The Escape Game – Nashville [Review]

After years of players asking… we finally played Nashville.

Location: Nashville, TN

Date Played: February 11, 2018

Team size: up to 7; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $31.99 per ticket

REA Reaction

Since it opened in 2014, Nashville has introduced many players to escape rooms… and gotten them hooked. We are thrilled to have played this escape room that folks have been asking us to visit almost since the we started writing this blog.

Nashville was fun. The puzzles, set, and reveals all contributed to our enjoyment. While some puzzles felt dated, The Escape Game Nashville made upgrades to keep Nashville relevant.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Music fans
  • Tourists
  • Players who don’t mind math
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Nashville introduced so many escape room enthusiasts to escape rooms.
  • Local theme
  • Great old school escape room puzzles


Our up-and-coming band wanted legendary and retired producer Rick Teggen to produce our next record. Rumor had it that Teggen had hidden a contract in his old recording studio and had vowed to work with the band who could follow his clues to find it.

In-game: A massive stack of blonde Marshall amps.


Nashville was one of the earliest escape rooms around and one that got a lot of players hooked on escape rooms in general. If you played this room escape in the early days, you would hardly recognize it today as The Escape Game upgraded it dramatically from their more humble beginnings. (We know this because we had passive teammates in the room who had played it years ago and were shocked by the enhancements.)

Nashville was a recording studio complete with mixing boards, amps, guitars, a recording booth, and memorabilia from famous people who had recorded in the legendary space. It looked sharp.

In-game: A music studio's mixing station.


Nashville was an old school escape room that had been upgraded significantly. It was search heavy. The puzzling was focused on building connections and working through process puzzles.

There was also a bit of math, which was one of those love-it-or-hate-it interactions that used to be common, has fallen out of favor in American escape games, and doesn’t make an appearance in The Escape Game’s newer adventures.

In-game: closeup of a large mixing board.


The Escape Game opened in 2014 with this locally themed escape room. This, their original creation, embodied Nashville. The premise wasn’t entirely predictable either. It came together well.

The reveal. When Nashville opened, I imagine it would have been magical. Since then The Escape Game added just enough noise to maybe throw you off, even if you’ve played their other escape rooms and you’re expecting it.

Nashville clued a search puzzle with unexpected technology. It was a neat concept and far ahead of its time.


This cluing didn’t quite work as seamlessly as we would have liked; the searching was still frustrating.

One puzzle needed to be solved on a flat surface, but we didn’t have an appropriate surface. Our choice of surface disrupted our gameplay.

Nashville leaned too heavily on one “paper puzzle” that could be solved without manipulating the set and props. Given the staging for the clues, a louder, more dynamic puzzle would have better fit the beat of the interaction.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: If you aren’t parking at Music City Center for a conference, we recommend the lot under the Metro Courthouse (accessible from Gay Street and from James Robertson Parkway).
  • Food: Demo’s Restaurant and Puckett’s

Book your hour with The Escape Game’s Nashville, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans – Expansion Update

The original 24 tickets to this escape room tour are officially sold out. We made jambalaya to celebrate!

Close up of a pot of chicken and sausage jambalaya.
And yes, it was delicious.

More tickets?

Due to some serious fixed costs – like an extra bus – we need to get enough people to make it work.

At the moment, we are about halfway to that second bus. All we need is a few more interested parties and that bus will become a reality.

If there is enough interest, we will run a second tour bus. Contact us if you want in.


Dates: June 22 – 24, 2018

Price: $599 per ticket

More information and FAQ.

Still on the fence?

Consider what’s included:

If you have questions, just give us a shout.

Escape Room Park City – Travel Room [Review]

Book an affordable trip.

Location: Park City, UT

Date Played: January 8, 2018

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $20 per ticket

REA Reaction

Travel Room was a beginner escape room that didn’t feel like most of the others. What it lacked in decor and adventure, it made up in innovative puzzles and fair pricing.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Best for beginners

Why play?

