October 17: REA Talk at the New York City Escape Room Fan Shindig

At this fall’s Escape Room Fan Shindig, we’ll be giving a talk!

This is a casual gathering for locals to meet each other and chat about escape rooms and other immersive entertainment.

Details

  • Wednesday, October 17
  • Carragher’s 228 W 39th St between 7th and 8th (we’ll be on the 2nd floor)
  • Starting at 7pm; talk at 7:30pm
  • Please RSVP on Facebook on by contacting us.

Two smiley face stick figures carrying the final two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into place.

Speaking

We’ll be giving the short talk we shared in San Francisco and Los Angeles where we:

  • tell stories about some of our favorite escape rooms from our travels
  • discuss trends in escape rooms
  • share perspective on where we think the medium is going
  • unpack what the changes mean for the players
  • taking questions from everyone

Food & Drink

This event is free to attend. We encourage everyone to purchase their own food and drinks from Carragher’s. We’re grateful for their hospitality!

We like conversation

We welcome players, creators, designers, operators, bloggers, podcasters… and anyone else interested in escape rooms and other immersive entertainment. Whether you’re new to the format or entirely obsessed, this will be a gathering of conversations you’ll enjoy.

  • Swap stories
  • Meet teammates
  • Find collaborators
  • Give/ get recommendations

RSVP

Please RSVP on Facebook on by contacting us.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Escape City Buffalo – Body Collectors [Review]

“I choose you…”

Location: Tonawanda, NY

Date Played: September 2, 2018

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $28 per ticket

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

This was very SAW-like.

The folks behind Escape City Buffalo ran a haunt before they opened the escape room. Body Collectors drew on their experience building realistically creepy, horror experiences to deliver intense, uncomfortable, and unforgettable moments. Although at times the gameplay suffered from an over-reliance on searching in low light, Body Collectors successfully combined gameplay with a haunted house in this horror escape room.

If you’re anywhere near Buffalo and you enjoy horror and escape rooms, Body Collectors is a must-play.

In-game: A torture chair behind a cage.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Horror hounds
  • SAW fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • A memorable opening
  • Intense moments
  • Masterful horror set design

Story

Locked up in a murder lair, we needed to prove ourselves worthy of life, or we’d become the next collected bodies.

In-game: Bloodied tools and kitchen knives hanging on a wall.

Setting

This dark, gritty murder lair was unnerving. From the blood and bones to the instruments of torture, the set was unsettling. This was masterful horror set design.

In-game: a bloodied, dismembered arm on a baby scale.

Gameplay

Escape City Buffalo’s Body Collectors was a horror escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and in at least one instance, bravery.

A large portion of the difficulty was derived from a combination of low light and fear.

Analysis

+ Body Collectors opened with a visually impactful, intense scene.

+ The set looked great, in a scary way. It was detailed and weathered, creating a grimy, unnerving gamespace.

– Body Collectors required substantial searching in low light. It became frustrating when the escape room bottlenecked around searching. Intensity and momentum diminished quickly at some key moments.

– One prop was too worn to facilitate a puzzle properly, especially in the dim light.

+ Nearly every critical interaction came with a memorable moment.

+ Escape City Buffalo used space well to taunt us. One prop dangled in front of us the entire game.

+ One little detail added a haunting intensity to a late-game sequence.

+ Fans of the SAW movies will really like some of the homage interactions.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • At least one player must be able to crawl.

Book your hour with Escape City Buffalo’s Body Collectors and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape City Buffalo provided media discounted tickets for this game.

THE BASEMENT – The Courtyard [Review]

Release the hounds.

Location: Sylmar, CA

Date Played: August 26, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $38 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

The Courtyard took us outside the home of serial killer Edward Tandy to play a murderous game in his fenced-in courtyard. THE BASEMENT built a spectacular outdoor environment, combining nature with decrepit structures to deliver a sense of continual discovery tinged with foreboding. The set was a work of art.

While aspects of the story detracted from the rest of THE BASEMENT’s overall experience, the sets, lighting, sound, and actor delivered an intense and exciting escape room. Additionally, The Courtyard delivered a brilliant midgame puzzle sequence that we will never forget.

