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Best Escape Rooms In Spain: 2023 Update

I was extremely excited to play games in Spain as Barcelona was my favorite escape room city in the world. This was one of the most ambitiou...

December 5, 2020

2020 Online Escape Room Recap

One of the many fine online games played this year!

Over the course of this crazy year, we had the opportunity to play a few more online escape rooms, in addition to some great ones like "The Truth About Edith" and "The Ruins" earlier this year. Here is our recap of new games played

Play-At-Home Escape Room Recap

Lost Escape: The Steampunk Adventure (Lithuania)

This was a physical room that was available for online play via an avatar who was extremely friendly and welcoming. Prior to playing the game, we were sent an email with some images that provided a closer look at some elements in the actual room. While the gameplay was standard for a linear escape room, the contraptions and steampunk devices were just wonderful to see and "play" with. It was one of those rooms that would have been great to play in person because of all of the tactile puzzles (no padlocks) and cool gadgets to fiddle around with. There were some nice special effects (again, wish we saw them in person) and you could the passion that the creators had in producing a nicely polished game. 

The Steampunk Adventure game transports you into an immersive world with tons of delightful and interactive mechanical devices. To top it off, we had a superb Avatar that perfectly helped us along the way and we can't wait to play their next adventure!
  • Set Design: Great!
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: €10/person
  • Number of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★
Steampunk Adventure

Agent November: Virtual X-Caper (London, UK)

Based on previous experiences, I believe that games in London always have great actors. This could be due to either of the following reasons: Actors are London's greatest export / Anyone with a British accent sounds prestigious. Virtual X-Caper was no exception as the actor in this game was brilliant in a comedic and whimsical fashion. The game starts off with you seeing/hearing everything that your avatar sees and they did a great job in making us feel that we were in his head.

As you might have guessed, the highlight of this game was the actor interaction that took place in what was otherwise a basic set and a common spy theme. Sometimes we would laugh as our spy proceeded to be silly while in the back of our minds we wanted to shout out "we don't have time for this you fool!". There were a decent amount of padlocks to open, paper puzzles to solve, some meta video games nods and some nice touches of real life elements. While this game might be a bit on the lighter side for puzzlers, I think that anyone with a good sense of humor will appreciate the game for what it is. I tend to prefer immersion over puzzles and I quite thoroughly enjoyed this experience because of the puns and the witty character at hand. 

If you are looking for a lighthearted, witty and genuinely hilarious online escape room, you should definitely play Virtual X-Caper! Can we have more of Agent November please?
  • Set Design: Basic
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: ~$20/person
  • Number of players: Up to 6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★
Virtual X-Caper

Omescape : Pursuit of The Assassin Artist (Sunnyvale, CA)

This is another really fascinating online only game where we had a video game-like mechanic of having "multiple lives". The decisions we made could lead to our Avatar's death and the game would start over from scratch and we'd have to repeat our actions in order to advance again. The element of role-playing was big so if you are into that, you would definitely like this game. While the puzzles were not overly complex, there were a few times where we had to do things that are not permissible in an actual escape room. Overall, the unique format and the great dynamics of having two actors makes this a great room if you could swallow the price tag of $190/game. 

Pursuit of The Assassin Artist delivers a top of class experience with a novel game mechanic that will reset your expectations of an online escape room!
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $190! flat fee per game 
  • Number of players: 2-8, (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★

60out : Orion's Ridiculous Revenge (Los Angeles, CA)

This was a free game offered by 60out and was a mix of a point-and-click game with cut scenes that were used to move the story along. There was a live game master that helped with setting everything up but was for the most part not part of the game. At first when I heard about the format, I had my doubts but the game was well done and funny if you are ok with some raunchy humor. There were a lot of adult-only references so keep that in mind if you are thinking about playing this game. We had a lot of laughs and your enjoyment will be a lot more dependent on who you play even with compared to other games. At times, we could fast tracked our way through or half-heartedly play along with some of the sillier elements but we were all fully engaged!
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Price: Was free but now $15/person
  • Number of players: Up to 8, (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Society of Curiosities : Mysterious Map Heist (Online/Physical)

