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May 13, 2020

Mad Genius: The Truth About Edith (Online Game)


This post was written by Melanie R. from Montreal, Canada.

This online escape room is perfectly suited for the current circumstances of the COVID-19 quarantine. It was a 4 player game and we played it as 2 players from Montreal (Melanie/Jay) with 2 players from California (Randy/Sarah). We were unsure of how an online escape room would work, but we were pleasantly surprised, to say the least! Randy and Sarah played the precursor to this game, The Cat Lady (a physical escape room in Portland OR that won the honors for a top Escape Room in 2018) and they loved the comedic elements and creativeness of it all. From the Mad Genius website:

"You may recognize Edith Humphreys, your sweet neighbor with 24 cats. You may have even helped her out, snooped around her apartment. But there's something about Edith that doesn't quite add up... she looks way younger than she is, she says she was born in 1902 but that she's 97 years young... and she lives at a business called Mad Genius Escapes?! What is going on here... "

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

The game takes place over a Zoom meeting and even though my husband and I were in the same room, it was necessary to have separate computers to complete certain puzzles. It was truly a game for exactly four players who all need their own computer in order to play. 

There was a wonderful mix of prepared content, online navigating, dynamic puzzles and live online interactions. The game flowed extremely well, and with all the technology involved, there were absolutely no malfunctions. Mad Genius' description of "an eccentric mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great who-done-it story" was spot on and because it was created as an online game (versus adapting a physical room for online play), there were absolutely zero "shaky camera" elements. 

Memorable Moments 

The whole experience was very memorable. You can tell that there was a significant amount of energy that was put into preparing all the components of the "room" in order to give people an original and fun experience. It was fun to be able to play this with friends out of town, without hopping onto a plane! If we had to single out one part, it would be the finale where the more you play along, the more fun it is!

Room For Improvement

It is hard to suggest areas that would require improvement because it was such a different type of escape room experience. It probably would have been better to know in advance that players living in the same household should play in different rooms to avoid echoes and feedback. Some components were also meant to be played without seeing each other's screen.  

Overall Thoughts

We thoroughly enjoyed this experience. Within the category of online escape rooms, as of now we can't imagine anything better than this. This game was very well organized, challenging and highly interactive. An effort was made towards the teamwork component, which was very fun and interesting. Bravo!
  • Set design: Excellent for an online game
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $80/team, private
  • Number of players: 4
  • Duration:  60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★
See their website here:  https://www.madgeniusescapes.com

MODIFY Disclosure: Mad Genius graciously provided complimentary tickets

April 26, 2020

Jackbox Party Pack 3: Online Game

Online fun at it's best!

Times are tough due to the covid-19 pandemic and escape rooms are no exception to the shut down of all "non-essential" services. Quite a few online escape games from all over have popped up and to the surprise of many, I have not played any of them. I avoided online escape rooms because I love the physical nature of a normal escape room and I feel that playing an online game would ultimately be underwhelming. I know I will eventually play one of these virtual experiences and to ease into it, I started off with a party game: Jackbox Party Pack 3. Why this party pack out of the six that exist? Because Sarah played Party Pack 3 at work and that's what I wanted to try. From their site:

"The threequel to the party game phenomenon features the deadly quiz show Trivia Murder Party, the say-anything sequel Quiplash 2, the surprising survey game Guesspionage, the t-shirt slugfest Tee K.O., and the sneaky trickster game Fakin’ It."

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

The set took place...in my apartment. Experienced players might find this set to be on the smaller side but all the props were authentic and it truly felt like you were in someone's living room. The environment was quite immersive and the sound of honking cars and screaming people on the streets was perfectly executed. You might even think you were in San Francisco or some other downtown metropolitan area. Some of the furniture had wear and tear but you could tell the decorators really tried to make the space as cosy as possible on a limited budget.

The experience in setting up the actual Jackbox game was interesting. The owner of the game opens the software and selects one of the party games to play. The game generates a code to be used by all participants in a web browser on their own mobile devices. The mobile devices become the "controller" to the game but each player must still be able to see the main game screen for instructions and questions.

If everyone was in the same room, they would all be looking at the same screen but when playing with remote players, you need to somehow share your game screen and see their faces (the latter for the fun aspect). Zoom video has this feature if you pay for it. Some friends only had a mobile device and that made it really difficult for them to play the game properly. My advice: play on two devices (i.e. a laptop to stream the main game, mobile device to the answer inputs to the game) or get a paid version of Zoom for $14.99/month until this quarantine is over.

As with most party games, the "puzzles" were more like random questions or coming up with witty phrases. We played three games:
  • Trivia Murder Party: A "Saw"-themed (the horror film), comedic trivia game with some funny one-liners and random questions. Almost everybody "dies" in this game and it was definitely the one game that could be dominated by trivia experts. I'm looking at your Rich Bragg :)
  • Quiplash 2: Involves coming up with funny "fill-in-the-blank" words or making up the meaning of acronyms that make for some good laughs if you are with creative people. It also seems to be more funny if you play with friends who can throw in some inside jokes.

  • Tee K.O.: Everyone draws funny images, then everyone comes up with funny tag-lines and the the two are combined to make funny t-shirts. The person with the most votes wins and you can apparently even get these t-shirt printed! Tougher for the less imaginative. 

Sarah takes the lead!

Memorable Moments 

There were numerous outbursts of laughter. I think Quiplash was probably the most enjoyable of the three games.

What's also a standout is the game design and overall polish. Everything flowed smoothly with great humor and fantastic aesthetics. This game was great online and it would be even better with everyone in the same room.

Room For Improvement

We only played the three games in two sessions (four hours in total) and there were already a handful of questions/phrases that were repeated. When I think of trivia type games, I would hope that there would be hundreds or even thousands of questions that help with replay-ability.

Overall Thoughts

Jackbox Party Pack 3 was loads of fun. We heard Party Pack 5 was the next best expansion and are looking forward to playing that as well!