If you’re planning to play one game at THE BASEMENT, make it The Elevator Shaft. If you’re looking to play two (and you should), The Courtyard should be your next choice. They’re both unique and intense.

If you’re anywhere nearby and interested in horror, intensity, actor-driven gameplay, and immersive sets, you should visit The Courtyard.

In-game: heavy wooden doors chained shut.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Horror fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Detailed set design
  • Outstanding actor
  • Intensity of the experience

Story

The Basement’s fourth chapter continued with us having escaped from The Study and fleeing into Edward Tandy’s mudroom. Freedom seemed so close. Unfortunately beyond the mudroom was a walled courtyard and another series of sadistic games and death traps.

Setting

We started The Courtyard in a small, dimly lit, ominous mudroom with the porch and courtyard of Tandy’s house visible in the distance.

In-game: Coats hanging in a dim, creepy mud room.

Within their facility, THE BASEMENT had constructed an outdoor space for the The Courtyard. We were walled in by the Tandy house on one side and tall fences on the others. Lily Tandy’s trailer stood prominently in the gamespace along with a few smaller structures.

In-game: an aged porch with a rocking chair.

The Courtyard’s largely outdoor set was detailed and weathered. It felt genuine. The Courtyard was dim and foreboding with the threat of hounds ever present.

In-game: a small kitchenette and table in a quaint trailer.

Gameplay

THE BASEMENT’s The Courtyard was a standard escape room with a higher level of difficulty in an intense environment.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and interacting with the actor.

In-game: a large top-loading freezer in a decrepid mud room.

Analysis

+/- The Courtyard began with a video introduction… followed by a video introduction. It built up tension, stifled that tension, built it up again… it just droned on and on. This was unfortunate because it the intro was well acted.

+ There was a lot of depth to The Courtyard’s set. THE BASEMENT built indoor and outdoor spaces. These were detailed and convincing, instilling in us an unsettling apprehension, as intended. In-game: the heavily weathered side of Tandy's home. Window with shudders flows brightly.

+ THE BASEMENT used lighting and sound to further escalate the tension in their serial killer’s game environment.

+ This escape room was designed so that most players will spend the majority of their time in the more intriguing portion of the set. If players don’t access it one way, at a set time interval, THE BASEMENT triggers a different sequence to move the team forward. We appreciated this commitment to keeping players engaged and pushing them into the more exciting parts of The Courtyard.

– One of these early sequences left a brutal red herring in its wake. We didn’t use a certain game element early on and its presence was an evergreen element of confusion that ruined some moments. This could be remedied with relative ease.

+ The actor was a pivotal part of experience. He reacted to our words, body language, and in-game interactions. He was outstanding.

In-game: an electrical device mounted to a wall.

+ The actor-player interaction design was insightful. The set kept the actor separate from the players, such that it supported the narrative premise and kept both parties safe from each other.

– The Courtyard required a substantial amount of reading in low light.

+/- The Courtyard delivered many of the longer passages both as written text and audio voiceover. This technique made the story and clue structure more accessible to larger teams. That said, there was a heavy reliance on long passages of exposition.

+ The hint mechanism made sense in the context of the experience. It fit seamlessly into the game. Because of this, however, the hint mechanism was only accessible up until a point. Once we’d solved a substantial portion of the escape room, we could not receive any hint to late-game puzzles. Some may dislike this; we found it interesting.

The Courtyard had some of the strongest puzzles offered by THE BASEMENT. There was a mid-game sequence that was especially inspired, pulling together all of the core elements of the game into a uniquely smart and screwed-up challenge.

+ We especially enjoyed another puzzle sequence that triggered a heart-pounding situation, until we puzzled our way through it.

– The final puzzle sequence took the story in an unexpected direction that made it lose credibility. It didn’t seem to belong in the world of Edward Tandy as it wasn’t grounded in reality. THE BASEMENT missed an opportunity here.

– As with The Elevator Shaft, losing teams will experience a more dramatic ending than we did when we won. Once again, I kind of wish that we had lost.

The Courtyard instilled in us a sense of discovery. The gamespace was genuine enough that we didn’t feel like anything was entirely “used.” It was ominous enough that we remained on edge. This balance kept us engaged throughout the escape room.

Tips for Visiting

Book your hour with THE BASEMENT’s The Courtyard, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: THE BASEMENT provided media discounted tickets for this game.