  • Beginner room with some innovative puzzle design


A retiring travel agent turned his office into an escape room as a final promotion for his business. We had 45 minutes to determine where in the world he was. There were no stakes, just puzzles.

Escape Room Park City, UT logo, 4 interlocking puzzle pieces with a black lock over one of them.


We entered a bright, fluorescent-lit travel agent’s office. It had a desk, some chairs, and a collection of travel posters from around the world.

While the room didn’t inspire a sense of adventure, the execution was careful and clean.


Travel Room was all about the puzzles. This was an old-school puzzle-your-way-out-of-the-office-game. Travel Room could have been a point & click Flash escape room.

As with the setting, the puzzles weren’t shocking, but they were smart, cared for, and well executed.


The puzzles flowed well. They were well clued and they worked.

One significant interaction seem strangely random… until we understood its message. It was also well designed to engage the group.

One prop wore a lot of puzzles well. It was entertaining.

I cannot overstate how much I respect Escape Room Park City’s approach to pricing. This room is good. It’s worth playing. It’s also priced fairly. Their premium game, Mine Trap, cost twice the price, but it was twice as interesting, twice as complex, twice the size, and more than twice as detailed.


The set was uninspiring. It was an office.

Escape Room Park City had a lot of rules… and their delivery felt combative. This aggression detracted from an otherwise fun experience. Some of those rules got in the way of simply enjoying the gameplay:

Our gamemaster warned us not to flip over certain items as the contents might break. This whole category of rules could have been avoided with a little bit of foam. Instead we walked around the room nervously hoping that this wouldn’t be the game in which we accidentally broke a thing.

Travel Room clued us to improvise a solution to a puzzle. At the same time, it warned us not to take a specific action, which would have been the obvious solution. This felt uncomfortably restrictive and not all in the spirit of the clue we had received.

Tips for Visiting

  • If you’ve never played an escape room before, this is a great on-ramp.
  • The building has a parking garage.
  • Enter the building through the elevator in the parking garage. (This was confusing.)
  • Park City has no shortage of food options.
  • Travel Room costs about half as much as Mine Trap, but Mine Trap is twice as interesting.

Book your hour with Escape Room Park City’s Travel Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

New Orleans, Lousiana: Escape Room Recommendations

We were spoiled in Louisiana. The escapes rooms in this region are a cut above.

In 2017, we gave 3 Golden Lock-In Awards to games on this list… and it was tough to choose among them.

That’s why we’re bringing our escape room tour, Escape Immerse Explore, to New Orleans in 2018. Join us this June for a weekend trip to visit many of the escape rooms on this list.

If you’re interested in escape room tourism, this is the region to visit. You won’t regret it.

A close up of a baby gator.

Market standouts

In New Orleans

Outside of New Orleans

The spooky & scary

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

East Coast Escape Room – Summerfield Place [Review]

What monsters wouldn’t let the family finish Thanksgiving dinner before abducting them?

Location: Toms River, NJ

Date Played: January 27, 2018

Team size: 2-10; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28.50 per ticket

REA Reaction

Don’t be fooled by the mundane initial guise of Summerfield Place. This escape room escalated, adding intensity and intrigue. East Coast Escape Room designed the puzzles to be the star attraction, merging them smoothly with the story.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Story seekers
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Puzzle flow
  • The late-game reveal
  • Escalation


A family was mysteriously abducted from their home during Thanksgiving dinner. It was up to us to determine who took them and save their lives.

Summerfield Place entryway, a red brick house with a black door numbered 13.


Summerfield Place let us loose in the home of a family who had recently gone missing. The initial setting was recognizably Thanksgiving day family room and dining room.

In-game: a set dining table with fruit and a turkey in the middle.

The set was well-executed and felt natural, even if it was a touch mundane.

Once we solved the initial mystery, however, East Coast Escape Room dialed up the intensity and the set design along with it.


Summerfield Place played like your standard search-and-puzzle escape room, with a heavy emphasis on puzzling. The escape room also conveyed a full narrative.

In-game: a grim, glowing lab environment with menacing strands of unusual life running along the walls.


