October 11, 2018

2018 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey Dashboard

Click the image to see the actual interactive dashboard. Best viewed on a large screen. 
I wanted to play around with Lee-Fay and Errol's 2018 Escape Room Survey data so I created this interactive dashboard. Unlike a normal infographic, you can filter data or click segments of the various graphs see the charts dynamically update. It's pretty cool if you play around with it.

The dashboard is best viewed on a large screen as it does not resize for mobile.

Some Tips

The filters on the top of the pages ("Gender", "Age", "What Country Do You Live In") will resize the visuals to only show data from your selection.
  • For example, if you select "United States" (from the drop down menu), all charts now only display data from enthusiasts with the response of "United States" for the question "What country do you live in?". It looks like the below, although it's hard to see differences in a small image so please try it out for yourself.

"United States" filter selected so all charts represent US enthusiasts

Clicking on a segment in a visual will show you how much that segment represents in all visuals as part of the entire data set (overall visuals will not resize). To clear your selection, click again anywhere on any chart.
  • If you click on the United States on a visual, in this case the map, the data will look like the below 
The charts still show the entire survey data but with the United States responses highlighted

You can quickly compare how various attributes and percent contributions change based on slicing the data by say age, number of escape rooms played or any other criteria found on the dashboard.

Let me know what you think and how it can be improved!

October 9, 2018

No Escape: Club Kiki (Seoul, South Korea)

First time playing in Asia!
The hardest part about doing an escape room is getting to the business in the first place. This is true in the United States, but even more so when you are a tourist in a foreign country where you can't speak the language. In this case Seoul, South Korea. We proved our worth when we spotted the sign for No Escape on the second floor in a side alley of the bustling Hongdae neighborhood. A few pro tips for anyone who wants to follow our steps: rent a SIM card or Wi-Fi egg at the airport or download an offline map of the city using the maps.me app (other map providers don't allow offline mode for Korea).

Here's an image of the sign, so you know what to look out for. As a bonus, you should try to memorize the main vowels and consonants of Hangul (Korean alphabet). It's not required, but it helps to get around. And you're an escape room addict, so you love deciphering symbols, don't you ;) It's simple to learn the phonetics without any semantic knowledge. We recommend trying out the Word Fireworks app, which gamifies the task. Or here's a simple table that lays out the letters into a Periodic Table of Hangul. Just focussing on the left and right columns should get you most of the way there (it's like a periodic table... nobody knows the elements at the bottom... except maybe you... because you're a nerd).

We were greeted by an adorable corgi wagging it's tail in the universal language of puppies. Cuteness overload! The host herself was a friendly and helpful young lady who explained the game to us between answering the phone's incessant ring from escapers asking for hints. We had no problems communicating with her.

 There are 3 rooms at No Escape. The host recommend playing the Victorian Haunt, as it is their easiest room and we had a first timer with us. However, after hearing the screams of current players trapped in there through the walls, we decided better and signed up to play their newest room, Club Kiki, for 23,000 ₩/person (about $20 US). It's a funny theme instead of a spooky one, hurray!

To our relief, there was very little reading to do in the room and everything was bilingual. It is impressive that they managed to translate riddles such that the answers share the same letter locks (unless they reset the room differently per language? Hmmm... a puzzle left unsolved). Anyways, the point is that we had no trouble at all understanding the messages. Solving them was another story... 

From their website:

"It’s Grand Opening night and the star of the club is missing… 
Help find her and get the club running, so we can get this party started!"

"대망의 클럽 오픈일 저녁, 클럽의 주인공이 사라졌다. 실종된 주인공을 찾아, 클럽을 무사히 오픈시키고 우리의 파티가 시작되도록 하라!" 

Set Design, Puzzles & Technology 

This room can be labeled as 1st generation. There's a lot of padlocks and not much technology nor automation. It's patched together from common items that anyone could obtain and put together, or so it would seem. But really thinking about it, achieving this degree of fun with such minimal means displays a great sense of game design. The set design managed to convey the theme despite being unrefined.

