Survey Deep Dive: Escape Immerse Explore New Mexico

In June 2022, we brought 47 players to Albuquerque & Santa Fe. This was our 7th Escape Immerse Explore tour.

Over the course of 3 days, they each played 9 terrific escape rooms and visited Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return.

The post-event survey surfaced the top games in the region, but also shows the diversity of preference even among serious escape room players.

Lisa and David speaking to the entire tour group at New Mexico Escape Room.

Survey Says

The post-event survey asked everyone to stack rank the 9 escape rooms they’d played. (Of note, there were 10 games on the tour, but most people only played 1 of the 2 games at Puzzah!)

There are lots of ways to understand “favorite” from a survey. As we tend to do at Room Escape Artist, we dig into the nuance here:

Most Often Ranked Top 3

If we look at the games that players ranked most often in the first, second, or third spot in their stack ranking, there are clear favorite games. No other games were even nearly as popular by this metric.

Most popular: Blackwell Manor at New Mexico Escape Room and Rattlesnake Bend at Bust Out.

Aces High Hotel exterior the old west.

Most Often Ranked #1

Blackwell Manor at New Mexico Escape Room was the game that the most players ranked as their favorite. About a quarter of survey respondents ranked it as #1.

Exterior view of the front door of an old haunted house.

Top 5 Favorite Escape Rooms

The calculated average ranking is based on weights, meaning the respondent’s most preferred choice (which they rank as #1) has the largest weight, and their least preferred choice (which they rank in the last position) has a weight of 1.

Based on the scores from players stack ranking all the games on the tour, these games are the top 5:

  1. Rattlesnake Bend at Bust Out
  2. Blackwell Manor at New Mexico Escape Room
  3. Jumanji at Bust Out
  4. Super Secret at New Mexico Escape Room
  5. Bombshell at New Mexico Escape Room

Jumanji might be a surprising #3. While players ranked this game as #1 far less often than they did the other games in the top 5, it ranked so consistently in the top 5 (most often landing at #4) that the weighted average put it at #3.

Count of Games Ranked #1

Out of the 10 games included in the survey, 7 games ranked as at least one person’s #1 game. Every company on the tour (New Mexico Escape Room, Bust Out, and Puzzah!) offered a game that ranked as a favorite.

Most Polarizing Game

Nefertari’s Tomb at New Mexico Escape Room was the most polarizing game. It was ranked last more often than any other game. However, it was also ranked first. In fact it was ranked by at least one person in every spot except third.

Egyptian tomb interior shows a painting of a woman holding game pieces above a game board.

Reactions

We’ve selected a few anonymous quotes from the post-event survey to share. This demonstrates to us how different escape rooms shine for different people (even different escape room enthusiasts!) in different ways. Albuquerque and Santa Fe truly offer a stellar menu of outstanding escape rooms.

New Mexico Escape Room

Blackwell Manor was so impressive. I really appreciated how the game drove you through the story and had all the scenic elements to match. I felt connected to the experience.”

Super Secret was my favorite specifically because of the humorous videos.”

Super Secret was such a standout for me… The use of space was genius and I loved the one room design in that the space we were in had completely changed by the time we reached the end of the game. It’s obvious to me that more thought was put into every detail of this game than any other.”

Bombshell was really fun. It shows the value of having big chunky props and fun transitions.”

Nefertari’s Tomb had awesome puzzles, but translation sapped a lot of joy from the game.”

“I really enjoyed the nonlinear aspects of the Nefertari’s Tomb.

A super computer inside of a superhero's base.

Bust Out Escape Room

Rattlesnake Bend especially impressed me – something about the set and how it felt like we were in an entire Wild West town, I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

“I enjoyed the unusual [SPOILER REDACTED] mechanic in Curse of the Mayan Temple.”

“Shout out to Jumanji for putting on a clinic on how to purchase a game from Indestroom and make it a great experience!”

Closeup of a Jumanji board game.

Puzzah!

M.A.S.K. and Knight Shade were fun in their way, but the impersonality and the game mechanics that enabled flip-flop reset made it very mechanical-feeling.”

“As an owner I greatly enjoyed Puzzah! It was interesting to see the way they achieved zero reset.”

Arcade cabinets. On labeled "Arjora: The Mystic of Light."

Conclusion & Recommendations

We highly recommend escape room travelers visit Albuquerque and Santa Fe. There are incredible games in this region for all types of players. Moreover, we are excited about what New Mexico Escape Room and Bust Out are currently building…. and we can’t wait to come back and see how these builds turn out.

In fact, we’ll look at bringing another Escape Immerse Explore tour back to this destination in the future.

In the meantime, if you’re traveling to New Mexico, check out our recommendations guide Albuquerque & Santa Fe.

Beyond the Escape Rooms

by Richard Burns

The variety of games included in Escape Immerse Explore New Mexico offered something for every kind of escape room player. The state’s heavy film industry presence benefits the local escape room scene by bringing theatrical set-building professionals to the area. Their techniques and craftsmanship were on display for those who love good set design.

The event kicked off with a Saturday evening meal and get together that really helped break the ice. Past tour veterans reunited with hugs and laughter and first time attendees met new friends and teammates. One of the best things about escape rooms is the people who love them, and our tours are much more than just a collection of games. Growing and fostering this community is one of our goals and it is a joy to see the momentum we are building with events like these.

Join The Next Tour

Our next Escape Immerse Explore tour is going to New Orleans, one of North America’s premier escape room destinations. The reputation is deserved and there’s a reason why we’re bringing a tour here for a third time. Whether you’re looking for interesting gameplay, wonderful world building, or breathtaking sets, there’s a lot here for you. Come have an adventure with us this fall!

2022 Tour Dates: Saturday, November 12 – Tuesday, November 15

In less than 2 weeks, tickets for this tour are already more than half sold. Grab one while you still can!

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