East Coast Escape Room delivered a light-hearted take on a classic investigative escape room. The mystery was never scary or horrific. The ambiance and puzzles provided an adorable and playful experience.

The puzzles flowed well.

East Coast Escape Room leaned into less-common puzzles types. They clued these unorthodox interactions well.

Summerfield Place offered us a choice.

Summerfield Place escalated. The set design added intensity without introducing fear or horror. The final act added excitement and intrigue, while staying true to the playful vibe.

There was a hilarious late-game Easter egg.


While it was meant to feel like a home, Summerfield Place felt more like an escape room’s take on a living space. It was homey, but not convincing.

The initial set was mundane. It wasn’t particularly interesting to investigate, even if East Coast Escape Room ultimately paid off the game with an exciting ending.

One segment was a bit heavy on deciphering.

Tips for Visiting

  • East Coast Escape Room is in a plaza with a large parking lot.
  • There are plenty of food options in the area.
  • This is a tough game, and you want to do well in it because the true excitement comes later. Start with an easier game if you’re a newbie.

Book your hour with East Coast Escape Room’s Summerfield Place, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: East Coast Escape Room comped our tickets for this game.


Get Ready for the NYC Escape Room Fan Shindig this is Wednesday!

*Update: Due to the threat of apocalyptic weather, we’ve postponed this event 1 week. It will now be held on 3/14. All other details remain the same.

We’re excited that so many of you are coming out to our NYC Escape Room Fan Shindig.

If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, or you are one of those folks who clicked “interested” on Facebook, now would be a good time to RSVP. (That means clicking “going” for those on Facebook.)

If your friends like to geek out about escape rooms, bring them too!

Black & white & red photos of hands clinking wine glasses.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 March 14, 2018. That’s two days away.

7pm – 10pm


Shades of Green Pub (125 East 15th Street, New York, NY between Irving Place and Third Avenue)

Note that this is a change from our original venue.

Shades of Green Pub will have food and drink available for purchase. Please encourage them to host this type of gathering by purchasing food or drinks.


Please RSVP so that we have enough space for the group.

RSVP on Facebook or via email (


For more information, read the FAQ at the end of the original announcement.

Why Come Hang with Us?

  • You want to talk about escape rooms all evening.
  • You’re looking to meet potential escape room teammates.
  • You need local (or far-flung, I suppose) escape room recommendations.

We look forward to seeing/ meeting you there!


Announcing – Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans 2018!

Southern Louisiana is home to some of the best escape rooms in the United States. This June, we invite you to travel to New Orleans with Room Escape Artist.

Tickets are $599 per ticket. We are currently sold out, however, we are about halfway to being able to run a second bus for this tour.  Contact us if you want in.

Escape Immerse Explore logo.

About Escape, Immerse, Explore: New Orleans 2018

Join us June 22 – 24, 2018 for a weekend of escape rooms in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.

On this personally-tailored escape room tour, you will get a chance to play some of our favorite escape rooms with other likeminded escape room fans.

What’s Included in the Tour?

Your ticket includes a customized itinerary of 9 escape rooms, distributed among the following companies:

This is so many more escape rooms than our New York tour!

There will be three 2017 Golden Lock-In Award-winning games on this tour (and many more that were in the running).*

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Your ticket also includes:

  • Bus transportation to escape rooms outside of New Orleans
  • A weekend with Lisa and David as escape room tour guides
  • Networking with other tour attendees
  • A talk by Lisa and David
  • One group meal
  • Exclusive discount coupons to book additional escape rooms at these venues
  • Event t-shirt
  • Teammates who are as excited about this as you are!

See the FAQ below for many more details.

Tickets are $599 per ticket. We are currently sold out, however, we are about halfway to being able to run a second bus for this tour.  Contact us if you want in.

Event Structure

Friday – You will play two escape rooms in New Orleans on Friday evening. You will also have time to hang out with us or explore New Orleans nightlife on your own.

Saturday – Saturday will be a full-day bus tour with 5 escape rooms outside of New Orleans. We will spend the day with you on the bus and deliver a talk.

