This is what happens when you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing, but make sweeping declarations anyway.
The YouTube viral movie mill WatchMojo decided to “contribute” to the escape room world by putting out a video declaring the “Top 10 Craziest Escape Rooms Around the World.” This thing is fraught with problems.
We’ll start with the wide variety of mistakes that demonstrate how little the writer(s) knew of the subject matter. Then we’ll suggest thoughts on how these companies really ended up this list.
It’s clear that WatchMoJo didn’t even know the subject of their own video.
It’s titled “Top 10 Craziest Escape Rooms Around the World.”
In the opening few minutes, it declares that this is a top 10 list of “the most unique, challenging, and elaborately-themed escape rooms.”
By the end of the film, they declare their number 1 choice as “the greatest escape room in the world.”
The lists of the craziest, most unique, most challenging, most elaborately-themed, and greatest escape rooms should be different lists. At REA, we’re partial to innovative escape rooms.
It’s a strange experience feeling both honored and cringey at the same time.
WatchMoJo called out that Sherlocked in Amsterdam won a Golden Lock-In Award for their game, The Vault. Cool. Thanks.
The Vault won in 2017 though, not 2018.
Unfortunately, the writer(s) never seemed to look up what the award was. They mischaracterized it as being given to one company, as a declaration of the best escape room company in the world.
Sherlocked wasn’t even the only Golden Lock-In Award winning company on their list. Claustrophobia won in 2016 for Vault 13. The Escape Game won one too, in 2018, the day before this video published, for Playground.
The kicker, however, is when the narrator says, “while The Vault at Sherlocked more than won a Golden Lock-In Award, our vote for the greatest escape room in the world goes to The Basement in California.” You know who also won a Golden Lock-In Award in 2017? The Basement.
They also forgot to mention who gave the award. Is it necessary? No. Would it have been really kind of them to share a bit of love? Yeah.
The Escape Game
The increasingly prolific and generally consistent chain The Escape Game got a shoutout at number 5.
We’re fans of The Escape Game. We even gave it an award. (See above.)
The problem with The Escape Game’s listing on the WatchMoJo video is that their examples aren’t from The Escape Game! We have played every single game that The Escape Game has to offer (we have the t-shirts to prove it) and none of the games listed in that segment are theirs.
I know it’s 2019, but just a teeny, tiny amount of fact checking would have been lovely.
While we’re on the subject of companies…
Escape Rooms or Companies?
When we view a list of the “Top 10 Craziest Escape Rooms Around the World,” we expect a list of games. Instead what we were treated to a list of escape room companies.
Which is fine… that’s an acceptable list to generate, but it isn’t what was promised.
Where Did This List Come From?
For reference, here is the list of companies.
- TeamEscape Hamburg (10)
- 5 Wits (9)
- RoomEscape Stockholm by Fox in a Box (8)
- “Trapped in a Room with A Zombie” (7)
- Claustrophobia Escape Rooms (6)
- The Escape Game (5)
- Escape Hunt (4)
- Mr X (3)
- Sherlocked (2)
- The Basement (1)
We’ve played and reviewed games by 8 of the 10 companies on this list. At 7 of them, we’ve reviewed multiple games. And we’ve reviewed every game that the company has to offer at 5 of them.
We respect something about every one of the companies on this list. Some were early pioneers. Some have made some of the most impressive games we’ve played.
We’re not here to crap on these companies.
But this selection – be it as “craziest” or something else – is nonsense.
Most of these are older companies (relative to other escape room businesses). They are well reviewed on TripAdvisor. Most of them are reasonably famous.
Mostly, it’s just a list of escape room companies that have generated a lot of revenue.
Most of these companies represent escape rooms well in 2019. This is good given how many people watch WatchMoJo.
It’s sad, however, to see such a poorly researched, weakly constructed, and factually flawed video.
We could rattle off lists of crazy, unique, challenging, elaborately-themed, or greatest escape rooms (whatever that even means)… and maybe we’ll assemble content like that… but this isn’t about that.
This is about asking for a little bit of care and research in content creation. I don’t know much about WatchMoJo, but I’d like to think that they’d agree that their viewers deserve better content.
It kind of reminded me of this (also poorly done) list:
no one… I hadn’t seen that one. I’ll have to pour myself some whisky later and fight through it.
I tried watching this when it first came out and closed the video once they said something to the effect of “You know a company is delivering a great experience when they have 700 reviews on tripadvisor!” I felt like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEhHEOIYgMY
lol pretty much.