirical Miracle", which we almost liked as much as "Bros For Life".Set Design: GoodDifficulty: EasyPrice: $40/personNumber of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating: ★★★★½
Mind Masters: Strange Magic (Orlando)Strange Magic was one of my top single-room experiences. Some really clever integrations of puzzles into the environment made for a lot of cool moments that tricked us. If you are in the area, you should check Mind Masters out!Set Design: AverageDifficulty: MediumPrice: $30/personNumber of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★
Escape Artist: Dream (Orlando) & ProtocolZero (Sanford)
These two games are actually located in different locations that are about 30 minutes apart. Dream, A 90 minute game had some funky room concepts and some novel interactions throughout a large physical space. Protocol Zero had a great space station setting that you rarely see. I recommend playing both these games in Orlando.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: MediumPrice: $29-$45/personNumber of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 4)Duration: Dream 90 minutes, Protocol Zero 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★
The Escape Game: Mission Mars (Orlando)Another solid game, as with many of the other "The Escape Game" escape rooms. It's rare to see a super clean, sleek space environment which is exactly what this room offered. I also played "The Playground" in Houston and Special Ops in Minneapolis and San Francisco and assuming the Orlando location has identical copies, these games are also great.Set Design: Amazing!Difficulty: DifficultPrice: $38/personNumber of players: Up to 8 (we recommend 4)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★
The Bureau: Puppet Heist (Orlando )This will undoubtedly be a controversial pick! My teammates didn't like this game but I applauded the unique style of it. First of all, we were in a Muppets-style universal and interacted with Muppet-like characters. We had to do things that we probably wouldn't do in other escape rooms. Some of the puzzles were not intuitive so going into this game and knowing this would help a lot. I also like whimsical themes, something my teammates did not generally enjoy. The lobby is also enormous and nice just to visit.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: ???Price: $35/personNumber of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-3)Duration: 60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★½

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

Here are some other honorable mentions:
Dare2Escape: The Video Store (Orlando): A lighthearted and nostalgic video store game that would be fun for all ages.Mystique Escape: Murder London(Lake Mary): The game really makes you feel like you are on an old school London Street. Great for those into nice sets.The Bureau: Loch Ness(Orlando): A great set with nice props to play with but lacking in terms of content.We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Orlando to play escape rooms!No comments:

July 27, 2021

Best Los Angeles Escape Rooms

LA is full of amazing games!

Los Angeles is known for having some of the best escape rooms in the United States in terms of quality and quantity. I've had the opportunity to play about 100 games in the LA area, including nearby Orange County (OC) and have compiled this guide to help you choose which escape rooms best suit your needs. Note that LA is huge and getting from one room to another can take well over an hour so you should plan accordingly.

Note that I've tried my best to list what I believe to be the best rooms as of July 2021. This means that rooms I played a few years ago might no longer be a top room when compared to newer rooms but I did not retroactively change the ratings in myofficial ratings list. Also, I prefer rooms that focus on adventure and I typically give bonus points for anything comedic.

Los Angeles Escape Room Standouts

Hatch Escapes: Lab Rat (Los Angeles)If you are a fan of escape rooms, you have likely heard of Lab Rat. This whimsical game was extremely creative: you are the "rat" and the rats are conducting experiments on you! The immersion was great and we laughed a lot throughout the experience. The puzzles were on the difficult side so don't expect a walk in the park. I would say that 95% of enthusiasts highly recommend this game for all types of players. See our in-depth review here.Set Design: ExcellentDifficulty: DifficultPrice: $40/personNumber of players: 2-8, private (we recommend 4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2018Overall Rating:★★★★★
Quest Tavern: The Last Supper (Pomona)
LA games often have actors and I was fortunate enough to have one of the best actors I've ever seen in an escape room in "The Last Supper". He was witty, played off our interactions perfectly, and was the indisputable star of the experience! There were some genuine adrenaline rushing moments with some fine puzzles that made for a fantastic game. I tend to love rooms with actors and always give bonus points if they make me laugh. I would recommend playing this game with a lively group!Set Design: GoodDifficulty: EasyPrice: $38/person# of Players: 3-8 (we recommend 3-4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2021Overall Rating:★★★
Not Another Escape Room: TimeMachine (Brea)