Memorable Moments 

That puppy in the lobby stole our hearts... And there were several references to him throughout the room plot. The storyline as a whole was lighthearted and entertaining. We liked getting to learn more about Kiki and her friends as time progressed. We had fun solving the puzzles. The pacing was great, with the first half being mostly serial, and the second half picking up the pace with faster shorter parallel puzzles. The mood was elevated with music and disco lights.

We did not manage to escape in time, but the host was generous enough to come in and help unblock us at the end - we had solved the puzzle, we just didn't know where to put the answer, which somehow happened to us many times in this room (we had burned the first of our three allowed hints on a similar problem around minute 20). Then she left the room and gave us the extra time to finish, which took less than 5 minutes. She did not have to do that, but it's most appreciated because the ending is funny and memorable!

Room For Improvement 

The interior design concept was fun, but it could have used more polish. Everything was functional (except 1 mag release that was finicky and cost us our second hint at minute 40), but many parts were rough around the edges. Some pieces of the wood construction could give you splinters if you were not careful.

Overall Thoughts 

It's hard to find escape rooms in Seoul for English speakers. This one was fun and good for beginners. It's worth the detour if you've already spent a few days exploring the city, or if you happen to be in Hongdae, which in itself is worth the detour. Hongdae is a hip and flashy neighborhood where students hang out for the food, the karaoke and the shopping.

  • Set design: fun, creative, lighthearted 
  • Difficulty: Easy-Medium 
  • Price: 18,000 to 23,000 ₩/person -> 16 to 20 $/person (depending on the number of players)
  • Number of players: 2-5 (we recommend 3) 
  • Duration: 60 minutes 
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★ 
See their website here: www.noescape.co.kr/rooms

September 29, 2018

From Lawyer to Escape Room Owner: Janell Woodbury, Exit Strategy Games (Sacramento, CA)

We had the pleasure of interviewing Janell Woodbury, owner/designer of Exit Strategy Games in Sacramento. Janell's background is pretty different from our last interviewee, Richard from ETA, and it's amazing how diverse people are in this industry.

"Not Mystique"
Let's start easy. Any hobbies or things that you are passionate about outside of escape rooms?

I love board games.  While everyone was drinking and partying hard in my early 20's, I was trying to enlist people to play board games.  It's probably why I'm so obsessed with escape room games.  It seems like an automatic transition from a love of board games to a love of escape room games. After that I'd say I'm obsessed with movies.  I watch 1-2 movies in the movie theaters every week. 

When did you first play an escape room and how was that experience? What got you hooked?

August 2015, I was in Louisiana on vacation.  I had heard of an escape room before, but the picture I saw of an escape room just looked like a boring classroom with some paper on the floor and some pulled out drawers.  It was something that was in the back of my mind to look into but I had not gotten around to it and that picture didn't seem that intriguing.  When we asked the hotel concierge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, for suggestions on what to do in the local area, he told us about 13th Gate Escape.  I convinced my friends to go and so we checked it out.  We did the Collector, which is a serial killer theme.  The creators of 13th Gate Escape are Haunted House guys so apparently they really knew how to create a great serial killer theme.  To this day, that was the absolute best escape room I've ever experienced.  That particular room has the best surprises and set design of any escape room I've ever done.  The challenge, the countdown clock, the set design, the thrill of the escape, all of it, hooked me on escape rooms from day one.

You have quite a distinct background. Can you tell us more about that?

I have an undergrad degree in business with a concentration in entrepreneurship, so it's only fitting that I own three businesses. At 20 years old my father and grandfather bought an investment retail store and asked me to run it, considering that's what I was going to school for. I seemed like an obvious choice to run the business.  However, it was struggling, and I felt my ideas to grow the business were being severely limited, and I felt that I knew better than anyone else, so after 1 1/2 years I bought out my grandfather and started calling all of the shots.  I grew the the business into a self sustaining business, hired the right people and then decided I wanted more of a career.  So once my retail store was profitable I headed off to law school.  I received a scholarship to a San Diego law school so I moved down there for a few years for school.  When I came back I started my own law practice.  The best and worst thing to ever happen to me was going to that escape room in August of 2015.  Once I went, I was obsessed with opening my own.  My father had an old warehouse that was partially empty and had been for years.  So I rented out some space about 13 months ago and opened up my own escape room at Exit Strategy Games.  So now I have three wildly different business ventures and I tell everyone that's because I have A.D.H.D. of businesses.