We received an envelope in the mail that brought us on a treasure hunt for. The contents of the envelope were some paper puzzles and some clues to help find an artifact of some sort. What was really clever about this game was how they integrated real life concepts that blurred the line between game play and reality. One of the most gratifying aspects involved interacting with one of the characters in the game via actual text messaging. We didn't know if we were texting a bot or an actual person so we tried some off topic messages and it really felt like there was a real person on the other end. If we can't tell the difference, then does it really matter?
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30-$40/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8, (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★
Mysterious Map

Image from societyofcuriosities.com

The Escape Game: Truth Seekers (Nashville, TN)

This game was a modified version of The Escape Game's "The Heist" room and a tie-in to a new show, "Truth Seekers, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on Amazon Prime. Just like their other game (Ruins) that we played, we had a live avatar who took directions from the group and played through a physical room. The same 360 degree room view and inventory was used which really helped with any sort of motion sickness that one might experience. Our avatar was helpful and very professional and The Escape Game seems to always excel in this aspect. Overall, the game was pretty short (32 minutes) but a great entry into the world of online escape rooms.
  • Set Design: Fine 
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Price: Free
  • # of Players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★

Wild Hare Escapes: Serf's Quest (Online Only)

This retro-style point-and-click game was a parody of games like King's Quest. The 8-bit look along with the old school feeling were spot on. One of the highlights of this game was all the puns which gave the team a few good laughs. One room for improvement would be to automate hints with text boxes as opposed to having a live game master read them out to you. We were two remote groups that were essentially playing the game independently so any tasks that one group did, the other would have to backtrack and do the same.  This format would be better suited as a single player/connection game.  
  • Set Design: Nice 8-bit graphics
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $25/person
  • Number of players: Up to 10 (we recommend 2-3 with one connection)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: N/A, not an online escape room
The Room VR: A Dark Matter (Oculus Quest) 

This multiple award winning VR game was extremely polished and clean. So far, this game was the closest a virtual game could get in terms of replicating the feel of a physical escape room. While the old school theme wasn't one of my favorite, the game play was so gratifying and smooth that I kept getting sucked back into it.
  • Set Design: Amazing VR sets
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30
  • Number of players: 1
  • Duration: 4-5 hours
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★

Other Online Rooms Previously Played

We hope this post helps out anyone who is looking for some online escape rooms to play!

Note that some of the above games may have been complimentary to our team.

November 21, 2020

Denver Escape Room Recap

Rabbit Hole Paradox

A short stop over in Denver allowed us to play a handful of really fun games. We did not have much time but we were still able to hit most of the top locations in the area. We were also fortunate enough to make our way to Fort Collins for a day as well and the below will recap our experiences.

Impressions & Observations During Our Denver Escape Room Trip

Getting Around

We opted to use ride apps to get around because renting a car for some reason was almost $100/day. It worked out cheaper for us this way and were lucky to get a lift up to Fort Collins.

Game Impressions
The level of polish for the games that we played was high and the puzzling was also challenging. One of the games we played had such a stunning atmosphere and another was difficult to the point where I could see a lot of people struggling to enjoy the moment. More on this to come.

Do Other Things 
We really did not have much time but many people have recommended a visit to Colorado Springs. Perhaps the next time we visit we will be able to see a little more of the area and the surroundings.

Denver Escape Room Recap

Rabbit Hole  (Louisville, CO)
Games played: "Frost Base Z" and "Paradox"

"Frost Base Z" took place on a magnificent frozen base straight out of the movies! While the "virus in the lab" theme was far from unique, the execution of this game was at another level compared to most games out there. The puzzles were thematic and it made us feel that we were in a different world. It might be because I am a huge sci-fi fan but I really enjoyed the tech used to integrate the puzzles and move the story along. This was our favorite room in Denver.