  • Set design: Cute apartment, could use some soundproofing from street noise
  • Difficulty: Everybody's a winner!
  • Price: $24.99 (cheaper on sale), only one person needs to purchase the game
  • Number of players: 8 max, the more the merrier
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
See their website here: https://www.jackboxgames.com/



March 24, 2020

Escape Room LA: Atlantis (Los Angeles, CA)


Escape Room LA is known for having some pretty great puzzle content in a really beautiful space. The first game that we played there a few years back was "The Alchemist" and the parallel puzzle tracks kept the four of us busy until the end. Last year we played "The Pyramid", which had a much more elaborate environment and once again we were busy puzzling right up until the end. I'm glad to say that the progression from their oldest to their newest room has continued to improve as both the immersion and puzzles were fantastic for Atlantis. The one thing that could vary your experience is the fact that these are public rooms. From their website:

"An invitation from an eccentric professor leads you through a secret portal into the fabled lost city of Atlantis. As you search among the ruins, you’ll solve mysterious clues and puzzles, while discovering the long-lost pieces of Poseidon’s fabled trident. Find all of the pieces and escape before your air supply runs out! Set out on the adventure of a lifetime as you explore the spectacular underwater world of Atlantis!"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

The game started off in an ordinary study but the escape room is called Atlantis so it's not really a spoiler to say that your journey will become much more exciting. As we delved into Atlantis, it was apparent that the creators had some great ideas on how to create a convincing "underwater" environment in a rather large footprint. Like other Escape Room LA games, there were parallel puzzle tracks so if you play with strangers (we were lucky no one else booked) you might not know what went on for a good chunk of the game. The puzzles consisted of a lot of symbol matching and were thematic with the storyline.

Memorable Moments 

Walking into Atlantis was such a joy!

Room For Improvement

The first act of the room is extremely ordinary. While this can make the latter part of the game much more exiting, it would be nice to have the start of the game to be as impressive as the rest of the game.

Overall Thoughts

Once again Escape Room LA has created a really fun experience with some solid puzzling in a great environment. If you can book an early slot with your own group, you will have a great time with the variety of puzzles and the cool theme.




  • Set design: The second half stands out a lot
  • Difficulty: Above average
  • Price: $29-$39/person, public
  • Number of players: 4-8 (recommend 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
See their website here: https://www.escaperoomla.com/atlantis

Disclosure: Escape Room LA graciously provided complimentary tickets

February 8, 2020

Breaking Point Escape Games: Whitmore Estate and Patient 17 (Rancho Cucamongo, CA)


Breaking Point Escape Rooms was the new guy in town when we played their adventures. Not many enthusiasts had played any of their rooms and we decided to try them out despite being quite out of the way in Rancho Cucamonga (+40 miles from LA). The focus of this review will be on "The Secret At Whitmore Escape" and some comments on "Patient 17". From their website:

"The Secret At Whitmore Escape
An award winning crime novelist inherits his family's mansion after their untimely demise. Soon after, he is reported missing. Residents throughout the local community are on edge as they witness strange events on the property. Can you uncover the secret at Whitmore Estate?

Patient 17
An undercover agent is working for a doctor who has ties to missing women. A disturbing series of video updates reveals that her cover may have been blown. Do you have what it takes to save her? Or will you become the doctor's next patient?"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

The Secret At Whitmore Escape
The set takes place in house which was a really common theme and something we have seen many times before. While an appealing environment is key to having a great room, what sets this game apart from the others was the impeccable execution. The game flow was smooth and everything was polished to the point where you can't help but appreciate the effort that went into the entire game. I dare to say that the level of polish rivaled some Disney sets but homemade by only two talented individuals. There were no red herrings, no heavy searching and a good variety of puzzles. The rooms were bright and clean which often isn't the case for games that take place in an old mansion. There were also large physical contraptions that made inputting numbers fun!



Patient 17
The clean style game play was also evident in the first room that Breaking Point released. While not as intricate as Whitmore, this game still provided some great puzzles and clever use of spaces.


Memorable Moments 

The Secret At Whitmore Escape 
There was one moment that made some of us jump...just a little bit :)

Patient 17
Some great "aha" moments make this room really fun!

Room For Improvement

I'll be nit-picky and say that I wish the themes were more unique.

Overall Thoughts

The Secret At Whitmore Escape was an exemplary room in that it had a great aesthetics that were matched by some clean game flow and some clever puzzles. It's quite rare to see all these aspects come together, especially for newcomers in the space and we highly recommend this room for all levels of players!




  • Set design: Spot on
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Price: $35/person for public, more for private
  • Number of players: 2-10 (recommend 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: The Secret At Whitmore Estate: ★★★★½, Patient 17 ★★★★
See their website here: https://breakingpointescaperooms.com/

Disclosure: Breaking Point graciously provided complimentary games

January 12, 2020

2019 Achievement unlocked Medalists


We are proud to announce the Escape Rumors Achievement unlocked Medalists for 2019! In 2019, we played rooms in the US, Canada, England, Scotland, Italy, Spain and Germany and have played over 300 games over the years (almost 100 in 2019).

Achievement unlocked medals are awarded every year to the top escape rooms played by Escape Rumors. On top of being solid escape rooms, these rooms also distinguished themselves in the categories below. There is no limit in terms of rooms awarded and they are sorted alphabetically.

The escape rooms with direct links have in-depth reviews. Feel free to contact us at info@escaperumors.com for any inquiries.

Best Immersion

Atrincherados (Trenches) (Connecta Escape, Cerdanyola Del Valles, ESP)
No other game throws you into war like this one.

Enterprises (Abduction, Barcelona, ESP)
Batman and all the greatness that comes along with him.

El viaje continua (Life Continues) (Chronologic, Barcelona, ESP)
A fantastic sci-fi journey with an inspiring cinematic feel to it.

Grand Immersia Hotel (Immersia, Montreal, QC)
You've played hotel games before but you haven't had the fun actor interaction of this game.


Best Storytelling

SWAT (Open Mind, Cornellà de Llobregat, ESP)
Another great Barcelona game, this one thrusts you into the world of a SWAT team.

Whitmore Estate (Breaking Point, Rancho Cucomongo, CA) - Review Coming Soon
One of the best flowing games with a cohesive story.

Wizard Four Rise of Lord Thulsa (Escaparium, Montreal, QC)
A nice reveal and some great Harry Potter like interactions.

Wrath of Poseidon (Sauve Qui Peut, Montreal, QC)
An escape room with a strong message for the world today.


Best Puzzles

The Lab: Lockdown (RevoEscape, Scarborough, ON)
Everything is based on what you would find in real life (so no riddles to open locks).

Project Delta (AI Escape, London, ENG)
The puzzles will stump all enthusiasts, even those with +1,000 games under their belt.

