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)

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:

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 CarrĂ©, 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)

"Brainsssssssssssssss"
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."