Capitol Treasure is one of the best games in Sacramento, CA. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Sacramento.
State Seal of Approval
Location: Sacramento, CA
Date Played: November 27, 2022
Team Size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5
Duration: 60 minutes
Price: $45 per player
Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit
Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints
Some escape rooms transport you to fantastical settings. Others, like NEO Escape Rooms’ Capitol Treasure, add layers of wonder to the mundane.
In Capitol Treasure, we stepped into a stately government hall with tall ceilings, checkered floors, gold-framed portraits of old white dudes, paneled wooden doors, a gorgeous wooden California state seal… and otherwise not much else. Perfectly conjuring the bureaucratic energies of the nearby California State Capitol building, this plain space felt remarkably unlike an escape room.
(This aesthetic felt vaguely reminiscent of another regional standout, NorCal Escape Co’s Fox Tail Saloon, which similarly disguised its secrets in plain sight, though in a completely different historical setting.)
Whereas it was not immediately obvious that anything in the space was a puzzle, we peeled back layer after layer to reveal that almost everything there was not quite as it seemed. I adore this style; it gets you in a mindset where, hours after playing, you roam the world wondering if any small detail around you might open up to reveal something wondrous.
NEO Escape Rooms showed off their skills both in set design and tech throughout the room, utilizing a range of fabrication techniques to pull off an impressive density of small magical moments. The puzzling was solid throughout, though some parts could have benefited from more variation. One technique that I particularly enjoyed, while clever, became a bit too expected after the first few times we saw it. And a few puzzles felt quite similar to each other in format.
Between Capitol Treasure and Haunted Train, NEO Escape Rooms is a company to watch. I love their incorporation of local history, and both rooms showcased impressive set design. If you are in Sacramento, I strongly recommend visiting Capitol Treasure for puzzling and exploration and Haunted Train for a more cinematic, tech-driven experience — and both if you have the time!
Who is this for?
- Puzzle lovers
- Scenery snobs
- Local history fans
- Any experience level
- Secrets hidden in the details
- A puzzly transformation of an everyday space
A strange gem had been locked up in a vault below the California State Capitol. Unbeknownst to The Keepers of the Vault, this gem was a volatile power source that would threaten us all if not retrieved and properly contained.
Capitol Treasure was set in an underground hall of the nearby California State Capitol building. The room felt sparse yet casually ornate, with an abundance of plinths and podiums, a large state seal, heavy wooden doors, and a checkered floor pattern that perfectly matched the actual floor of the actual California State Capitol.
NEO Escape Rooms’ Capitol Treasure was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.
Core gameplay revolved around solving puzzles, making connections, and observing patterns.
➕ NEO Escape Rooms is located in the heart of Old Sacramento, in a building that appears to have once been a stables. Already steeped in history, it felt highly appropriate that Capitol Treasure leaned further into the local history and recreated a room from the California State Capitol. Much of the room’s detailing matched that of the actual capitol, and had I not known better, I’d have have thought this game was built around a long-abandoned room of an actual government building. Every scenic detail was convincing, with a massive etched wood California state seal as an alluring centerpiece.
➕ The set concealed layer upon layer of secrets. Almost nothing in the space went unused — a masterclass in realizing any mundane detail as a wondrous puzzle.
➕ The gameplay included a wide range of creative tactile interactions that were seamlessly integrated into the set.
➕/➖ Everything flowed smoothly, though some sections of gameplay could have benefited from increased variety or variation.
➖ A lack of visual parallelism between a pair of similar clues sent us down the wrong path.
➕/➖ We enjoyed a well-clued search puzzle that revealed new layers in our surroundings. However, had we solved a certain other puzzle first, this search task would have been made substantially more difficult, especially given the weak reach of the provided tools.
➖ A lighting effect toward the end of the game took a while to become fully visible, making it hard to knowingly navigate until the smoke had settled, so to speak.
❓Between Capitol Treasure and Haunted Train, NEO Escape Rooms has shown that they know how to build a beautiful set. In contrast, the lobby felt notably empty — with blank white walls, no wall-mounted signage, and no seating. I completely respect devoting finite resources to where it counts most, in the actual games, but I hope NEO can find the time to extend this experience in some form to their lobby sooner rather than later, as this is where players form their initial impressions.
Tips For Visiting
- Street parking was available, and NEO Escape Rooms offered validation for a local parking garage.
Book your hour with NEO Escape Rooms’ Capitol Treasure, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.