Escape Key – Quest in a Box [Review]

Not to be confused with escape rooms in a box.

Location: Los Angeles, California

Date played: March 26, 2016

Team size: 2-3; we recommend 2

Price: $30 per game (not per player)

We don’t play beta games

In the middle of Escape Key’s waiting room, or rather, taking up most of their waiting room, was a cube labeled “Quest in a Box.” It was a new portable escape room that Escape Key was beta testing.

An odd box that nearly reaches the ceiling. It says, "Quest in a Box" on its side.

We do not beta test because we always review the games as we experience them, and we don’t want to give a bad review to an unfinished game… but the Quest in a Box was singing to us and we couldn’t ignore its call because it was so damn different.

Theme & story

We were time travelers and our Definitely-Not-A-TARDIS time machine had malfunctioned. We had 20 minutes to complete repairs or one of those really bad things that can happen during time travel would occur.

The interior of the cube looked like the TARDIS, a level from Portal, and a padded cell had a baby.

It looked and felt like no escape room I’ve ever seen before.


Why a cube?

Escape Key’s Quest in a Box was designed for portability (although it was substantial enough that it would take some doing to move the thing).

It breaks apart and can be reconstructed in a new location.

The concept was exciting because it opened up new possibilities for bringing escape rooms to new locations and events.


The cube had a small number of puzzles, but each one was worth solving. No filler.

It was heavy on logic puzzles and it took us approximately 10 of our allotted 20 minutes to escape.

Slightly unfinished

The notable problem with the beta game was its lack of ventilation. There was also one puzzle that probably needed a little bit more love before it could be called “complete.”

Should I play Escape Key’s Quest in a Box?

Escape Key’s Quest in a Box is a ton of fun. It was a lean, beautiful, and exciting experience.

If you are already visiting Escape Key to play one of their other excellent games, then I’d highly recommend testing yourself against their small but mighty cube. Same if you happen to be in the neighborhood.

I’m not sure it makes sense to visit Escape Key for the sole purpose of taking on the Quest in a Box. It’s just too short to make it a destination event.

That being said, I’m also eager to see where they plan on taking this thing. Portability creates new opportunities.

Book your time with Escape Key’s Quest in a Box, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Escape Key comped our tickets for this game.

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