Reflection of Madness (Codex, Laval, QC)
The best, by far, of many "Stranger Things" inspired rooms that we have played with a lot to do.


Best Set Design

Dodge City (Tulleys Escape, London (Crawley), ENG)
An incredibly expansive set that continuously opens up new spaces to discover.

The Grand Parlor (13th Hour, Wharton, NY/NJ)
A beautiful multi-floor game that will likely never be repeated.

Neptune's Curse (Hidden In Hamburg, Hamburg, GER)
Based on an actual boat where you realistically descend into the lower decks in search of the trident.

Ghost Hunter Ernie Hudson and the Wailing Woman (Skurrilum, Hamburg, GER)
Intricately detailed game with some astonishing reveals.


Most Creative


Atlantis (Escape Room LA, Los Angeles, CA) - Review Coming Soon
A solid game that has a great atmosphere and feel to it.

Mad Rapper (Scenario Escape, Brea, CA)
This music themed game is so unique and different from everything else.

Narcos (Unreal Room Escape, L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, ESP)
A sprawling house with some great elements that will get your adrenaline pumping.

OriGENES (ClueQuest, London, ENG)
Finally, a "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids" room with a cartoony twist.

Special Ops: Mysterious Market (The Escape Game, Minneapolis, MN)
One of the best spy themed games we have played with a memorable finale.


Congratulations to all the winners and we look forward to a great 2020!

December 10, 2019

Escape Room Enthusiast Survey Visualization

What a fun community!

The 2019 Escape Room Enthusiast Survey Visualization was created in an entirely different style when compared to last year's version. Last year's visualization presented Errol and Lee-Fay's results in a single interactive page. This year I tried to bring some excitement by focusing on the community aspect of the survey, rather than just the data. It was quite an effort to reach out to people via Facebook, Slack and other channels and I hope the escape room community enjoys the results! Note that it's best viewed on a large screen.

Remember the visualization is interactive, so you have to click on filters and charts to get the most out of it.

Select each question to unlock Easter eggs

For example, the filters will dynamically change the page content (results and images) when you choose a different survey question. You can even filter to see how the responses were like in your own country.

Not only will Survey results update, so will the image to the right

The page below allows you to see "who we are" with some demographic and geographic data about survey respondents.


I'm always trying to learn and improve so please let me know what you think of the visualization that you can find by clicking here.

Randy

November 20, 2019

The Perfect Escape: Mr. Wong's Chinese Restaurant & O'Bannion's Safe (Arlington, TX)


On a recent trip to Dallas, I only had time to play at one location and landed on "The Perfect Escape" based on some enthusiast recommendations. I played two rooms with a few new faces who were also first timers and they turned out to be cool teammates! Mr. Wong's Chinese Restaurant was The Perfect Escape's top room and O'Bannion's Safe was their first endeavor. From their website:

"Mr. Wong's Chinese Restaurant
The kitchen is buzzing! Celebrity chef Mitchell Nom is coming tonight to film and episode of his famous Food Escapes TV show and review Mr. Wong’s famous dumplings on camera. But Mr. Wong had a family emergency and had to quickly fly back to China.

After years of learning under Mr. Wong, it’s now up to you and your co-workers to make the perfect dumplings and save Mr. Wong’s chances of winning the coveted Mitchell N Star!

O'Bannion's Safe
We’ve lost contact with several agents trying to put away known local thug Franky “Sawed-Off” O’Bannion. Our informant has tipped us off that a large amount of evidence that could put O’Bannion behind bars for good is being held in a safe nearby. The issue? The safe is located in one of O’Bannion’s illegal storefronts that is participating in money laundering. Travel back to the 1920’s in this escape room experience! Find the clues to crack the code, open the safe, and put O’Bannion away before his goons come snooping."


Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

Mr. Wong's Chinese Restaurant
At first I thought the set design was rather basic, but then I thought "this is exactly what a Mom and Pop Chinese restaurant looks like!". It looked like the real deal because of one good reason: The creator's parents actually owned a restaurant and the equipment was repurposed for this escape room. The dining area and the kitchen felt genuine and it was quite an impressive feat for a couple of people to build out on their own. There is always a hint of charm when you enter a room that has been crafted by someone with passion and in this case, their actual childhood surroundings.

The puzzles were varied and were for the most part thematic throughout the experience. The game served up a menu of puzzles that often had some funny nods to Chinese restaurants. The fun heated up as we entered the kitchen with quite a few challenging puzzles. There were some elements that could be tricky to solve if a team doesn't stumble upon some hints that were cleverly hidden.

O'Bannion's Safe
This game starts off in a barber's shop with some standard fare puzzling. Similarly to Wong's Chinese Restaurant, the second part of the game built up to a more unique scenery. The physical footprint of both games were large and unexpected which is always a pleasure. There are some cool elements that were mixed into the finale that made for a good time!

Memorable Moments 

Walking into a Chinese Restaurant and seeing the...oops no spoilers. :) O'Bannion's Safe had a great transition between acts.


Room For Improvement

For Mr. Wong's, there were a few puzzles that seemed to rely on unguided searching, which is always tricky because you don't know if you are missing something or if you already have everything you need. O'Bannion's had a lot of padlocks but it was understandable for a older room.

Overall Thoughts

If you are in the Dallas area, the Perfect Escape will definitely keep you entertained and wanting to come back for more. If you have time for only one location, you should try out Mr. Wong's Chinese Restaurant and O'Bannions Safe!




  • Set design: Good
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30/person, public
  • Number of players: up to 8-10 (recommend 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
See their website here: https://perfectescaperoom.com/

Disclosure: The Perfect Escape graciously comped these games

October 26, 2019

Sauve Qui Peut: Wrath Of Poseidon (Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Canada)

"Reussite = Success!"
Located about 40km (25 miles) from downtown Montreal, Sauve Qui Peut was a hidden gem in an otherwise remote and small town. There were quite a lot of games to choose from (nine) and we played "Underground Bar" (18+ theme with a lot of laughs) and, what many say was their best game, "Wrath of Poseidon". The review will focus on latter. From their website:

"The God Poseidon, powerful and undisputable king of the seas and oceans, deplores that for several decades now, humans have been heading towards disaster. They are all the same, unable to take care of the planet, they plunder forests, depopulate and pollute the seas. They jeopardize the survival of all species.