"Paradox" had an inventor's theme and the central gameplay revolved around a sleek looking centerpiece. The game started off in an ordinary fashion and there were some really visually spectacular effects that took place. Solid game play, similar to "Frost Base Z", but with less discovery.
  • Set Design: Amazing!
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30-$40/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8, (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Frost Base Z ★★★, Paradox★★★★½
Frost Base Z
Rabbit Hole Lobby

Conundrum (Arvada, CO)
Games played: "Experiment C73", "Hollywood Mystery"

"Experiment C73" was a psychological experiment that had a lot of "aha" puzzles. There wasn't anything flashy but the gameplay was clever, clean and different enough to be a very enjoyable room. I am biased towards rooms that make me chuckle. 

"Hollywood Mystery" was a standard room meant for beginners and it would actually be a great starter room for anyone. It's easy and gets your feet wet in the world of escape rooms.

  • Set Design: Average 
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Price: $25-$40/person 
  • # of Players: 2-8 (we recommend 2)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Experiment C73 ★½, Paradox ★★★

303 Escape (Thornton, CO)
Games played: "Homicide Hotel"

"Homicide Hotel" was the new kid in town and almost nobody we knew had the chance to play this game. I normally skip horror rooms but was assured this was more creepy than scary. The room turned out to be a pleasant surprise with great immersion and discovery. It was on the easier side but it is defintely work playing if you are in the area.
  • Set Design: Great!
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Price: $30-40/person
  • Number of players: 2-6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
303 Escape

ConTRAPtions (Fort Collins, CO) 
Games Played: "Plight of the Margo Part 1 & 2"

"Plight of the Margo" was an interesting game. The set felt like an actual industrial spaceship like what you see in the movies. The computer interface was something out of a movie. The props were great and there were so many things in the room that...we often did not have a clue what to do. This 3 hour game had a LOT going on and the level of difficulty was very high. We played with two newbies and you could tell that it was just too much. At times, some teammates would spend 20 minutes on a task where they knew exactly what to do, it just was hard to get right. Indeed a polarizing game but nonetheless quite impressive for seasoned veterans looking for something different.
  • Set Design: Great!
  • Difficulty: Very Hard
  • Price: $76/person 
  • Number of players: Up to 10 (we recommend 4-6)
  • Duration: 180 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★★ (for the puzzle inclined only) 
Margo Group

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

Some other rooms that we heard great things about during our research and talks with locals but did not play were:
  • Rabbit Hole: We didn't get to play "Ruins of the Mystic Temple"
  • Fort Collins Escape Room: Just a few blocks from ConTRAPtions but we didn't have time to swing by.
We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Denver to play escape rooms!

October 18, 2020

North Carolina & South Carolina Escape Room Recap

Crystal Cave at Valcarol
One of North Carolina's escape room stand outs: The Crystal Cave @ Valcarol
The Carolinas are often touted for having great Southern food but how is their escape room scene? Not many people in our network have played games in the area and this was not planned as an escape room trip but, as usual, I threw in a few games here and there :) There was a prominent local blogger (www.escapeadventurer.com) that we relied heavily on for recommendations so here is a shout out to Brandon for answering all our questions!

We based ourselves in Charlotte, NC and traveled to a few cities that were all within a two hour drive, as noted below. Based on our research, we believe we hit up pretty much the best rooms that were open in the area.
  • Concord, NC - 30min northeast of Charlotte
  • Indian Trail, NC - 30min southeast
  • Greenville, SC - 1h45min west
  • Columbia, SC - 1h35min south

Impressions & Observations During Our Charlotte Escape Room Trip

Responsive Escape Room Owners & Employees
We sometimes reach out to owners/employees in order to facilitate the booking of back to back rooms and almost every single one was super responsive. Not only were they responsive, they were also extremely kind and friendly and more so than almost any other city that we have been to! It must have been the Southern hospitality you hear about! 

Getting Around
As you would expect, a car is needed in order to get around. Traffic seemed to be light, even during rush hour except when we were driving back to Charlotte from Greenville (Sunday evening) where the opposite direction was backed up for miles.

Local Charm
All the games that we played were crafted with TLC. Some ranged from high quality homemade to some pretty elaborate sets. While the themes we encountered were not original, we still had a lot of fun playing every game.