What was the first escape room you designed and how was that experience?

I designed an escape from a serial killer theme room entitled The Torture Chamber.  It was exhausting yet so fun.  From start to finish it took 5 weeks to build out and get open.  I was working 15 hour days, it was exhausting but also exciting.  It's a pretty low tech room and to this day it needs a lot of updating.  However, people seem to really like it because of the theme mixed with the unique setup that requires forced verbal communication.  I actually got caught by the city not having the right permits and I got shut down for three months.  After that, there were a lot of regulation and changes I had to make.  It was a very expensive process and it definitely took a lot of fun out of this business. But those first 5 weeks of wildly fast creation, building it out, and receiving so much positive feedback for the first few months we were open was an absolutely magical experience.

Imagine you had $10,000,000 to build any type of escape room? What would it be?

Originally my main goal was to eventually build a multi-level escape room with a slide.  My imaginary multi-million dollar escape room would definitely have multiple slides.  In this imaginationary world do I get to get rid of the fire code too? Haha! If I could get rid of the fire code, I'd have an amazing mix of an indoor obstacle course, adult playground, maze, and an escape room.  There would be multiple levels, stairs, and slides.  I've spent way too many hours daydreaming about this, and I haven't narrowed down the theme to just one, but it would either be themed to steampunk, Labyrinth (80's movie with David Bowie in spandex), or the Cube (90's movie where the characters ran from high tech killer cube room to high tech killer cube room in different colors, trying to escape). The room would look like a Hollywood movie set and it would have the most tech out of any escape room on the face of the planet.

Top 5 escape rooms you've played outside Exit Strategy?

1.) Magic Kingdom, Maze Rooms
2.) Abyss, Maze Rooms
3.) Red Giant, Questroom
4.) Fun House, Crossroads
5.) The Collector, 13th gate

Honorable Mention: Zoe, Escapade Games (more of an interactive experience than an escape room, only reason why it didn’t make it in my top 5)

Choose one experience and explain why: Puzzle heavy room vs. Immersive room with theatrics 

Tricky question, but I'd go with immersive room with theatrics if I had to pick.  I also consider theatrics "tech" so hopefully I'm not off base here. If anyone has done the rooms on my list they'll see they range from high to low tech, and from average puzzles to excellent puzzles.  I either love the set design and theatrics so much, I can overlook some blah puzzles.  Or, I love the puzzles and fun experience so much, I can overlook the lack of theatrics or tech.  However, an incredibly heavy puzzle room like Palace Games (which is beloved by everyone), is actually exhausting to me and takes most of the fun out of the experience.  I like more simple fun games that make you think but not feel like a complete idiot.

What are the craziest things you have seen in an escape room as a gamemaster or player?

We have video of an inebriated player shoving our, "It was my fault" sign up her sweatshirt and walking out with it.  Believe it or not, we called her and she returned it later apologizing.  Also, we have two chain link fence gates in one of our rooms, a player disassembled half of one of the gates before we caught them and now we have to tell everyone not to disassemble our gates.  We also currently have a huge hole in the wall from a player kicking a hole in it.  Last but not least, it wasn't the "craziest" thing I've ever seen, but the most time consuming thing a player ever did was trace over an entire black light puzzle in regular black ink.  Painting over black light is nearly impossible without the right primer, and it cost a lot of time and money to find that right primer, and it literally took days to fix the problem.

Wouldn't it be cool if we could get a highlight reel after playing a room? More to catch the fun cheerful parts without spoilers.

Yeah, I've talked about that.  Without some kind of tech to do it, it seems very time consuming to put together though.

You meet an alien race with the opportunity to fly off with them. They seem benevolent but you are unsure if you will ever come back. Do you go or stay?

Stay! I really like my life, my family, my friends and my dog.  I'm sure the aliens are nice and all, but I'm pretty comfortable and happy where I'm at.