Poseidon is angry and now wants his revenge on humans who have betrayed future generations. He threatens to flood all lands to end the painful weakening of the planet. Your mission steal? Collect Poseidon’s trident before it’s too late…"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

The set design was good with a lot of attention to detail. The start of the game took place in a submarine and was pretty standard as it involved opening quite a few padlocks. The later parts of the escape room integrated more unique puzzles with really clean game flow. There was a fun change of scenery towards the end that we appreciated and it connected well with the overall theme.

There were some sections in the submarine that seemed like a massive red herring but thankfully we were told from the start that they were purely for decor. One thing to note was that the physical space was tight so less players would be the ideal number, otherwise there would be a lot of running into people when navigating the room.

The overall quality of this game was far superior compared to many other small towns that we have played in.

Memorable Moments 

The final stage of the game tied extremely well with the overall theme. It was unique and something we have never seen before. We actually struggled a lot at this point when a child would have probably solved it rather quickly.

Room For Improvement

The start of the game was slow and ordinary. One of two padlocks are usually ok but when you have double or triple that amount in one room, it ends up being a lot. Also, the puzzles felt a bit forced, unlike the last stage where the puzzles felt more thematic.

Overall Thoughts

We had a fun time playing Wrath of Poseidon and highly recommend it if you are in the area. Work through the first part knowing that there is more to come and keep you numbers low in order to have the best experience.




  • Set design: Good
  • Difficulty: Medium-Difficult
  • Price: $30 CAD/person, private
  • Number of players: up to 3-8 (recommend 3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
See their website here: https://www.sauvequipeut.ca/

September 29, 2019

13th Hour: Dungeon, Great Room, Grand Parlor (Wharton, NJ)


Guest post by Matt Kimmel:

13th Hour Escape Rooms (formerly The Haunted Scarehouse) began as a haunted house, but as escape rooms became popular, expanded and built five escape rooms, with a sixth opening soon. We were able to play three. The company has a unifying horror theme, weaving a story about the notorious killer, John Hayden, and his family through each of their rooms. From their website:

"The Dungeon
Our newest room, the Dungeon offers a unique challenge that is only for the tough. Faint of heart beware. You start your game blindfolded and led to your cells. You get chained and locked into your cells unaware of your surroundings. Do you have what it takes to escape?

The Great Room
This is the Hayden families room of murders. This section of the farmhouse is known as the Great Room. This massive section of the farmhouse will challenge your witts in all fashions. Multiple sections, secret passage ways and puzzles you never experienced before will have your team running mad. What terrible secrets lies within the Great Room. Just what were the Hayden family members up too. 

The Grand Parlor
You all have been chosen, chosen for a simple task of wit and courage. It seems someone has misplaced Bishop Hayden’s ashes. As uncaring as this may seem, it’s actually very important. Bishop and Edna Hayden were a killing team back in their time and they must be reunited in the afterlife. If you find Bishop’s urn and they are reunited, we will let you leave without harm. If not, you will all become part of the Hayden farmhouse forever!"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

The Dungeon
This one starts with a split-team experience, where each group member is placed in their own cell after being captured by John Hayden and must escape. The dimly lit, derelict basement isn't visually stunning, but it does a very good job at looking like a dingy murder basement. The puzzles were straightforward, and often amounted to using information found across the room to translate a list into a 4 or 8 digit code. The set design included multiple levels and secret doors, with at least one puzzle taking advantage of the multilevel set. There are stairs, so if anyone in your group has mobility concerns, make sure to check with them.

The Great Room
The Great Room is a more ornate room which continues to take advantage of multilevel set design. The technology here is more impressive; the venue's roots as a haunted house are on full display, and they're not afraid to use moving elements beyond simple opening boxes and doors.

The Grand Parlor
This room is the venue's newest room, and it shows in the variety of technology and big set pieces used. It's another multilevel room which uses its space fantastically, letting players use certain areas by seeing them prior to the players gaining physical access to them. The layout is impressive and the games opens up wonderfully. There are a lot of puzzles to manage and our team of four had more than our hands full with this one.

Memorable Moments 

The Dungeon 
The item discovered upon winning is a great use of the initial room setup. You'll know it when you see it.

The Great Room
Discovering a puzzle that is mostly inside a secret passage.

The Grand Parlor
First accessing the parlor room. What a great set piece!

Room For Improvement

The rooms were overall very good, but The Dungeon repeated very similar puzzles several times. The Dungeon and the Great Room lack ceilings (if you look up, you'll see straight up to the roof), and as a result, you can hear groups in other rooms yelling back and forth to each other. At times, the rooms also felt a little heavy on padlocks.

Overall Thoughts

The Grand Parlor Room was a masterpiece, including a variety of puzzles, setpiece elements, and technologies. The Great Room was a close second, and in almost any other location would've been a strong standout. The Dungeon was the oldest and simplest of the three, but it still had a couple unexpected tricks and turns and was quite enjoyable.




  • Set design: Great! Less good if you don't enjoy a haunted house aesthetic, since all the rooms share a horror theme
  • Difficulty: Ranges from easy to medium, nothing that is unusually punishing
  • Price: $29/person +$/person to make the room private
  • Number of players: up to 6-10 (recommend 3-6) depending on room. Some puzzles benefit from multiple players.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: The Dungeon: ★★★★, The Great Room: ★★★★½, The Grand Parlor ★★★★★
See their website here: https://13thhourescape.com/

Disclosure: 13th Hour graciously provided discounted tickets

September 3, 2019

Action 500: Kidnapping (Montreal, QC)


This post was written by Melanie and Jason, the latest contributors to EscapeRumors.com! This duo will rock your world with their reviews and help you find which rooms suit you best!

Melanie is an architect and became an escape room enthusiast this year! Having an eye for creativity,  details, and construction, she offers a very interesting perspective on the quality that each room offers.

Jason is a chartered accountant and his skills with numbers and puzzles allows him to explore and analyze rooms with a different point of view.

It is important to mention that all the escape rooms in the Action 500 Montréal location are constructed from storage containers. The games are either half the size of a container or the full size. Either way, the physical space of the rooms are SMALL. They also have air conditioning units hooked up in the rooms because it can get pretty hot inside!

When we played the games, there were no camera in the rooms so hints were given by the GM who basically popped in to see how we were doing every 15 minutes. It was not thaaaat bad, but it took a bit away from the immersive quality of the experience - just imagine a guy with their Action 500 uniform popping in every few minutes asking if you need hints.

