Mark Your Calendar: Golden Lock Awards 2023

The REA team has traveled a lot in the past year, and we’re excited to celebrate the gems that we’ve found in our journeys.

We honor our favorite escape experiences each year, calling special attention to them with the Golden Lock Award.

Since we first launched this award in 2015, it’s been a joy to honor exceptional escape rooms, and watch the industry evolve, as the winning games show refinement and push boundaries that we never would have imagined back when we first started writing about escape rooms.

Golden Lock Award Announcement card. Date reads, April 29, 2023

A New Category: Events

In the past, we have excluded short-run or event games from the Golden Lock Award. Our thinking has been that we want to give the award to games that people can book at the time of the award (and ideally far into the future).

Events could be viewed as this really cool thing that a lot of people can’t play.

Three things have changed in our thinking that have made us realize that we’re serving our community better by honoring these games:

  1. Significance – Some of these events do incredible things and they deserve recognition.
  2. Remounts – Many of these events – while short lived – return later, and honoring them will help raise awareness of them for future runs.
  3. Access – Even with the permanent escape rooms that we honor, access is always a struggle for location-based experiences. As a team we have come to terms with the reality that as individuals, we’ll never play all of the games that we want. Access will always be a struggle. Events may add another layer of complexity to the access equation, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t deserving.

And yes, for this one year, we will dive back through our archives and honor a few stellar events that would have been given Golden Locks in the year that they originally operated.


The 2023 Golden Lock Awards livestream will stream on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 9pm Eastern.

Mark your calendar now! The link will be available closer to the event.

Past Golden Lock Awards

Thank you!

Thank you to our Patreon backers. Thank you for always letting us know about the wonderful escape rooms you find. Our Patreon Discord channel is such a great resource for travel planning!

Abi · Kwest Club
Adam M
Alex Rosenthal
Alexander Gierholz
Alyssa Diaz
Amanda Harris
Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Sturridge
Andy Tabar
Anna Simon
Anne Lukeman
Barry Joseph
Ben Enos
Ben Rosner
Bill Chang
Blake Hodges-Koch – Wild Heart Ranch
Breakout Games
Brent Mair
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
C.J. Smith
Carol King
Catie Catterwaul
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris Post
Chris Waters
Chris White
Cody Evans
Curt Clark
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
Derek Tam
Doug McKenzie
Drew Nelson
Eliviascape (Pat Toupin)
Eliza Cantlay
Emile Wang
Encrypted Escape
Erich Schultz

Eva Anderson
Evan Broder
Expedition Escape
Farand Pawlak
fRobert Myers
Grant Luecke
Greg Marinelli
Guy Ellis
Haley & Cameron Cooper
James Shearer
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jess and Troy Seidl
Jim Williams
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal
Jonathan Berk
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Joshua Rosenfeld
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Ken Zinn
Kevin Hammonds
Kristine Horn
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Lee-Fay Low
M. Sean Molley
M&C Saiewitz
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Melanie Rice
Michael Andersen
Michael Augustine
Michelle Rundbaken
Mihir Kedia
Mike Ringrose
Mrs Threepwood
Natalie Currie
Nathan Walton
Nathaniel Segal
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar

Neil Patrick Harris
Nick Moran
No Proscenium
Omer Aru
PanIQ Room
Patricia Gilbert
Paul Tashima-Boyd
Paula Swann
Puzzling Company
Rachel Dunphy
Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
Ryan Lee
Samantha Koehler
Sarah Zhang
Scott Levy
Scott Olson
Sendil Krishnan
Simon Edwards
Stephen Kowalski
Steve Ewing
Steve Gaddy
Steven Rawlings
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Suta スタ Lin
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Team Bluefish
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Catterwauls
The Ministry of Peculiarities
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Victor van Doorn
Victoria Cassetta
Vivien Ripoll
Wil Blount
Will Rutherford

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