Thank you for your time Janell!

September 24, 2018

2018 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey

TheCodex.ca released the results of the 2018 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey today based on the responses from 562 people (up from 250 in 2017). Given that this was compiled as a pastime, it looks amazing and definitely worth a read for anybody interested in how escape rooms enthusiasts think about various elements of the industry.

One of the more interesting stats is found below:

Normally, Yelp and Trip Advisor are the go-to resources for people in determining which rooms to play. Of course they are the most exhaustive but not necessarily the most reliable. The range of star ratings on Yelp is small, often almost all establishments fall between 4-5 stars making it difficult to tell the good from the bad so we highly recommend consulting enthusiast ratings in order to maximize your time to have the best possible experience.

Thanks to Lee-Fay and Errol for compiling this survey!

September 15, 2018

Hatch Escapes: Lab Rat (Los Angeles, CA)

We were the rats in this lab 

Hatch Escapes was one of the new LA locations that opened up in 2018 and there was lot of hype about their game "Lab Rat". In June, I was in New Orleans on Room Escape Artist's Escape Immerse Explore Tour when Amanda (Queen of Escape Rooms) told me about Lab Rat and how it was one of her all-time favorite rooms out of +700 played. When someone of that stature says a game is good, you take it seriously, so I immediately booked a flight to LA for after the tour. (Actually, I already had it booked in advance but that doesn't the former sound much more exciting?)

Being a "rat" in a lab sounded pretty unique, so right off the bat, I was excited to see the room. From their site:

"Lab Rat takes place in a laboratory where giant rats are doing experiments on human beings, specifically you! The somewhat unhinged Ratkenstein, a doctoral student in the field of human intelligence (or, in his estimation, the lack thereof), has tasked you with completing a series of tests and puzzles. If you succeed, he can finally write his dissertation. If you fail, he’s going to put you and your friends in the old test-subject chipper (like a wood chipper, but for test subjects!). You’ll have one hour to complete the tests and attempt to get out of the laboratory for good, before Ratkenstein turns you into mulch!"

September 7, 2018

USA Today: 10Best Escape Rooms 2018

Escape Rumors is honored to be part of the nomination panel for the top escape room in the US. We played at 14 of the 20 escape room finalists and they can be found on our ratings page. You can also find full reviews for some these games below.

13th Gate, Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Palace Games, San Francisco, California

60out, Los Angeles, California

The Basement, Los Angeles, California

Cross Roads Escape, Anaheim, California

Maze Rooms, Los Angeles, California

Escapades Games, Fullerton, California

Vote for your favorite escape room on the 10best site here!

August 25, 2018

13th Gate Escape: Cutthroat Cavern & Tomb of Anubis (Baton Rouge, LA)


13th Gate Escape is located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, far from the better known entertainment hubs of Los Angeles and New York City. I didn't know much about Baton Rouge except that LSU (Louisiana State University), Shaquille O'Neal's alma mater, was located here and that it was a 90 minute drive from New Orleans. The few people I knew that played at 13th Gate said it was the best escape room location in the country but then again, some people say the same for a lot of average rooms.

13th Gate started off with haunted houses and added escape rooms to their offering and as with many other similar businesses, their sets are the among the best out there. What creates greatness is combining this expertise with good enough puzzles, which is a problem with escapes rooms that spawned from the haunt industry. We encountered this issue during the same NOLA trip at another location that had amazing sets but non-logical puzzles.

This review will be for their two strongest games, "Cutthroat Cavern" and "Tomb Of Anubis", but all their games are of similar quality. Cutthroat was one of the first stops on the Room Escape Artist: Escape Immerse Explore tour in June of 2018. Although the tour only had three of the five rooms scheduled, our group of hard core entusiasts (some who trying to be enshrined in the Guiness Book of World Records for escape rooms) came back on our own to play the remaining two games. From their site:

Cutthroat Cavern
"While on a Caribbean vacation you decide to explore the island of Isla Mujeres, rumored to be the location where the notorious pirate Jean Lafitte hid his most priceless treasure.