Kidnapping was one of the newer themes (horror) that opened in the Montréal location. Here is a description and video from their website:

"It’s 1989 and finally time for your big camping party with your friends to a cabin in the woods. As soon as you arrive, you find out a legendary mass murderer has  escaped from prison and turned your vacation spot into his forest of death.

With a killer outside your cabin and stranded without cellphone service, you and your friends must solve clues and riddles and get outsmart a serial killer.

Can you survive the night and reach the police before the killer reaches you?"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

The decoration in the room related well to the theme, and we definitely got a creepy vibe. The puzzles were actually pretty good and flowed well. I would say it was a low to medium difficulty and people with less experience will probably be able to get through it. It was mostly lock-based, but there were some other simple mechanisms as well. The big issue was that when we finished the game, the thing that was supposed to appear didn't, so we were not 100% sure if we actually escaped! We later found out that there was an electrical issue that they have to fix. A little bit disappointing and hopefully it will be fixed soon!

Memorable Moments 

There was a scare component in the room that was incredibly memorable!

Room For Improvement

The ending of the game would have been more obvious if there was no electrical issue. We all wait for that big climax and unfortunately we didn't get it this time around because the video screen was not fully functional.

Overall Thoughts

The room was pretty good, we liked it. Story was creepy and puzzles were decent. We played the game with 6 people, which was way too many. For the physical size of the room and the puzzles involved, 2-4 people is better. I would say that it is a very good room for beginners, but still a fun flowing game for mid-level experienced players.




  • Set design: Fine, but small
  • Difficulty:  Easy-Medium, good for beginners
  • Price: $24 CAD
  • Number of players: 6 max, (recommend 2-4), public
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★½
See their website here: https://www.x-cape.ca/en/ (renamed to Action 500)

August 26, 2019

California State Escape: Wizard's Redemption & Trespassed

(Right to left) The Red Wizard, The Purple Sorceress, Cory in blue bathrobe
It had been a few years since we played any rooms in Sacramento and it was due for us to revisit the area. One of the locations that we visited was California State Escape which had quite a few games to play. We played Space Sector the last time around and this time we played Wizard's Redemption and Trespassed. From their site:

"Wizard's Redemption
Welcome future apprentices to the Thaumaturgy Preparatory School of Magic! Upon entering for your tour of the grounds, the institution falls under attack by evil sorcerers, determined to breach the walls and break the protective enchants. It is now your job, along with your fellow apprentices, to make a passage through the halls, communicate with the outside world to get more aid, and find your way to safety!

You will have many tasks that challenge every aspect of what is to come of your time at the school. From geography, potions, and alchemy to history and much more. This will be your greatest test as magicians and it’s only the beginning!

Trespassed
You haven’t participated in Devil’s night since you were a kid, but your roommates haven’t stopped with the rumours of this old mansion on the outskirts of the city that they found geocaching – let’s do it! Laughing and steering per the GPS along the side roads, you look to find the vague break in the bushes, and a sign catches your eye, “Pembroke Dr.” This house, it has to be the Fitzgerald’s. Your nerves begin, it was only a myth. After all, nothing was ever found."

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

Wizard's Redemption
People who like Harry Potter would definitely appreciate this 90 minute game. The set was a well done Wizard's study and definitely a step up from the set of Trespassed . In terms of footprint, this game (and Trespassed) was above average in size. It was also a linear room so small groups would be best and three players felt like the perfect size.

Puzzles revolved around finding and associating elements. There was a lot of reading and puzzles more than often unlocked laminated hints. Out of all the rooms we played, this was one of the games where we had to do the most reading.

Trespassed
This game was billed as a horror experience but there were no jump scares at all.  There were creepy props and blood on the wall but nothing scary at all. This escape room was not for kids but one of our players who jumps in Disney movies didn't flinch at all. The set design was fine for a creepy home.

The puzzles were search heavy and involved unlocking padlocks. Standard first generation escape room puzzles were executed appropriately and good for entry level players. Seasoned enthusiasts will likely play through this room quickly.

Memorable Moments 

Wizard's Redemption was more memorable and there were some nifty  effects that made the setting magical.

Also, the celebration that this location gave after completing any of the rooms was probably one of the most exciting post game experiences we have lived! We didn't see it the first time we played a few years ago so it might have been a recent addition.

Room For Improvement

Both rooms relied on laminated paper with a lot of text and there were some parts where no one on the team wanted to read or review them.

Less reliance on padlocks, especially for Trespassed, would have been more interesting. In Wizard's Redemption, black light was extensively used and it would have been more convenient if everyone had their own light.

Overall Thoughts

Both the games we played were great for beginners as the set designs were high quality and the puzzles had single level complexity. There were a few things that stumped us in the Wizard but asking for hints at the right time should be enough for most people to make it through.




  • Set design: Good
  • Difficulty: Wizard's Redemption: Above Average, Trespassed: Easy 
  • Price: $35-$40/person
  • Number of players: Wizard's Redemption: 3-6 (we recommend 3-4), Trespassed: 4-10 (we recommend 3-4), private
  • Duration: Wizard's Redemption: 90 minutes, Trespassed: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Wizard's Redemption: ★★★★, Trespassed: ★★★
See their website here: https://www.californiastateescape.com/

Disclosure: California State Escape graciously comped these games

August 1, 2019

Best Escape Rooms In Barcelona: A Traveller's Guide

Sagrada Familia view from the Ayre Hotel Rooftop
This summer, we were lucky enough to make it to Barcelona to play 10 outstanding games. Combined with the two escape rooms that we played earlier in the year made for a dozen in this beautiful city. Each of the games we played could have been a stand out in many other cities and we can confidently say that Barcelona is our favorite escape room city so far.

Our Spanish skills are: nada for myself and basic for Sarah. We worked tirelessly to coordinate games with owners to see who could provide translations and scoured a ton of Spanish-only blogs to source the best rooms (Google usually translates the page). When companies were not able to translate their game, we brought along some locals to help us out. We were lucky to hit all the escape rooms that we wanted and we noted the quality of translations further down in this post.  We hope that enthusiasts who don't speak Spanish (and speak some English) can benefit from our research to be able to enjoy these world class games.

Note that all the games we played had amazing set designs so we'll refrain from commenting on that aspect.

