September 24, 2018
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
|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
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
|WOW WOW WOW WOW|
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:
"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
|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
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 , 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)
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
|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
"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
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."
"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."
"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
|"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
|One of Best Escape Room Locations in the Phoenix area!|
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
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
|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!
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
|Excellent craftsmanship and unique props|
"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
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