All images via THE BASEMENT.

Get the F Out – The Experiment [Review]

Not what I was expecting.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: August 23, 2018

Team size: up to 10; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $33 per ticket

Ticketing: Public

REA Reaction

Get The F Out likes to produce unusual escape games; they have done this once again with The Experiment. This latest creation was a meta escape room designed for people who love escape rooms. It screwed with our expectations, took longstanding tropes and turned them on their side, and presented a strong collection of puzzles with some genuine innovation in game design.

The Experiment fell short in the fine-tuning. Lighting and sound adjustments would make gameplay less frustrating. The story – which was interesting and thoughtful – was too difficult to understand without explanation.

Get The F Out has a gem on their hands and we’re thrilled we visited The Experiment… but it needs more polish to clarify the gameplay and story.

If you’re serious about playing escape rooms, then I’d strongly encourage you to check this one out. We don’t have that many games designed around players who know their way around an escape game.

In-game: handcuffs looped around a stair railing.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Escape room enthusiasts
  • Best for players with a fair amount of experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • The twist… in the story.
  • The twist… in the puzzles.
  • It’s meta.

Story

The Experiment was a study:

“Looking for all ages, male & female to participate in a psychological study of escape rooms. It will take 60 min of your time. Juice will be served.”

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a lab-coated researcher and lead into The Experiment.

In-game: torn ship's mast.

Setting

The experiment staging, however, was far from your standard lab. Instead of white walls, we found ourselves aboard a ship. The Experiment was structured as an escape room.

In-game: Creepy doll heads in metal contraptions.

Gameplay

Get the F Out’s The Experiment was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, and dexterity.

In-game: The Experiment teaser, reads, "The Doctor Will See You Now."

Analysis

+ From the opening moments, The Experiment thwarted expectations. We went from a humorous, in-character lab-like introduction to the high seas.

The Experiment was puzzle-dense. There was a lot of solve. It was highly varied and generally interesting.

– The Experiment had too many locks with identical digit structures. It wasn’t always clear which solution belonged where.

– We encountered misleading signage. While it did deter us from touching more fragile set pieces it also deterred us, as overly caution players, from thoroughly searching our gamespace. This mechanic punished more respectful players.

– The ambient noise of The Experiment competed with any auditory game components, including our hint system. We used walky-talkies to communicate with our gamemaster and struggled to make out our hints over the noise and the whirling fans.

+ Get the F Out presented two puzzle concepts we’ve never seen before in an escape room. These were brilliant.

The Experiment played with perspective on so many levels.

– There were points where we really struggled with dim lighting.

– The story arc didn’t quite work for us. We had a hard time believing the fiction and the resulting character development. It wasn’t immediately apparent, in game, how we got from point A to point B, and only began to make sense upon post-game explanation.

The Experiment was geared toward experienced escape room players. It wasn’t because of the challenging puzzles; it was to deliver a message. It was meta. Your appreciation of this will vary.

+ Get the F Out included bonus content. If you can escape the room and solve the bonus content in 60 minutes, there’s a prize. The bonus puzzle was challenging and worth solving.

+ Juice was served, as promised. It was delightful.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is street parking.
  • All players must be able to walk up stairs to access the game.
  • It was brutally hot in the gamespace when we visited in August. Get the F Out knows this and provided bottles of water. Just be prepared.

Book your hour with Get the F Out’s The Experiment, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Get the F Out comped our tickets for this game.

S’Mores, Fire-breathing, and the REDivas Podcast

On our recent trip to Los Angeles, Ariel Rubin, half the duo behind Escape Room in a Box, hosted a s’mores-eating get together at her home. By delightful happenstance, Errol of the REDivas was in LA at the same time… so he recorded an episode.

Errol covers a lot of topics as he bounces between the different guests.

Stash House post game photo promoting the REDivas podcast. Images features, Errol, Brian, Cam, Tammy, Amanda, Lisa, & David.

We talk about the Escape Room & Immersive Entertainment Shindig we hosted in Los Angeles at Hatch Escapes, something we’re excited to bring to other cities in the future.

Tammy McLeod and Errol talk about our team playing Stash House.

Amanda Harris, one of the most experienced escape room players in the world, talks about… well… playing escape rooms.