Special thanks to the Barcelona bloggers Victor and Maria from El Quinto Elemento and Eulalia from Die Helden for recommendations and translations. Also, local enthusiasts Francesc, Eugenia, Carles, Jonatan for playing with us. You saved us so many times!

Impressions & Observations During Our Barcelona Escape Room Trip


The Start Of The Game
For many of the games we played, you can not enter the building until your start time. More often than not, there was no lobby to wait in and no one will take you in early which almost never happens in the US. At your start time, you ring the doorbell, enter the building and boom... the game begins! This method was much more immersive than sitting in a lobby but also makes logistics tougher on the escape room company given they need single game locations. Also, this probably wouldn't work for corporate crowds so this might not be as practical to implement in America.

Getting Around
The metro system is excellent. It was very quick, clean and we didn't have to wait more than 5 minutes for a train to arrive. However, there are a lot of games that are within 20 miles (30km) of Barcelona that are outside of the metro system but worth doing. For those, you could rent a car or use taxis (what we did). Uber no longer exists as we know it in Barcelona but there are a ton of taxis in the city and you could also try the Free Now app (formerly the myTaxi app) . We did have an issue returning from Badalona which was 8 miles (13km) away where Free Now had no drivers. It was 12pm on a Friday and we waited 30 minutes to get a taxi back to the city.

English Translations
All but one location had Game Masters who spoke pretty good English. Even the place where the game was not translated, the GM spoke English so we were lucky. Puzzles were generally decently translated, most videos had English subtitles and a only one video and audio track was in Spanish only. While our guide should be accurate for when we played the games, you should confirm with the escape room about the current state of translations.

Cash Is King
We also experienced this in Italy but most places accepted a deposit online (20%) and then would ask for the rest of the balance in cash after the game was over. If you want to play a ton of games, make sure you have enough cash for your entire group. We tried to take money out at an ATM but our US-debit and credit card was not accepted so we were lucky to have a local friend with us to help out.

More Action, Less Puzzling
If you want to feel like you're in a movie and appreciate the sense of discovering new spaces, book your flight to BCN right now. Actor interaction was great and often times the climax at the end did not disappoint. However, if you are more puzzle-centric (i.e. you do puzzles outside of escape rooms for fun and prefer mental challenges), don't like actors or crawling, then you might not be so gung ho about all these games.

Physical Nature of The Game
While I am not expert in European Law, I am pretty confident that there are less litigation risks in Barcelona than anywhere in the US. This may be the reason why there were quite a few more physical tasks like climbing, crawling and using heavy tools which are not dangerous at all, but perhaps avoided in the US.

Private Bookings
Like most of Europe (outside of the UK), all the games we played had private bookings. You could probably get away with two players but for economic reasons they require you to book for three or four.

Horror Themed Games
In our research and from talking with local enthusiasts, it seemed that there were a lot of top games in the horror genre. We did not try any of these because it's not our cup of tea, but if you enjoy a good scare you can make an entire trip with just horror themed rooms. You can even get kidnapped from a parking lot and hurled into the back of a van, getting tased in the process. Or have to drive out for an hour in the middle of the night to an abandoned shack in the forest (without knowing beforehand).

Do Other Things 
If you are visiting Barcelona for the first time, please try not to stuff only escape rooms in your schedule. I started off doing this and eventually kept half my days free to see the city. Some ideas:
  • Sandeman's 2.5 hour Free Walking Tour: I've done this in many European cities and they are normally great. Get to see the city and learn some cool things about the Catalan people.
  • Sagrada Familia: Large unfinished Gaudi church and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction began and 1882 (!) and anticipated to be completed in 2026. Buy your tickets ahead of time and maybe go to the rooftop of the Ayre Hotel for the best view (a local secret I'm told). It's worth the 15 euro drink.
  • Food: Of course you will eat amazing local food such as jamon serrano and paella, but like any metropolitan area, there is great food from all over the world so don't try to only eat local food 3x a day.


Barcelona Escape Room Recap

We gave five rooms the highest possible rating of 5 gold stars. This is the most we have given for any area in the world that we have played (which is skewed towards North America but includes some major cities like London, Rome and Hamburg).

Unreal Room Escape: La Mina
First, prepare to get dirty. Second, there are a LOT of things to do with some nice surprises. The excitement of doing a million things was extremely fulfilling and oh so much fun. The set was on the larger side and they really, really maximize the space that they have to an impressive level. Show up only at your timeslot.

See the full review here
  • Translation: The intro video and a few clues were not translated but we were told they rectified this after our feedback
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Price: 16€-33€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-7, private (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Escape Barcelona: Alien Origen
You wanted a movie-like experience? You got a movie-like experience! The fantastic start and strong finish will forever be in our memories. The tasks were more video game-like which may not be favored by puzzle-centric players. Still, it was a blast to play if you want to run around a spaceship.

See the full review here
  • Translation: Perfect 
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 17€-25€ ($20-$29)/person 
  • # of Players: 4-10 (we recommend exactly 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Abduction 4: Enterprises
Holy Batman! Yes finally a Batman room! The atmosphere was great and there were some moments that Batman fans will love. This was also one of the most physical games we have played and wished that more places incorporated this style. We cheered each other along the way and the ending was frantic and so fulfilling. You could get away with two players if you are fit but it would be tough for one challenge.
  • Translation: Not offered in English (we got by with locals but the GM spoke perfect English so ask before booking)
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 23€-32€ 
  • Number of players: 3-8 (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 70 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Open Mind: SWAT
SWAT thrusts you into the action the moment you begin and you get to do things that you don't normally do in American escape rooms. This is a great game for two players that starts off with a lot of physical tasks and transitions to more cerebral puzzles. Show up only at your timeslot.
  • Translation: Great (intro video had subtitles)
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Price: 17€-33€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-7 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Chronologic 2: El viaje continua ("Life Continues")
Time travel theme with some very fun moments. There were a lot of sci-fi Easter eggs throughout the game and the ending was spot on. Communicating with the computer and reading some articles required Spanish while everything else was language agnostic. They owners did such an amazing job building and decorating the place to make it immersive that you forget you are in a normal building.
  • Translation: Not offered in English (we brought a translator)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Price: 18€-30€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-5, private (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 75 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Unreal Room Escape: Narcos
Thrown right into the game from the start, the actor got real chummy chummy with me. Perhaps I instigated with some ribbing so he made me uneasy which was on point with the theme. There were some nice props and role playing in this game that we hadn't seen before. Fun start and ending and like La Mina, a great sense of opening new areas to discover. Show up only at your timeslot.
  • Translation: Perfect 
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 16€-33€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-7, private (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Abduction 3: The Exam
Everyone says, the less you know the better. Also much more physical than most rooms. You should make sure you get to play this when you visit the city because it was real fun and different.
  • Translation: Fine
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 17€-42.50€/person 
  • Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★
Connecta Escape: Atrincherados ("The Trenches")
One of the most immersive war games with a clever use of space. You will get dirty and you will have to crawl more than you would like. The actor was screaming at us a lot, which i guess simulates what it would be like in a war. Located 10 minutes south of Sabadell in Cerdanyola Del Valles and also the same company as Escapem.
  • Translation: Average, 90% of the game is translated
  • Difficulty: Medium/High
  • Price: 20€-40€/person 
  • Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★★★

