Answers to the most popular questions we receive, they span a bunch of categories (it’s long, so scroll to what’s relevant to you):
- Consulting & Designing
- Choosing Rooms to Review
- Reviewing Other Things
- Can I play a room with you?
- Map of Room Escapes in the United States
- About Us FAQ
Consulting & Designing
Do you own an escape room?
No. We are players who want to make sure the industry grows in a productive and sustainable direction. We want to be able to enjoy interactive puzzle experiences for years to come.
Do you plan to own an escape room?
No. We prefer to play these games and write about them. Also, we are deliberately neutral. We don’t sell consulting services and we don’t compete with escape room companies. We are Switzerland.
Can I buy a room design OR puzzle design OR franchise from you?
No. We aren’t selling anyone anything. If you want to support us, please click a link to Amazon out from one of our posts. If you make a purchase that way, we receive a tiny percentage of the sale. We really appreciate it as running this site is an expensive hobby.
Can I hire you as a consultant?
No. We firmly believe that it’s unethical to both review games and sell consulting services to the companies that we critique. We’re happy to set up a brief call if we can help answer a specific question. If you want to have a longer discussion, feel free to take us out for dinner, but it won’t score you any points in your review, and we still won’t design your games for you.
Choosing Rooms to Review
Will you come review my game?
It depends. Are we taking a subway, car, or plane ride?
Where are you from?
Weehawken, NJ, 20 minutes outside of midtown Manhattan (without traffic).
Why have I heard of Weehawken?
It’s the town where Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton.
My game is a subway ride away! Will you come play?
If you’re in New York City (any of boroughs) we will happily come play your game. Send us a message.
My game is a car ride away! Will you come play?
If we can drive there in under an hour, yes, absolutely. If it’s farther, that’s going to depend on our other travel plans. If we have plans to be near by, then yes. If not, convince us to make plans nearby.
My game is a plane ride away. Will you come play?
That’s going to depend on where our friends get married, where we choose to vacation, and where work sends us.
Do you travel explicitly to play escape rooms?
Yes, but infrequently. We travel for work, family, and friends, but we try to incorporate escape rooms into our travels.
We have taken a few explicit escape room trips, primarily for conferences. Every now and then we’ll take a road trip to a nearby city for the expressed purposes of playing as many escape rooms as possible.
You’re coming to review my game! What can I expect?
Reviewing Other Things
I notice you don’t just review escape rooms. What’s that about?
We’re interested in lots of puzzle-y and theater-y things. We’ve been expanding our review coverage to other areas that we enjoy and think our readers will also enjoy.
I created one of these other things (puzzle, interactive theater, strange interactive experience). Will you review it?
The key questions that we ask when deciding to review something was, “Did we have agency in this experience?” and “Will the participants make a meaningful change to the show?”
When looking at something like Broadway theater, the show is the show is the show. The performance will be approximately the same thing every time regardless of the audience (unless an audience member misbehaves).
Anyway, we might review your creation. Roll the dice and send us a message.
Why didn’t you cover ______ event?
We might not have heard about it. We’re pretty plugged in, but don’t assume we’re omniscient. If you know of something cool, let us know.
Can I play a room with you?
I live in New York. Can I play with you?
Yes! We have a lot of people that we play with, so we can’t play together regularly, but we’d love to team up now and then. Send us a message.
I’m going to be traveling to New York City or North Jersey. Can I play with you?
Yes! But keep in mind that we’ve already played a lot of the really great local games. By choosing to play with us, you’re taking a gamble on game quality. If you’d rather play the best rooms NYC has to offer, we’re happy to give you recommendations instead. Either way, reach out to us, we’ll happily grab drinks and talk shop.
I live in some other city. Can I play with you?
Yes! We are frequently looking for teammates when we travel. Send us a message so that we know where you are. We’ll be sure to reach out if we’re coming to your area.
I need an escape room recommendation in New York City. Can you help me?
Yes. Send us a message explaining what’s important to you. (Hard puzzles? Immersive set? Kid-friendly? Large team? Enjoy horror? Location constraints? Time constraints?) The more details you send, the better our recommendations will be.
I need an escape room recommendation in another city. Can you help me?