Do Other Things 
If you are visiting Charlotte for the first time, here are some ideas of what you can do other than escape rooms:
  • U.S. National White Water Center (Charlotte): This is a must visit if you love any sort of outdoor activity. You can choose over 30 different things to try, ranging from a man-made white water rafting course, rock climbing over a pool, treetop climbing, ledge jumping, zip-lining, etc. Plan to spend the whole day here!
White Water Center
  • Food (Charlotte): Try out "Oh My Soul", a South African plant-based comfort food restaurant with a nice outdoor seating area. It is located in the NoDa neighborhood, which is absolutely charming to walk around.
  • Food (Columbia, SC): "A Piece of Soul Vegan Kitchen", arguably the best chicken sandwich I've ever had in my life!

North Carolina & South Carolina Escape Room Recap

Escape Artist Greenville (Greenville, SC)
Games played: "Starlight Motel", "Classified" and "Zero to Hero"

"Starlight Motel" was a favorite amongst locals, including other owners, and had the traditional creepy serial killer theme. It had the largest footprint of all the games we played at this location and the highlight was the actor interaction. I typically find that a good actor enhances the immersion of a room and that was definitely accomplished in Starlight Motel. Other than a few light jump scares, it was not that scary relative to other rooms we have played in cities like LA.

"Classified" was the preferred room by some team members as the theme was cute and more unique. I did not know what the theme was before booking and I think it would be more fun going in not reading anything about it. I would say that this room is just as fun as Starlight but in a lighthearted way. I highly recommend doing this room along with Starlight Motel if you are passing by the area.

"Zero to Hero" was a split room game that was fun but there was a lack of adventure. Think of it as a test or a trial of sorts, which fit the theme perfectly but then took away from the immersion. Like the other two rooms, there was actually a good amount of technology embedded in the puzzles.

All three games we played were extremely polished and clean. Set designs were great and puzzles were all pretty fair. Escape Artist was definitely one of the highlights in the area!
  • Set Design: Great!
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: $30-$35/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8, private (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Starlight Motel & Classified ★★★★½, Zero to Hero ★★★½
Starlight Motel
Starlight Motel
Zero To Hero
Zero To Hero

The Final Door (Columbia, SC)
Games played: "Down The Rabbit Hole", "The Vampyre"

"Down The Rabbit Hole" was one of the top rooms that we played on our trip! We do tend to favor lighthearted themes and games with a large footprint which both fit this game perfectly. I've played a few Alice in Wonderland games and this so far has been the best one. I have never seen the movie so there were probably some references that flew over my head but I knew enough to have a really good time. Most of the puzzles utilized padlocks but that didn't detract from any of the gameplay. A must play in Columbia!

"The Vampyre" was also a high quality room with some nice effects. I would say that this room had a similar calibre in terms of execution to "Down the Rabbit Hole" but with more technology wrapped in a more common theme. There were some nice customized elements in this game though that will be sure to make you smile.

Both rooms had a great sense of discovery as you moved along the game. Ratings are for both rooms.
  • Set Design: Great! 
  • Difficulty: Easy/Medium
  • Price: $30-$35/person 
  • # of Players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
The Final Door
Down The Rabbit Hole & Vampyre

The Valcarol Missions (Concord, NC)
Games played: "The Hidden Lab", "The Crystal Cave" 

"The Crystal Cave" was set in the year 3049 and we were a crew trying to repair a water filtration system in a post-apocalyptic world. This game was a real treat as we were greeted with a spectacular set with some awesome technology. With a good variety of puzzle types and spacious area, the game was a standout in the market.

"The Hidden Lab" had us search for a vaccine to save humanity. Once again we are in the year 3049 where padlocks no longer exist! As you develop the vaccine, you get to interact with a futuristic centerpiece that you don't often see in escape rooms. Along with some nice reveals and some nice effects, this game is on par with "The Crystal Cave".  

Both games are part of the same storyline and form two parts of a trilogy created by the owners of Valcarol. The set design and immersion were one of the best in the Charlotte area and the amount of automation that was programmed was impressive. We got to peek at the control center for all the games and what was created by a team of two people was unbelievable.  Ratings are for both rooms.
  • Set Design: Amazing!
  • Difficulty: Medium/Hard
  • Price: $26/person
  • Number of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: ★★★★½
Valcarol graciously provided complimentary games for us!