Sunday – You will play two escape rooms in New Orleans on Sunday morning. Take the afternoon to explore the city on your own or catch a flight home.

What Happened in Presale?

We launched an exclusive presale for this event less than two weeks ago.

We sent presale invitations to those who attended Escape Immerse Explore in NYC in November as well as everyone who emailed us since then expressing interest in future tours… and they gobbled up 23 tickets in no time.

We are thrilled at the early enthusiasm for the tour and we’re especially happy that so many people are returning customers.

Extended Event Sales?

Since the event basically sold out during presale, we are looking at extending the event.

Next Steps: Contact us with your full name, email address, and the number of tickets you’re interested in.

This gets you on the list. If enough of you sign up, we will run a second tour bus.


Are you guys “selling out?”

We’re hosting this event because we want to bring this community together again and share a few of the games we love with you.

Considering the costs of booking all these games, the travel involved in putting this together, and things like insurance, this is not an overwhelmingly profitable endeavor.

If we were looking to sell out, we’d do something unethical like consult/ review, or design games… and post reviews of them on our own site.

How many tickets are available?

There were 24 tickets available, but unexpectedly all but 1 sold out during our secret presale.

If there is enough interest, we will expand the event and run a second bus.

Why New Orleans?

David has a vicious gumbo habit.

Southern Louisiana offers some of the finest escape rooms in the country. It’s home to 3 of the 2017 Golden Lock-In Award-winning games and plenty more that were in the running.

Each of these companies offers multiple high quality escape rooms. A few of them are an hour or so outside of New Orleans. This makes the group bus tour feasible.

And really, who doesn’t want to spend a weekend in New Orleans?

Why June?

It fits in our absolutely insane travel schedule. It doesn’t conflict with anything else going on in New Orleans… and most importantly, it’s nowhere near hurricane season.

How will we get from game to game?

The games in New Orleans will be walkable from our recommended hotel. They would also be a very short taxi/ Lyft/ Uber ride.

On Saturday, we will have a tour bus taking the group to Tickfaw and Baton Rouge.

Can I choose my teammates?

You’ll be playing most games as a group of 6. You may select a buddy or put together a full group. The pre-tour survey will cover these types of questions.

I don’t have a team. Will that be a problem?

Not at all. We’ll put you in a group with other escape room enthusiasts from far and wide.

I’ve played most of the games from these companies. Can I still participate?

Contact us. There might be an opportunity. We’ll try to make it work and let you know if we can’t.

Will I get to choose which escape rooms I play?

No, but we’ll choose games specifically for you. You’ll fill out a fun pre-tour survey about your escape room preferences. We’re confident you’ll play a lot of games that you’ll love.

You’ll find out your escape room agenda far enough in advance that you can book additional games for yourself during the rest of your time in New Orleans.

I’m an escape room owner/ employee or immersive experience designer. Can I participate?


I have nothing to do with the escape room industry. I just want to play all the games! Can I participate?


What should I do about airfare and hotels?

Your ticket does not cover travel or lodging.

We are setting up a hotel block near the New Orleans escape rooms. You’ll receive more information about that after purchasing a ticket.

Are meals included in the ticket price?

Your ticket includes one casual group meal on Saturday.

You will have opportunities to purchase food throughout the tour.

I can’t make it that weekend. Will you run this again?

It’s highly likely, although future tours may go to other cities.

Can I buy a ticket for someone under 18?

Unfortunately, no. All participants must be 18 years of age at the start of the tour.

Can I sponsor this event?

Contact us about sponsorship opportunities. We are not accepting escape room companies as sponsors.

What if I have other questions?

Contact us.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans this June!

*We cannot guarantee that every tour attendee will play all three of these games. However, we will keep everyone’s game list balanced and in line with how they answer our pre-tour survey.

Castle of Chaos – The Serial Killer [Review]

I kind of wish we didn’t win this one.

