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! 

January 25, 2018

Exit2Escape: Quest For The Crown (Dublin, CA)

Excellent craftsmanship and unique props
"Exit2Escape" is East Bay's latest room, joining Omescape in Richmond and Limitless Escape in Livermore. Exit2Escape is family run by a woodcrafter, an interior designer and a math major who all chipped in their various skills to create "Quest For The Crown". We played this game in November 2017, just a few weeks after opening. From their site:

"You are the elder sibling born into a Royal family. It was your birthright to inherit the crown upon the King’s death, but an evil secret plan executed by your younger brother and some corrupt castle guards has left you exiled from the kingdom. The corrupt guards were given strict orders to kill you if you ever returned to the castle. When the King and Queen died, your tyrannical brother ran the kingdom into despair. Disgusted by the decline of a once-prosperous and peaceful land, you decide to risk your life to set things right. Disguised as a pauper, you’ve managed to make it back to the castle undetected, and with your knowledge of the secret passages within the castle walls, you’ve made it to the King’s study. In the next sixty minutes, you must now find proof of your birthright and escape undetected before the castle guards return."

January 15, 2018

2017 Achievement unlocked Medalists

Finally, we are proud to announce the Escape Rumors Achievement unlocked Medalists for 2017!

Achievement unlocked medals are given to the top escape rooms played by Escape Rumors every year. On top of being solid escape rooms, these rooms also distinguished themselves in the following categories:
  • Best Immersion
  • Best Technology
  • Best Storytelling
  • Best Puzzles
  • Best Set Design
  • Most Creative
  • Most Climactic
  • Most Clever
  • Most Shocking

January 6, 2018

Escape Rumors 2017 Year In Review

We are proud to present our inaugural Escape Rumors 2017 Year In Review infographic! Download the infographic to view it.

Escape Rumors 2017 Year In Review

Click here to see the infographic

January 3, 2018

Palace Games: The Edison Room (San Francisco, CA)

We finally escaped, with no hints!

"The Edison Room" is Palace Games' latest room and the follow up to "The Great Houdini Escape Room" and "The Roosevelt Escape Room". The set design and automation were real standouts in the previous two games that we played here and we were hoping that their newest game would have some of the same magic. We have yet been able to escape any of the Palace Games rooms so we were ready for the challenge. From their site:

"The Palace Games team recently unearthed this telegram sent by Thomas Edison in 1915 on October 2nd. 

Since the discovery of Edison’s telegram, the Palace Games team has located his study at the Palace of Fine Arts. It is now open to the public. Come play to learn the secret reason Edison built and maintained this special place at the Palace of Fine Arts!

December 17, 2017

Mindtrap: Gold Rush & Conspiracy (Temecula, CA)

Gold Rush & Conspiracy
Written by Matt Neal: A weekend trip out of town for us almost always means exploring escape rooms outside our normal playground. On this trip, it meant a drive to explore what San Diego had to offer. San Diego has some great rooms to play, but can be overshadowed by the quality and quantity of experiences to be found in Los Angeles and Orange County.

As we hopped in the car to leave San Diego, that feeling persisted. We had a great time but we weren’t satiated by what we had seen. Our drive home took us through the small town of Temecula, known mainly for their wineries. On several occasions, I have been given recommendations for MindTrap in Temecula but have always been hesitant to make the trip to try it out. In my experience, rooms in small towns, isolated from a competitive market, are great for small towns. The market doesn’t support a lot of investment and the customers don’t have much experience with escape rooms, so you see a lot of no/low-tech rooms, common puzzle types, and nothing but lock boxes.  These rooms can still be wonderful, especially for beginners. It’s the format that initially got many of us hooked on escape rooms. Competition in dense markets, however, has pushed the boundaries as to what an escape room can be, leaving these rooms in the dust. So, on a long drive, passing through a small town, I was fully expecting to find a room great for a small town. MindTrap did not deliver on that expectation.

December 13, 2017

Escape Games NYC: Outer Space (New York City, New York)

Escape Games NYC (New York City)

The Outer Space room at Escape Games NYC was a blast! From start to finish, it was an enjoyable experience that has surpassed the dozen or so escape rooms I've done. The plot has you, the crew of the spaceship, stuck in a situation where the ship has started to malfunction and you must regain control of the situation or else you'll be stuck in outer space forever. Though it doesn't state it on the website's description of the room, there are references to the movie Alien throughout the entire room that made it more fun if you've seen the movie, but not essential to know if you haven't.