The Lab Valcarol
The Hidden Lab

Masterpiece Escapes (Indian Trail, NC)
Games Played: "Deadwood Saloon" and "Drained"

"The Deadwood Saloon" had a standard theme but was more involved them many of the other Western games that we played. For a group of two, we were pretty busy figuring out how to solve everything. 

"Drained" was designed for kids and while there were some out of the box puzzles, there were many things in the room that were not to be touched. Given that there was searching involved, this rule made it somewhat awkward with the in-room GM.
  • Set Design: Deadwood Salon - Great, Drained - Average 
  • Difficulty: Medium/Easy
  • Price: $25/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8 (we recommend 2-4)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: Deadwood Saloon ★★★★, Drained ★★★
Deadwood Saloon
Deadwood Saloon

The Box (Charlotte, NC)
Games Played: "Cold Case Killer", "The Ventriloquist"

"Cold Case Killer" had a nice start where we were greeted by the GM in character. The room itself took place in a standard home with a nice twist along the way. 

"The Ventriloquist" takes place in a single room but with some nice puzzles in a somewhat unique take on the serial killer theme.  

Both rooms are great for those starting to get into escape rooms.
  • Set Design: Average
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Price: $28/person 
  • Number of players: 2-8,  (we recommend 2-3)
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating:★★★½

The Ventriloquist

Timed Out (Charlotte, NC) 
Games Played: "Precinct"

This started off as a standard "whodunit" mystery and with the help of a few plot twists, became much more exciting. Solving cases had never been more fun and even the opening of padlocks were enjoyable because of the theme. There were quite a few things that some enthusiasts will have seen many times before but the satisfying ending sets it apart from other games with the same theme. 
  • Set Design: Average 
  • Difficulty: Above Average Price: $28/person 
  • Number of players: 2-5, private (we recommend 2) 
  • Duration: 60 minutes 
  • Overall Rating:★★★½ 

Escape Plan (Columbia, SC) 
Games Played: "Floor 23" 

This game took place in an elevator and the setting was superb. There were some quality effects and jump scares all packed into a tight space. The puzzles however, often required leaps of logic on more than a single occasion so takes hints liberally. 
  • Set Design: Great! 
  • Difficulty: Hard 
  • Price: $28/person 
  • Number of players: 2-5, private (we recommend 2) 
  • Duration: 60 minutes 
  • Overall Rating:★★★½

Other Escape Rooms In The Area

Some other rooms that we heard great things about during our research and talks with locals but did not play were:
  • Exit Strategy (Charlotte): With 2 locations, this was the first company in Charlotte to open up escape rooms. They were unfortunately closed when we were in town.
  • Mind Games (Rock Hill, SC): CarnEvil was also recommended by owners and is directly in between Columbia, SC and Charlotte, NC. 
  • Escape Plan (Columbia, SC): We didn't get to play Mutiny here
We hope this post helps out anyone who is hoping to venture off to Charlotte to play escape rooms!

September 7, 2020

The Escape Game: Ruins Forbidden Treasure (Online)

I have not played many online games and was debating whether I should play any rooms that were converted from a physical escape rooms to an online one.  Would I be doing myself a disservice by playing a top notch game (in-person) that was reduced for a virtual audience? Given the current state of affairs, I decided that I would play The Escape Game's latest room online with some friends who have not played many escape rooms before. From The Escape Game's site:

"You’re on a relaxing aerial tour of a remote jungle when everything suddenly falls apart. You’re stranded at the foot of ancient and mysterious temple ruins – home of a massive fabled treasure. Adventure has come knocking and the treasure could be yours for the taking! Fortune favors the bold. Will it favor you?"