Maybe. We’ve played in a lot of places, so we can usually recommend something. If not, we usually know the person to ask. Send us a message.
Map of Room Escapes in the United States
My company isn’t on your map. How do I add it?
Send us a message with the company name, city and state, and url.
There is an error is my company listing on your map. How do I correct it?
Send us a message. Be clear about what company you’re referring to, what the mistake is, and how to correct it.
I see a company on your map that has moved / closed. What should I do?
Please let us know. Include specifics. We’ll verify and update accordingly.
Why does your map only cover the United States?
Map upkeep is a huge job. We live in the United States and like typical Americans, we draw the line around our borders. Note that if your company is in Central America or the Caribbean, we’ll add it, because it’s close enough and these countries don’t have a ton of games (this is our version of the Monroe Doctrine). Also note that if your company is in Canada within a few miles of the US border, we’ll add it too, because borders are arbitrary.
About Us FAQ
How did you get started with escape rooms?
David’s Origin Story:
In late 2013, I was planning a trip to Budapest with a friend and the highest-rated activity in the city on TripAdvisor at the time was called “Claustrophilia.” The high rating and strange name warranted further investigation. It was a room escape and I fell in love with the concept. My friend and I immediately decided we were going to play.
The next morning I woke up with this escape room thing on my mind and thought (because I am an entitled New Yorker), “If this exists in Budapest, there should be one in NYC.” There was, but just barely. Escape the Room NYC had just opened the first location in the city.
So, I asked a bunch of friends to come partake in a mysterious event that would last about 90 minutes, and cost $28 per person… but I would only tell them what we were doing if they truly needed to know. 9 of the 11 friends who participated did so without knowing what we were doing until we were in the elevator.
Lisa’s Origin Story:
David and I first met, in a bar in Hoboken, NJ, three days after David played his first room. He told me about this puzzle room game he had played over the weekend, and I thought it sounded like a ton of fun… he asked for my number.
I didn’t play my first room until a few months after that. (It took some time for more games to open in Manhattan in the early days.) My first room was also the outing where I met most of David’s closest friends. We didn’t realize how high pressure that was until we were en route. I literally solved nothing until I solved the final puzzle.
When / how did you start the blog?
We played a mass escape event in June of 2014 and it was a miserable experience. We were worried that so many people played the thing and would think “this is what room escapes are like? They suck.” So David posted a review to his personal blog hoping that even a few would Google the name of the event and learn that it wasn’t indicative of all escape rooms.
After that David started writing about them periodically.
That summer, we played a couple of rooms in San Francisco with some friends. We all wanted to find more games, so we sat on their couch and did our best internet-ing to find all of the games in the United States. We had a Google Doc, so we figured we should share it with other enthusiasts… but we needed a website.
Professionally, David is an experience designer, so it didn’t feel like a reach to start writing reviews. Initially Lisa thought this was nuts, but a few months later, she was more enthusiastic than David was. It’s been a team effort ever since.
How many have you played?
More than 450. We’re only updating this periodically.
Which countries have you played in?
The United States, Hungary, The Czech Republic, Canada, The Philippines, Germany, Poland, The Netherlands, The United Kingdom, and Australia.
After playing so many of these, do you get bored of them?
No. But we get frustrated by clichéd puzzles, disregard of safety, lack of maintenance, and poor customer service.
Is this your full-time job?
No. We both have other full-times jobs. This blog is a hobby and we do not get paid. We make a small amount of money when you click through to Amazon from the links in our posts and make a purchase there. This is a passion project and we appreciate any support you can give, even if that’s just sharing our links.
I’m starting my own blog. Can you help me?
Absolutely. There are a lot of games in the US and abroad and not a lot of people reviewing them. We welcome the company and we’re friends with most of the bloggers of the English-speaking world.
I’m affiliated with a conference. Will you come speak?
Reach out to us and we’ll see if it we can make it work.
I always see David on social media. Does Lisa really exist?
If you send us an email, you’ll meet Lisa. Also, Lisa writes about half of our posts, but they’re usually misattributed to David because he’s loud.
I have a suggestion to improve your blog.
Send it our way. We cannot promise that we’ll do it, but a fair amount of our improvements have been suggested by our readers.