Stopping to talk to a local tour guide, he gives you directions to a large series of Mayan Ruins and caves overlooking the ocean. He tells you that according to island legend, the pirate had a secret hideout somewhere within the caves, though no one had ever been able to discover it. The caves themselves were known as Cutthroat Caverns because the ancient Mayans would frequently perform human sacrifices within them...Can you Discover the hidden mysteries of Cutthroat Cavern before you become its next Sacrifice?

Tomb Of Anubis
"When you booked your vacation to see the great pyramids, you thought it would be more interesting. But as your tour guide drones on  and on about different types of ancient pottery and myths, you decide you could have much more fun if you were exploring on your own...

After a bit of exploring you walk into a small dark room and SUDDENLY a stone door closes behind you! You realize, all too late, that you are trapped! You look around the room and to your horror you see the remains of other "explorers" and realize that you have walked right into an ancient Egyptian trap! Can you uncover the mysteries of the pyramid and escape before time runs out? Or will this tomb become your final resting place?

July 29, 2018

Get The F Out: The Experiment (Los Angeles, CA)

Throw out everything you know about escape rooms...

In May 2018, "Get the F Out" opened their second room room called "The Experiment" and the buzz was that it was pretty different from their first room, "The Virus". We gave "The Virus" a 2017 Achievement Unlocked Medal for "Best Storytelling" and there was also a lot of effort put towards the storyline for "The Experiment" on social media via the fictional character, Dr. Jay Elias. Before going into this game, we really didn't know what to expect, given the brief description from their site:

"Looking for all ages, male & female to participate in a psychological study of escape rooms .  It will take 60 min of your time.  Juice will be served."

July 5, 2018

Room Escape Artist: Escape Immerse Explore (New Orleans, LA)

David and Lisa from Room Escape Artist (REA) offered an escape room tour for the second year in a row and for 2018 it was in New Orleans (NOLA). I heard a lot of buzz about rooms in that area but wasn't sure how they would hold up to the best rooms I've played prior to the tour.

I didn't think that I would have the chance in the near future to go to NOLA, let alone the nearby cities of Tickfaw and Baton Rouge (90 minutes away), so I decided to sign up. I bought a pre-sale ticket and by the time they opened up the tour to the public, only one of 24 tickets was left! David and Lisa were able to secure a second bus on the tour due to popular demand and the rest was history. From their site:

"Southern Louisiana is home to some of the best escape rooms in the United States. This June [2018], we invite you to travel to New Orleans with Room Escape Artist. Tickets are $599 per ticket.

About Escape, Immerse, Explore: New Orleans 2018 
Join us June 22 – 24, 2018 for a weekend of escape rooms in and around New Orleans, Louisiana. 
On this personally-tailored escape room tour, you will get a chance to play some of our favorite escape rooms with other like minded escape room fans. 

What’s Included in the Tour? 
Your ticket includes a customized itinerary of 9 escape rooms, distributed among the following companies: 
  • Escape My Room, New Orleans (2) 
  • Clue Carré, New Orleans (2) 
  • RISE Escape Rooms, Tickfaw (2) 
  • 13th Gate Escape, Baton Rouge (3)
There will be three 2017 Golden Lock-In Award-winning games on this tour (and many more that were in the running)

Your ticket also includes: 
  •  Bus transportation to escape rooms outside of New Orleans 
  • A weekend with Lisa and David as escape room tour guides 
  • Networking with other tour attendees 
  • A talk by Lisa and David 
  • One group meal 
  • Exclusive discount coupons to book additional escape rooms at these venues 
  • Event t-shirt 
  • Teammates who are as excited about this as you are!"