Location: Midvale, UT

Date Played: January 7, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per ticket

REA Reaction

The Serial Killer was all about the gritty and grungy vibe. The gamemaster played a role and losing promised to deliver an intense conclusion. From a gameplay standpoint, this was a beginner game. Castle of Chaos put the focus on searching for items and information rather than puzzling. This wasn’t really our style of play, but we enjoyed it more than most search-centric escape rooms.

Who is this for?

  • Searchers and scavengers
  • Thrill seekers
  • Haunt hunters
  • Best for beginners

Why play?

  • Good creep-factor
  • Thrilling actor / gamemaster interactions


With bags over our heads, we were handcuffed in a grungy murder basement. Could we save ourselves before the killer returned and hacked us to pieces and added our trophies to her ever-growing collection? #Feminism

In-game: chains hanging in a dark room with newspaper-overed windows. A mannequin arm dangles.


The murder basement was dark and gritty. It was unpleasant by design with a construction-site-meets-basement- meets-SAW vibe.

The low lighting made searching a bit challenging.


The gameplay was search-centric. We needed to uncover small details in a large space. Only one puzzle had substantial cerebral depth, but it was a big puzzle that also carried the narrative.

A blue lit wall with missing drywall revealing wood.


Our gamemaster was a character in The Serial Killer. Despite her off-stage role, she communicated with us in character. We had fun with this.

While the grungy and creepy set was minimalistic, it captured the appropriate mood.

The most critical puzzle was positioned mid-game, ensuring that even losing teams understood the story. This was a smart decision.

We’re pretty sure that the ending would have been awesome if we had lost.


The Serial Killer was more about searching than solving puzzles. I wish that Castle of Chaos had provided a few more puzzles to chew on.

Castle of Chaos needed to replace an $8 lock that had seen better days. We weren’t going to exert the amount of force required to open it in its worn condition.

The Serial Killer would have been more exciting if we’d lost. Castle of Chaos only really designed one ending. Thus our escape was anticlimactic.

Tips for Visiting

  • It would have been more fun to lose.
  • Portions of this game will be challenging if you struggle to see in low light.
  • You will be handcuffed.
  • Castle of Chaos had plenty of parking.
  • There were dining options in the area.

Book your hour with Castle of Chaos’ The Serial Killer, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.


REA Weekly Roundup – February 25, 2018

The Prexcyt Quest has begun!

REA Round Up logo with an up arrow atop the letter d.


Did you miss last November’s NYC Escape Room Tour? Stay tuned for next Sunday’s blog post.

On March 7, we’re hosting a NYC Room Escape Fan Shindig. We’re thrilled by how many folks have RSVPed so far, many of whom we haven’t met yet.

Featured Escape Rooms

Salt Lake City: Reactor Room at Getout Games was a challenging game with exciting and memorable moments.

New York City: The Taken at Element Quest was a SAW-esque horror escape room with nifty interactions and some startling moments. It’s worth the subway ride deep into Brooklyn.

Something Different

Building on David’s first letter lock word exploration, this week we published another: Ever wondered what words are possible with WordLock’s 5 disk letter lock? Read this one through to the end for a laugh.

Featured Products

Lockbox Mysteries offers a product for folks in Salt Lake City: Sherlock Holmes and the Great Charade can be picked up and played at home. They’ve crammed a ton of gameplay into a portable structure.

From the Community

If you’re interested in making your own at-home escape rooms for friends and family, check out DIY Escape Room. They have lots of content to help you produce your own amateur games.

And finally, remember kids: “Finger strength only.”

San Diego, CA: Room Escape Recommendations

We spent almost all of our 24 hours in beautiful San Diego locked in giant puzzles. Regrets? None.

It’s a fun, puzzley escape room market. It has a surprisingly different feel from Los Angeles, considering how geographically close they are.

Here are a few of our favorites broken out by category.

4 tall palm trees along the beach, the horizon in the background.

Market standouts

  1. The Parlour, Puzzalarium
  2. Mysterious Stranger, Steal and Escape 
  3. The Escape, The Unlockables 

The puzzle-centric

The newbie-friendly

The spooky & scary

Not an Escape Room but recommended

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.