Not another time machine room...or was it? Time Machine was what a proper time traveling game should be and the game mechanics were amazing! It takes a lot to wow a seasoned group of players (the team played between 200-800 rooms each) and this game was a joy to experience. We couldn't stop talking about this game even after we left because it was so clever and unique.Set Design: GoodDifficulty: MediumPrice: $40/personNumber of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 75 minutesPlayed in 2021Overall Rating:★★★★
Maze Rooms: Magic Kingdom(Los Angeles)
I played this a while back but it still stands in my memories as a beautiful and magical fairy tale experience. There were a lot of memorable moments that awed us and hopefully the experience remains the same some four years later. . The set was great, that physical element was really cool and the use of tech in that'll have to play it to see what I mean. See our full review hereSet Design: GreatDifficulty: EasyPrice: $33-49/personNumber of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2017Overall Rating:★★★★
Quest Room: Amnesia (Redondo Beach)
This was an experience driven room that focused on storytelling and tasks with some light puzzling. What I appreciated about this game were the elements of surprise and of course the comedic twist. There aren't many puzzles so going into the game knowing this should help you decide whether this style suits your preferences. Also, it would be more fun with four or more people, which typically isn't the case with normal escape rooms.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: EasyPrice: $37-$60/personNumber of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2021Overall Rating:★★★★
Stash House: A Los Angeles Crime Story (Los Angeles)
This game was pretty different from a storytelling perspective and if you are ok with some of the adult themes you should probably play this game. The set takes place in a relatively large space and the concept of the game was that you are proving your worthiness to some criminal entrepreneurs. Overall, this game set itself apart with its unique theme and funny ending.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: DifficultPrice: $30-40/personNumber of players: 4-11 (we recommend 5-6)Duration: 90 minutesPlayed in 2018Overall Rating:★★★★
Breaking Point: Headcase (Rancho Cucamonga )Breaking Point had two great rooms with "Headcase" and "The Whitmore Estate". Their Headcase room was a revamped version of their old Patient 17 room and I think if you never played Patient 17, Headcase would be even more fun due to experiencing the physical space for the first time. You should play both of their games if in the area!Set Design: GreatDifficulty: MediumPrice: $35/personNumber of players: 2-10 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2017Overall Rating: ★★★★½
Escapade: Zoe (Fullerton)

While I am not the biggest fan of anything horror, I must give props to Zoe for making a memorable experience. The actor interaction was pretty horrifying so if you are into this type of experience, then it's a must play. See our full reviewhere.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: EasyPrice: $33-49/personNumber of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2017Overall Rating:★★★★½
60out: Houdini (Los Angeles)

There are a million Houdini games out there but there was one moment that made this game really stand out for me. I didn't see it coming and it perfectly fit the magic theme. This game is on the easier side and if you like magical moments, you will enjoy this game.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: EasyPrice: $38-40/personNumber of players: 2-5 (we recommend 2-4)Duration: 60 minutesPlayed in 2017Overall Rating:★★★★½
The Basement: The Study (Los Angeles)
For the longest time, The Study was my favorite room of all time. I played the version of the game in Las Vegas but I was told the LA game was pretty much the same. This game has actors and overall does an amazing job with immersion. There are some electrifying moments that you will likely never experience in any other rooms. While at "The Basement", you should also hit up "The Courtyard" and "The Elevator Shaft" which are also solid. See the full review here.Set Design: GreatDifficulty: Medium-DifficultPrice: $30-50/personNumber of players: Max 10 (we recommend 4-6)Duration: 45 minutesPlayed in 2017Overall Rating:★★★★

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

There are so many other noteworthy games to play in LA and you can see my entire list of LA escape rooms played here. Honestly, you could play +30 games and have a great time in every single one of them. Nonetheless, here are some other honorable mentions:
Scenario Escape: Mad Rapper(Brea): The creator of this game is an actual rapper so the theme and the custom soundtrack for this game make it very different compared to everything else out there.Black Market Escape: Murder Co.(Los Angeles): I played a version of this game in 2019, and it seems that it might be different now but if you are able to stomach this intense, gory game, then it'll be quite the gruesome experience.Escape Revolution: Escobar(Los Angeles): This game made us do things we would never ever do an an escape room and if you are willing to cough up the steep entry price of $90/person to play and want to see something new, try out "Escobar".We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Los Angeles to play escape rooms!No comments:

June 12, 2021

District 3: Haunted (Regina, SK)

We have not heard of many rooms from the Province of Saskatchewan (Canada) so when District 3 reached out to us, we were excited to see what they had to offer. From their site:

"The family of this home is searching for a good trustworthy group of people to housesit their manor for the Winter. During your time there, you learn about the caretaker and the family, the manor's secrets, and that maybe this isn't the dream stay you were after.

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

Haunted was a physical escape room that was adapted for online play. The set that the game took place in was ordinary but the host was extraordinary! He was comedic and quick on his feet, all while holding the webcam and opening locks for us. We particularly liked how the game was set up and the little touches that moved the story along. The puzzles themselves were standard and consisted of quite a few padlocks. The telescape technology, which we have started to become accustomed to, allowed us to examine clues at our leisure via a web browser and we also used it to enter some codes to solve puzzles. There was also an intricate story line that drove the story but as usual, I personally find it difficult to follow when trying to solve things.