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles 

This game was played via an in-game actor with a webcam. The actor would take directives from our group to solve various puzzles in a similar fashion to other online games we played. The main difference here was that once you entered a room, you had access to a 360 degree photo of it and could peruse the space at your leisure in order to determine what was important. That made a HUGE difference in terms of not getting motion sickness which basically forced me to quit games in the past. Having everyone search through this virtual interface was fantastic and an amazing way to recreate the escape room feeling at home. There was also a virtual inventory box where items would appear when the in-game actor found something, and then disappear when it was no longer needed. 

The set looked amazing, and did make me feel that I was missing out a bit on the immersion by not playing the physical room. There were some fun tactile puzzles and room transitions that would definitely have been better to play in real life but playing them virtually was still a great experience. 

The use of the technology was excellent, just like in their Special Ops game. We really did feel like the game took place on a movie set. Some enthusiasts might find the puzzles to be less challenging but for 98% of players, including myself, they were perfectly fine for the theme. 

If you are able to play this game in person, I would highly recommend that you do, otherwise playing this game online would be the next best thing.

Memorable Moments 

I love how The Escape Game perfectly immersed us into the world of adventure and the journey from room to room was seamless and exciting. Some of our teammates were in awe about what actually happened before our eyes!

Room For Improvement

One of the puzzles towards the end would have been much easier to perform in-person with multiple hands. Given this was adapted for online play, there wasn't much that could have been changed so it's understandable given the circumstances.

Overall Thoughts

I would think that this room is up there with one of the tops rooms I have played at The Escape Game (the other being Special Ops). I might actually even replay this room in person if I ever get chance!

  • Set design: Excellent
  • Difficulty: Average
  • Price: $28/person
  • Number of players: 3-8, (we recommend 3-4), private
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating (For Online games): ★★★★★
See their website here: https://theescapegame.com

Disclosure: The Escape Game comped the tickets for this game

August 3, 2020

Escape Rumor's Vlog #1: Room Escape Artist + Special Guests

We are happy to present our first vlog with David and Lisa Spira from RoomEscapeArtist (REA)! Some topics covered:

- Escape Rooms in Athens, Greece
- Upcoming RECON event hosted by REA
- Us playing games and laughing...this is the best part :)

We also had some guest appearances by some personalities that escape room enthusiasts would definitely know about.

We are wondering what the next topic should be. Given this vlog was really fun to create, we'd like to create more and are open to suggestions in the comments.

July 7, 2020

Logic Locks: The Secret Of Eliza's Heart (Online Game)

This post was written by Daniel M., who we had the pleasure of playing this game with. He has played escape rooms all around the world and one of our best teammates!

This was our first experience doing an escape room remotely and it definitely scratched my escape room itch while sheltering in place! The physical room is in Amsterdam in the Netherlands and was completed via video call with our game master/companion holding a camera as we instructed him on what we wanted to do in the room. The game master was in character throughout the escape which really added to the experience. We played as a team of four from two different locations which worked well. From their website:

"Greetings Investigators! My name is Richard Fimblewood and soon we will meet face-to-face - or at least screen-to-screen. I am quite relieved you signed up for the task of helping me to explore the study chamber of the infamous explorer Elizabeth van Leeuwenhart. I do have to admit that I am still a bit nervous. We have only one shot and a limited time to make this work… However I'm sure that with your assistance it should all work out."

Set Design, Technology & Puzzles

One of the biggest downsides of doing a physical escape room remotely is that you lose a bit of atmosphere by not actually being in the room. That said, our game master’s narration (and trepidation!) as he interacted with the room and puzzles, and his quips and humor did help keep us fully engaged. Technology and set design were similar to what you’d expect in higher end generation one rooms. The puzzles were clever but overall there weren’t very many of them. However this is probably required since you can’t divide and conquer different tasks or even search due to the remote aspect of the game.

Memorable Moments 

This room will always stand out for me as our first endeavor with remote escape rooms. It's amazing to be able to experience an escape room halfway across the globe from the comfort of your home. Additionally the finale of the room definitely built suspense and left me satisfied.

Room For Improvement

The only slight complaint was how the video was filmed. While the GM tried their best to keep the camera steady one of our team members became nauseous and wasn’t able to complete the game. However, the rest of us felt ok.