Chronologic 1: La creación ("The Creation")
The first room created by the company and, although older, it had some nice moments. I struggled with this one since there was a lot of Spanish reading required but could appreciate the puzzles after they were explained to me.
  • Translation: Not offered in English (we brought a translator)
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Price: 16€-30€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-5 (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Escapem: Bajo Zero ("Below Zero")
You start off in a helicopter and transition to a snowy setting which was a first for us. They even had the AC blasting to make the temperature drop. Some fun concepts and the spacing was a bit tight so two player groups are best. Located in Sabadell.
  • Translation: Good except one hint seemed to be wonky
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 16€-30€ ($18-$38)/person 
  • Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 2)
  • Duration: 70 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½

Golden Pop: Catacombas
The lobby looked exactly like the cinema area with popcorn for you to eat but strangely enough we could only enter when it was our time. The intro video of Spanish Indiana Jones was well done with English subtitles (although they blasted the volume so loud it hurt our ears) and the huge cavern had some nice reveals. The game has apparently gone through major changes since the ownership change so the version we played might not be the same that you will play. I was also a little lost due to all the audio being in Spanish and I followed the lead of my teammates.

You can enter only during your time slot
  • Translation: Not great (intro video had subtitles) and audio was Spanish only
  • Difficulty: ???
  • Price: 22€-25€/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
Thanks Eulalia (local blogger from "Die Helden Room Escapers") for translating!

Cinemaescape: Barum Dum
This Lord Of The Rings inspired room was fun but we expected more action and suspense. There were no words in the game so it is fine for English speakers - the intro was only in Spanish but consisted of mostly trailers for other escape rooms. We almost didn't get to play due to a tech issue but after about a 45 minute wait the issue was fixed!
  • Translation: No Spanish needed except for intro
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 13€-31€/person 
  • Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 4)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
Carles and Eugenia, some local enthusiasts and me doing a grumpy Gimli pose

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

Some other rooms that we heard great things about during our research and talks with local but did not play were:

In Barcelona:
  • Horror Box: Catelepsia, a 2-player game in coffins
  • Maximum Escape: Refuge 27 and Spaceship Ulysses, Russian games similar to 60out in the US
  • Fear: Zombie Outbreak

In Mataro (20 miles east of Barcelona)
  • Cubick: The Interview and The Exam, TERPECA winning games
  • Mystery Box: Ghostbusters
  • Roomanji, Jumanji-like game

In Pineda de Mar (34 mile east of Barcelona)
  • Futura, Bioshock like world

We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Barcelona to play world class escape rooms!

July 30, 2019

USA Today: 10Best Escape Rooms 2019


Escape Rumors is honored to be part of the nomination panel for the top escape room in the US for the second consecutive year. We played at 13 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
Maze Rooms, Los Angeles, California
Quicksand Escape Games, San Diego, California
Hatch Escapes, Los Angeles, California
Boxaroo, Boston, Massachusetts
Enchambered, Sacramento, California

We are joined by fellow bloggers from EscapeRoomTipsRoomEscapeArtist and others below:
Vote for your favorite escape room on the 10best site here!


July 28, 2019

Locked In Edinburgh: The Cutting Room (Edinburgh, Scotland)


After attending our first cèilidh (KAY-lee, traditional Scottish line dancing), we of course decided to play a few escape rooms. One of the most recommended rooms for the area was "Locked In Edinburgh" which we didn't know much about but were happy to check out their latest game, "The Cutting Room". From their site:

"In 1987 a series of bizarre murders plagued the city of Edinburgh. Over a span of a few months, 6 victims were found in various closes in the city.

The victims were all male, in good physical condition and in their twenties. When dissected it was clear they were all missing an organ but a primitive replacement was found in it’s place.

Just as swiftly as they had started the murders stopped.The police never found out who was behind it all and eventually gave up the case after years of searching.

But last night there was an unexpected development in the case, 5 new victims. we don’t know why he’s back, why he’s taking organs but let’s be clear. If we don’t find the missing organs in the next hour 5 men will die. We’re counting on you."

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

Locked In Edinburgh was located in a former university and the game we played was also a former laboratory used by the school. It was such a unique feeling to walk through the lobby, which felt just like my old university, and to walk across "campus". This all somehow made the setting feel more authentic and appropriately set up the mood. The game took place in a spacious lab with some fun elements that we haven't really seen in the past (and we have played in a lot of lab themed rooms).

Puzzles could be solved in parallel and this was perfectly suited for larger groups. There were many lab gadgets and related info in the room, which at times could be interpreted as red herrings. The game flowed nicely and the puzzles built up into unlocking the five missing organs.

All the rooms we played in Scotland seemed to be of the older generation in that padlocks were  abundant and perhaps a little over relied upon. While padlocks were also prevalent in The Cutting Room, there were some clever ways to recover some of the missing organs which we thought were pretty funny.

Memorable Moments 

The unlocking of each organ included props integrated with authentic medical school material and we had some funny moments figuring out how to use them.  The finale was great, with some heart pumping elements that left us in panic!

Room For Improvement

The hint mechanism was thematic, so we really enjoyed it but we felt that hints were far and few in between, even for our team which did not go hint heavy. Perhaps this was by design (they give you hints rather than you asking for them) and also country specific as Scottish games had much lower success rates compared to Spanish or German ones where they make sure everybody gets to the final puzzle.