Memorable Moments

I have a sweet spot for when actors in a game try to be funny or dramatic. It's almost an extra bonus to see someone playing a fun role in a game and this was definitely the most memorable part of the experience.

Room For Improvement

There were a few instances where we had to listen to audio clues that, if taken out of order, made things complicated.

Overall Thoughts

A great gamemaster/actor really made the difference in this game. If you are looking for a somewhat creepy (but not really), puzzly experience you should try out Haunted!

Set design:AverageDifficulty:AveragePrice:+$19/playerNumber of players:+2, (we recommend 2-4), privateDuration:60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★See their website here:

Disclosure: District 3 comped the tickets for this gameNo comments:

May 19, 2021

2020 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey

Screenshot of the Interactive Dashboard

Lee-Fay and Errol have once again compiled the results of the annual Escape Room Enthusiast Survey and this time the focus was on online games. I tried to recreate the results and insights that Lee-Fay and Errol captured in the PDF report which is quite a different take from the 2019 visualization version that was much more of a creative endeavor.

As always, the visualization is best viewed on a large screen and you should click around on various charts and filters to see how things turned out.

Click the this link to access the2020 Online Escape Room Enthusiast Visualization

Click this link to see the survey results document.

No comments:

May 9, 2021

EscapeSF: King Arthur & Gingerbread House (San Francisco, CA )

We got to play our first in person escape room of the year at EscapeSF, located in Chinatown in San Francisco. It was such a great feeling to be able to physically touch things in an escape room rather than just viewing it through a computer. We ventured out to play the newly released King Arthur's Legacy and also a Christmas popup, Gingerbread Cottage Escape, that was never released due to Covid-19 shutdowns last year. From EscapeSF's site:

"King Arthur's LegacyAges past and the Knights of the Round Table are no longer in Camelot.The gift of Lady of the Lake is waiting for the hero and Merlin the Magician keeps its secrets.You must assemble a company and get to the Excalibur.
Gingerbread Cottage EscapeDing! Nothing beats the smell of fresh baked gingerbread cookies around the holidays...except when YOU are the gingerbread cookies.*Kids friendly"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

King Arthur's LegacyThe set design in this game was on par with what one would expect in an office space right in the middle of Chinatown, however, the props that were used were great. The swords that were used were custom made from Russia and they were really heavy to lift! There were some neat surprises that we didn't expect and this reminded us of how much we loved playing physical escape rooms. EscapeSF was also the company where we played some of our very first games back in 2016 so it was great feeling to come back. Many of the puzzles were based on observation and ciphers that are prevalent in escape rooms.
Gingerbread CottageThis game was designed for kids and we were told it was super easy but we loved the Christmas theme and how cute it was! The set was basic, but effective given that it was made for children. Experienced players would get out of this 45 minute room in 15-20 minutes so it's best to play with kids.

Memorable Moments

King Arthur's Legacy had a fun physical puzzle that fired us up and made our day. Gingerbread Cottage was just really cute and it's hard to forgot the Gingerbread man that you are trying to build. It reminded me of the same character in Shrek.

Room For Improvement

We felt that the ending of the rooms lacked a grande finale that we often crave from an escape room. Also, the set design could have been more elaborate to provide a more realistic feeling of being in King Arthur's world.

Overall Thoughts

We enjoyed the first in person room we played in 2021 and while the games were not groundbreaking, they were definitely some solid fun.

Set design:AverageDifficulty:AveragePrice:+$115/gameNumber of players:2-7, (we recommend 2-3), privateDuration:60 minutesOverall Rating:★★★★ (both games)See their website here:

Disclosure: EscapeSF comped the tickets for this gameNo comments:

April 18, 2021

Claustrophobia: Dream Factory (Online, Moscow, Russia)

Claustrophobiainvited us to play another large scale Zoom game called "Dream Factory". Like their first game we played (World Domination), there were six teams (four-five players per team) but this time each team represented a different movie studio. Each studioplotted towards achieving the biggest box office hits. This was more of a strategic game and not a traditional escape room as there were no puzzles to solve. We also teamed up with Room Escape Artist Hive Mind reviewers because of the scale of the game (see their reviewhere).
In every round of this game, each studio had to choose the genre of movie they wanted to produce, attempt to sign a celebrity to play the star, invest in advertising, tap into the paparazzi or buy marketing forecasts for industry intel. Teams would meet in Zoom breakout rooms to discuss their selections in secret and then at the end of each of the five rounds, all teams would meet up and present their ideas.
Here is a breakdown of what each team had to be aware of.Movie Stars: Each round you had to submit a single bid for one of four celebrities. If you were outbid, your movie would have no star and be adversely affected in terms of ticket sales. We asked if we could bid on two stars but were told that we probably shouldn't.Genre: Each round, a genre was also chosen and the box office forecasts for each genre could be known ahead of time if money was spent on a marketing forecast. The tricky part was that the box office dollars were split equally by all studios that had the same genre so it could be better to choose a less popular theme in order to get the full earnings potential.Paparazzi: Some celebrities would be caught in some scandals, thus affecting their movie box office performance. A studio could avoid this actor if they paid money for some intel.Advertising: This somehow affected your revenue as well but it wasn't quite clear as to how much of a difference it made.