Left to right: David, Randy

June 10, 2018

Mad Genius: Cat Lady (Portland, OR)

We avoided a "cat-astrophe"

While in Portland we came across a new escape room establishment called "Mad Genius Escape Co.". This wasn't on our radar at all but was suggested to us by an employee of another escape room. We had some extra time for non-escape room stuff...which was used to book this room. So much for seeing other things! We always love playing rooms with new themes and the funnier the better so we booked "Cat Lady". We were four and given it was a public room, we were joined by a 10 year old and her grandparents. From their site:

"Your neighbor Mrs. Humphreys has always been a little bit of an odd-ball. I mean, she does have 23 cats, after all! But she's been acting stranger than normal lately, complaining about things being out of place and feeling like someone's watching her. She's decided to take the whole feline family to the vet for a check-up, buying you time to snoop around the house undisturbed. But you'll have to be quick- you only have one hour to get to the bottom of this"

May 8, 2018

Portland Escape Rooms: Steampunk Airship & Madame Neptune's Voodoo Curse (Portland, OR)

We played two of the six games at Portland Escape Rooms on our first trip to the area. The Steampunk Airship was their new game that not many others have played yet so we were rolling the dice on this one. Normally, the latest room in a location is the best, as the lessons learned from previous rooms helps improve upon the next room although there were a few other times on this trip when this wasn't the case. We chose what we thought were the two most immersive rooms which both had actors in them. From their site:

Steampunk Airship
"Strap on your goggles and prepare for adventure as we transport you to another world of steam and gears! You and your team will become crew of the Undaunted, a famous air ship that stands against the devious Allied Industry Corps. Can you thwart the Corps. and fly the Undaunted to safety in this new choose-your-own-adventure style escape experience, or will you fall from the sky? (age 12 and up, adult participant required for players under 15)"

Madame Neptune's Voodoo Curse
"Have you ever wondered how close you are with the spirit world? Here at Madame Neptune’s we bring your fortunes to life, be they good or evil! You and your friends will have 60 minutes to explore Madame Neptune’s Cabin! Working together, navigating the spirit world and breaking the spell may be enough to escape… The Voodoo Curse! (age 15 and up)"

April 2, 2018

MindSpark: Spellbound, Terminal, Zombie Room (Tempe, AZ)

MindSpark has locations in Tempe, AZ and Austin, TX and was at the top of everyone's list to visit in the Phoenix area. The staff was exceptionally welcoming and friendly which was something we felt from a lot of the staff in the Phoenix rooms that we played. We went through all three games at this location. From their site:

Spellbound (The original room is from Rise in Tickfaw, LA)
"Hidden deep in the woods lies a cabin that was at one time inhabited by a coven of witches tasked with guarding our world from the rise of the vampires. Unfortunately the witches have long since vanished and the protection spell is wearing off. Use the clues left behind to find vampires' lair and destroy the king before he rises again."

Terminal Room
"You and your team have boarded a subway car, when the car crashes into an abandoned subway station. You explore the station and soon learn of a conspiracy. Your team must learn the details and stop the impending results."

Zombie Room
"Trapped with no way out, chain link by chain link a brain-crazed and bloodthirsty zombie invades the room. You and 11 others must solve the room before the time runs out and the zombie is unleashed. With only sixty minutes and your brains, you must uncover clues, decipher riddles, and discover the keys to unlock your freedom."

March 30, 2018

Dare To Escape: X-Child (Tempe, AZ)

"X-Men we need you"

Date To Escape, not to be confused with the nearby "Dare 2 Escape" company, has three rooms in Tempe, not far from MindSpark. We played one game at this location, "X-Child" and for some reason I thought it would be about some little girl's haunted spirit which wasn't the case. It was actually more of a play off of "X-Men" and kids with superpowers. From their site:

"Telepathy Acclimation Program, or TAP, was a programme set up to train potential human telepaths. Children who showed telepathic potential were sent to Station Zero, a facility located deep in Mojave Desert for training.

You were one of the children who was sent to this facility. Officially, TAP’s function was “to evaluate telepathic abilities so an understanding of this phenomenon could be compiled.” In reality, they did physical and psychological experiments on you and other children.

The facility was closed down, and your memories of the place is hazy. After years of searching, you and a group of TAP victims were finally able to locate the now-abandoned facility.

Some old systems are still active though. As soon as you enter the facility, it goes into a lockdown..."