Overall Thoughts

Eliza’s heart was a great introduction to remote escape rooms and I love the fact that we can now play rooms that we probably would never get the chance to go to. One other pleasant surprise is that they mail you a few additional puzzles for completion at home.

Envelope with a bunch of goodies!
These were fun and on par with upper end puzzles from box escape games. These were a great way to revisit the theme and have some more fun!
  • Set design: Fun and in line with Gen-1 rooms
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Price: 23 Euros per person/private
  • Number of players: 2-7 (recommend 2-4)
  • Duration: 80 minutes
  • Overall Rating:  ★★★★ (½★ bump for extra gameplay at home)
See their website here:  https://www.logiclocks.com/live-video-escape-rooms

Logic Locks graciously provided complimentary tickets

June 13, 2020

The Escape Game: Unlocked (Online Game)

The Escape Game is one of the largest corporate escape room companies in the world. Over the past two years, I played five of their games and if you are ever in one of the 17 cities they are present in, you should make an effort to stop by.  My favorite rooms were Special Ops and Playground and both were some of the top rooms I have ever played. We jumped at the opportunity to play a brand new, digital only game: TEG: Unlocked VOL 1 & 2. From their site:

"The Heist - Vol. 1: Chasing Hahn 
Work as a secret agent to thwart the infamous art curator and suspected art thief, Vincent Hahn. You’ll need to uncover his true identity, connect him to a crime, and work with the International Police to finally exact justice. With the help of your Intelligence Agent, you’ll need to stop Hahn before another masterpiece goes missing. *This volume, “Chasing Hahn”, is a continuation of The Heist story, but you don’t need to play The Heist escape game first. The experience will be the same whether you’ve played The Heist or not. 

The Heist - Vol. 2: The Silk Road: 
Vincent Hahn just barely escaped, but Intel has noticed some suspicious activity in Hong Kong. According to reports, Hahn is dealing with artifacts related to the Silk Road. Your mission is to go there, find Hahn, and capture him before he can get away. "

Design, Technology & Puzzles

The format of these games were as per the below:

The dossier was comprised of PDF files that acted as the evidence from the heist. There were quite a few files to go through and the game utilized an online terminal to verify your solutions to various puzzles. As you correctly determine answers to the mission, things opened up and you are granted access to more material to study. 

The Dashboard interface was slick and it reminded me of the what I have seen in one of their physical escape rooms. Think of it like something that you would see in a Mission:Impossible movie. Here is their trailer to give you an idea of how the game looks:


Vol. 1 was actually a physical kit that went sent out to people and then digitized and offered online.  The puzzles were focused on examining evidence from a crime scene and somewhat similar to what you would find in a standard escape room that had paper puzzles. The overall gameplay was definitely not as exciting as a physical room and going into it knowing this would help set expectations.

I believe that Vol. 2 was conceptualized as a digital only game which was why we felt that it was a lot stronger in terms of immersion and gameplay. There were some interesting puzzles that involved multimedia elements that really made it a lot of fun. We enjoyed the presentation and the flow quite a bit.

Memorable Moments 

Vol. 2 was definitely an improvement on its predecessor and the way that the story unraveled with the use of video was very clever. It seems so real despite not having a live person acting in the game! The feeling of being a remote secret agent and working with field agents was fantastic!

Room For Improvement

There was an instance in Volume 1 where outside knowledge was needed and it was not known to the group until we were forced to take a hint. I think we spent a good 20 minutes trying to figure it out and it was pretty frustrating to find out that we had to Google the answer.

In Volume 2, we almost missed a critical segment of the story by pressing the "back" button on the browser. We tried to go forward but the story was gone and we were able to get it back by going into incognito mode. Phew!

Overall Thoughts

Online games are definitely not the same as physical but for $10, we highly recommend playing Vol 2.

  • Design: Clean Input Interface
  • Difficulty: Above average for Vol. 1, Below average for Vol. 2
  • Price: $10/game
  • Number of players: 1-4
  • Duration:  Play at your own pace but likely 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: TEG Vol 1 ★★★, Vol. 2 ★★★★ 
See their website here: https://theescapegame.com/unlocked/

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!