Highlights and Memorable Moments

Every round, each team had to present their film and it was fun but also quite stressful to come up with anything coherent in as little as eight minutes! At the end of the presentations, teams voted for what they thought was the best movie of the round and a score was presented. The goal of this game really wasn't to "win" but more to have fun with some ridiculous story telling. Once a studio had a box office lead, we noticed that they never got any votes for best movie, despite getting the most laughs or having the most clever punch lines. This was one of those games where everyone could team up and slow down the leader by simply not awarding them any votes. Nonetheless, this experience provided a ton of laughs and was highly dependent on the personalities of the individuals who participated.
One of the movie hits was an extremely inappropriate, but hilarious NC-17 rated blockbuster that was concocted by some dirty minds.
Really amazing group of people!

Room For Improvement

While there was a scoring system in the form of box office revenue, it wasn't quite clear how this was affected by the different elements in the game. How bad was it to not have a movie star or to not put any resources into advertising? We didn't have a clue. There was also some text that was still in Russian but we were able to Google translate it pretty quickly.
Another aspect that should be considered was that shy people found themselves standing back as an observer. Perhaps a game mechanic that made everyone present something could have mitigated this?
From Claustrophobia

Overall Thoughts

I always appreciate the large style online games (+30 players) as it's incredibly difficult to craft an activity where so many people, for the most part, can actively participate in. Dream Factory's free flowing structure opened the door to whatever was in the minds of its participants which led to something entertaining and hilarious. It was almost like watching an Improv show where all the participants were winners. We recommend playing this game with people who don't take themselves too seriously and who perhaps have a tad of silliness in them.Difficulty: Just have fun!Number of players: 12-35 (we recommend 24)Duration: 1.5-2 hoursOverall Rating:★★★
Disclosure: Claustrophobia comped the tickets for this gameNo comments:

March 27, 2021

The Secret Library: Escape Atlantis (Online)

Secret Library's newest game, "Escape Atlantis", was the first escape room game that we played in 2021. It has been a slow year and we are really hoping that things pick up soon and that everything returns to normal. Nonetheless, we happily took our group of six players into this game with no prior knowledge of what to expect which was a rarity for us! From Secret Library's site:
"Escape Atlantis is a traditional escape room with challenging puzzles and a unique storyline within the Secret Library narrative universe. This experience ventures beyond the common videoconferencing experience to include an integrated floorplan to encourage immersion and autonomy. Search for clues and work collboratively as you uncover the mysteries surrounding this ethereal realm of knowledge. This experience utilizes interactive features to bring you into the story even before the event even begins."

The layout of the game was something that we had not seen before in the previous online escape rooms played. There was a mini-map of Atlantis where we could click on different locations in order to "travel" there. Once at the location, we had access to puzzle elements and the input mechanic was typically typing in the answer. The novel part was that people in the same room were able to see and talk to each other with what seemed to be some sort of Zoom video integration. When players left the room, you could no longer communicate with them so this was a pretty realistic way of simulating a physical escape room. The game also utilized videos in order to tell the story throughout the experience.
The puzzles in the game were standard for escape rooms and involved logic, ciphers codes and pattern recognition.

Highlights and Memorable Moments

The technology used to move people around the virtual space was great. Popping in and out of a location and seeing who was in the room with you provided a strong sense of connection that we normally take for granted when everyone can always see each other. The finale also provided some inadvertent laughs as we botched the last riddle with some ridiculous logic.

Room For Improvement

The puzzles were similar to puzzles that you would find on paper in an escape room. The puzzles were all fair and logical but we felt that they didn't leverage the online medium in a way that other online escape rooms did. Also, looking at puzzles pieces on multiple tabs was a bit clunky.

Overall Thoughts

This game would be great for players who like a traditional "point and click" game and who are itching to get back into playing escape rooms.

Set design:2D MapDifficulty:AveragePrice:$100/gameNumber of players:Up to 8, (we recommend 3-4), privateDuration:60 minutesOverall Rating (For Online games):★★★★See their website here:

Disclosure: The Secret Library comped the tickets for this gameNo comments: Older PostsHomeSubscribe to:Posts (Atom)

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