Overall Thoughts

The Cutting Room was a standout for the Scottish market. The set utilized a former laboratory which made the atmosphere that much more immersive. There were plenty of puzzles to go around and be prepared to work fast!




  • Set design: Fine, setting in a former university makes it special
  • Difficulty: Difficult
  • Price: 60£ -110£/team
  • Number of players: 1-10, (we recommend 3-4), public
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
See their website here: https://www.lockedinedinburgh.com/

Disclosure: Locked In Edinburgh graciously comped this game

July 15, 2019

Room Escape Divas Podcast with Escape Rumors!


During out trip to Toronto, we met up with the Room Escape Divas (Errol, Manda, Margaux) to play Mindshaft at Escape Games Canada.

We also decided to do a podcast about nothing! Check it out here and thanks Room Escape Divas for having us!

July 5, 2019

Tulleys Escape: Dodge City, Nethercott Manor & Mutiny (Crawley, England)


Located 10 minutes from Gatwick Airport, we dragged our jetlagged brains straight off the plane to play three games at Tulleys. It was raining quite heavily when we landed so perhaps this idea ended up being a smart move rather than just a crazy enthusiast's ambitious schedule.

Tulleys Farms started off with haunted house and corn maze attractions and just like many other similar establishments, have expanded into the escape room world. Their cozy lobby with a fire place was perfect for a cold rainy day (in June might I add). From their site:

"Dodge City
Dodge City in 2127 remains a stronghold of the wild west. The constant tussle between the Sheriff and local gunslingers means there’s opportunity abound for some creative bank robbery for those with wits and courage.

As a member of the Notorious ‘Barn Door’ Gang you’ve been caught by the local sheriff breaking into the bank. Locked away with little hope, hired by an unnamed outlaw and facing the ruthless justice of the old west you’re left with only one option.

As the sun sets the race is on to break out, reclaim your supplies, pull off the bank job of the century and get out of Dodge City.

Nethercott Manor
The old manor house is entwined with local legend, the living don’t remember the Nethercott’s, the family’s hay day was long ago. Local folk talked, whispers were heard, rumours began, lights were seen within.

The Nethercott’s are long gone but something remains, an essence, a smell, a feeling, it’s in the fabric, in the walls, under the floor boards … it ticks, it creeks … take a trip into the past, uncover the family’s many secrets and glimpse their fleeting souls?

Mutiny
It's the year of our Lord 1672, and you be right in the height o' the golden age o' piracy…After years of sailin' the high seas, you and your crew have succeeded in your fair share of ambushes, and as a result – your ship is teamin' with bounty.

Yet you're still suffering beneath the cruel wrath o' Captain Starling - a notoriously bloodthirsty buccaneer, and your shipmates have decided you all shall take matters into your own hands. After all… you fought for the gold, so the gold is yours for the taking, aye?

Once the old seadog has retreated to his berth for the night, you make your move. Get in, get the treasure and get out. You won't have long before he starts to stir – and Starling shows no mercy to ANY soul…

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

Dodge City
One thing you'll notice is that all Tulleys escape rooms have huge and sprawling set designs. Dodge City was their newest release that took place in a western themed world. Although the story was set in the future (year 2127), the environment was predominantly based on a western world of the past and thematically, mostly void of any futuristic elements. The game started off with split groups in a normal setting and then ramped up to a larger world where a splendid space awaited our arrival. The rush of discovering new areas did not disappoint one bit in this game. Just watch your head as you go back and forth between some areas!

As for the puzzles, there were a lot of things to do. We rarely ever recommend more than four people but extra bodies would definitely help with the amount of parallel puzzle solving needed. There was a lot of searching and careful observation required throughout the game and the more eyes, the better. One of the styles that I enjoy the most fit in perfectly with this room: a ton of "aha" puzzles that kept it a fast paced game with a lot of quick wins. The puzzles were on the easier side so the challenge was the sheer amount of things that we needed to solve.

The theme was also light hearted and the set was bright, in contrast with the darker and creepy Nethercroft Manor game.  Dodge City was Tulleys most robust escape room and you can see the the improvement over their previous efforts in both design and game flow.

Nethercott Manor
The style of this game was similar to Dodge City in that the environment took place in a very polished and large space and the game play was centered around an abundant amount of relatively quick-to-solve puzzles. Nethercott Manor seemed to have have even more things to do than Dodge City which was already an action packed game. The game has enough content for a 90 minute session so we highly recommend bringing as many people as you can to complete it within the allotted 60 minute time slot.

An additional unique aspect about this room was that when we thought we were close to the end, another secret room popped open. This constantly occurred which kept us in the dark of how much we had left to complete. We admired how the game and set unwinded as we progressed and combined with a magnificent recreation of a house made for a really fun experience. The setting was on the dim side (not too dark) and there were some jump scares but the vibe was more creepy and never scary.

Mutiny
This was one of the first rooms that Tulleys opened in 2016 and it was pretty impressive with some large physical custom contraptions. While not as grand as their newer rooms, it was definitely larger than almost anything you could find in London. There were a few cases when we weren't sure if we had solved a puzzle but overall it was an excellent entry level game. Expect to see some nice effects rarely seen in other escape rooms.

Memorable Moments 

Dodge City/Nethercott Manor
The overall experience of traversing the sets while solving so many things was incredible! It's an amazing adventure with splendid custom contraptions and a lot of fun moments.

Mutiny
The really big physical puzzles are impressive and amazing to see for the first escape room creation by Tulleys.

Room For Improvement

For all the games, there was good amount of tech but also quite a lot of padlocks/keys, which was fine given there were so many things to solve, but there's always that extra magic when a room is void of padlocks.

Overall Thoughts

Dodge City was quite the treat for us and a definite highlight in the greater London area. Nethercott Manor was a close second, perhaps due to the theme as we typically prefer light hearted games. We are happy to award Dodge City our highest rating of 5 gold stars! It's rare to see an escape room with so many things to accomplish in such an immense and wonderful environment!
  • Set design: Excellent! Expansive and polished
  • Difficulty: Easy puzzles but twice the norm for 60 minutes
  • Price:  18£ - 30£ person 
  • Number of players: 2-8, (we recommend 4-8 and frr Nethercott, as many people as possible!), private
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Dodge City ★★★★★, Nethercott Manor ★★★★★, Mutiny ★★★★
See their website here: https://www.tulleysescape.com

Disclosure: Tulleys Escape Rooms & Games comped the tickets for these games