March 27, 2018

North Valley Escape Room: Escape From Alcatraz & The Great Outdoors (Anthem, AZ)

One of Best Escape Room Locations in the Phoenix area!
North Valley Escape Rooms is located 33 miles north of downtown Phoenix in the city of Anthem. This was the first place that we visited on our trip to Phoenix and weren't quite sure what to expect given it was pretty far out in a little town of 30,000 people. When we entered the establishment, we were greeted by three employees who were energetic and friendly, a perfect way to start an escape room!

There were five games at this location and we were able to play two of them,"Escape From Alcatraz" and "The Great Outdoors". We have played a good number of prison/Alcatraz types of rooms so it generally takes something different for us to get excited but there was enough buzz from other enthusiasts for us to book the room. We also hadn't played an outdoorsy themed game so it was nice to mix things up. Although we didn't get to play their newest game, "The Legend Of The 7th Stone", we took a peek at their set which was beautiful and seemed to have a good mix of tech integration. From their site:

Escape From Alcatraz
"Get prepared for the ultimate in escape room experiences! With almost 2000 square feet of puzzles and clues, Escape from Alcatraz is certain to WOW and amaze even the most experienced escape room enthusiasts. What could be better? How about 75 minutes to complete!

Your crimes have brought you to The Rock to serve your time. A life sentence in this dark hole is not an option. Escape is your only choice. Do you have what it takes to escape The Rock?

The Great Outdoors
Your all-inclusive camping trip at Fall Mountain Campground is confirmed! No need to pack your camping gear... the Fall Mountain Campground is all inclusive. When tragedy strikes, will you have what it takes to escape? Survive the trip and live to tell the tale!

March 12, 2018

LA Dragon Studios: Knights Of The Round Table (Van Nuys, CA)

Written by Matt Neal: As a seasoned veteran of escape rooms, when I see a new room pop up that touts being “family friendly” and “great for all ages” I get a little nervous. I know that experienced enthusiasts do not make up the bulk of the market and targeting newcomers and families makes a lot of financial sense, but in my experience, the rooms that result just don’t scratch my itch for a challenging, exciting experience. Likewise, the rooms that offer a challenging, exciting experience to those that have ran out of fingers and toes to count rooms on can leave those exploring an escape room for the first time with a frustrating experience, never getting to taste success. Rarely does a room offer an experience that is accessible to those that have never heard of an escape room, a playfulness to be within reach of children, and enough fun and excitement to have the experienced walk out with just as big of a smile. LA Dragon Studios offers just that. They have one of the first games from Israel to make its way to the United States and if this is a sign of what’s to come, I can’t wait to see more. From their website:

"In this adventure, you are sent into Camelot on an epic quest. Explore the castle, find the hidden clues and become a Knight! 

We want you to have the fun, there's no limitation on hints, no pressure, it’s about your experience and your story."

This experience is about letting you into their world to play around and that allows for a positive experience for a much broader audience. For someone that’s done a lot of rooms, saving Camelot wasn’t particularly difficult, but it didn’t need to be. There’s so much to see and do, enough to play with and take in, that there is something here for the experienced. I only wish that this was how my first escape room would have been.

February 15, 2018

Clockwise Escape: Party In Vegas & The Asylum

Party In Vegas!

Clockwise Escape opened in 2017 in Downtown San Francisco and we were able to play both their games. We played "The Asylum" back in September 2017 and "Party In Vegas" in January 2018. Both these escape games were creative and solid, with the edge going to "Party In Vegas" for having a more unique theme and some whimsical elements that made everyone laugh. From their site:

Party In Vegas
"You wake up hungover in a trashed penthouse suite. Looks like you guys had the bachelor party of a lifetime last night, but you can’t remember a thing. How’d a motorcycle get in here? Who broke the front door? OMG where’s the RING?!?! It’s your buddy’s wedding day and the ceremony starts in an hour. Hurry up and get it together guys! You need to retrace your drunken steps from last night, find that ring and get out of here, fast! 

The Asylum
It's 1974 and you've been abducted as test subjects in a horrifying, government experiment! They’ve locked you away to conduct highly classified and unregulated tests on the limits of the human brain. The orderlies are down the hall preparing the first round of tests. Electro shock? Lobotomy? Chemical experiments? You have 60 minutes to escape before they come back and fry your brain for good. Hurry, it's time to get out!