David’s childhood friend Brian Resler tells Errol how he played an important role in the start of Room Escape Artist. Brian and his wife Cam also talk a bit about playing escape rooms with us.

Sarah Wilson, our new Los Angeles correspondent, talks about writing, video games, and order preservation puzzles.

Ariel paints a picture of how Escape Room in a Box started and her 1-year-old daughter Belle shares her thoughts on the future of immersive entertainment… but Ariel’s husband Mike steals the show, literally, when he emerges with a torch and Errol pauses the podcast recording for the fire-breathing.

Hatch Escapes – Lab Rat [Review]

Human race.

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: August 25, 2018

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 4-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $40 per ticket

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

Lab Rat created a world for us to explore. They built a fiction, presented a complete story with a beginning, middle and end, and thrust us into it with scaled-up set design and fully justified gameplay.

Hatch Escapes produced an intense, joyous, and funny escape room that managed to be outlandish and grounded at the same time. It was quite a feat.

While we didn’t love the middle of the game as much as the opening and closing, this was the kind of game that shifted how we think about escape room storytelling.

Lab Rat is a must-play. It’s worth traveling far to test your human intelligence in this lab.

In-game: A sign that reads, "Keeps test humans alive. For a while."

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Fun scenario
  • Scaled set design
  • A sense of exploration
  • Interesting puzzles

Story

In Lab Rat, we were the “lab humans” in a facility where giant rats tested human intelligence, or lack thereof. If we could complete the a series of tests and puzzles, the presiding rat scientist would be able to write his dissertation. If we couldn’t prove our intelligence and deliver him a passing grade, we’d end up in the chipper.

In-game: a massive hamster water dispenser, lit purple.

Setting

We were locked in a cage for lab humans with food, water, and our exercise wheel. Outside the cage we had access to a maze, created by the rats out of cardboard boxes and the like. The scale of the set punctuated our role reversal into the test subjects. We were tiny; cereal boxes, pencils, and toys were huge.

In-game: a food bowl with letters and symbols printed on it in a large cage. Beside it is a gigantic box of "Fruity Kibble."

Gameplay

Hatch Escapes’ Lab Rat was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, puzzling, making connections, and communicating.

In-game: a large hamster wheel in a cage.

Analysis

+ Hatch Escapes built a phenomenal set for Lab Rat. The scale brought the escape room scenario to life. The maze made the set feel expansive and delivered a sense of exploration. The representations of the supposed construction materials were funny and supported the backstory. From the initial moments of Lab Rat the set upped our energy level.

+ Hatch Escapes provided backstory through entertaining video cutscenes. Since our time paused during these interludes, we could enjoy the videos without feeling a competing urge to solve the puzzles in those moments. Hatch Escapes incorporated video into the set with a thoughtful layout so that it never felt out of place.

+ We enjoyed one puzzle sequence that wasn’t as it had originally appeared and jabbed at human intelligence. It was amusing.

In-game: A box cover for "Grand Theft Otter"

+ Hatch Escapes used light, sound, and motion to bring the team together for a triggered event. This wasn’t even a puzzle, but it was a moment of joy, wonder, and anticipation that everyone enjoyed together.

– At one point, Lab Rat transitioned to a segment that didn’t live up to the rest of the experience. The gamespace felt a little out of place. The clue structure felt choppy; we could sense ghost puzzles haunting the space. While we appreciated the contrast between this space and the rest of the experience, we left unsure how to connect this segment to the larger whole.

+/- Lab Rat included a humorous late-game segment in an entirely unexpected gamespace, providing an unorthodox and surprisingly entertaining challenge. The gamespace operated a seamless transition to stage this segment. As players, however, we approached this unusual gameplay cautiously and could have benefited from more in-game cluing to get us rolling. Finicky tech also contributed to our hangups moving through this sequence.

+ Hatch Escapes incorporated a concept we’ve been waiting to see for… I don’t even know how long. It worked beautifully in the lab human scenario.

– One pivotal prop felt underused. It had intrigued us from the initial moments of the escape room, but when it came full circle in the culminating sequence, it didn’t deliver on the intrigue. It was one of the weaker puzzles in the Lab Rat in a moment that begged for something stronger.

+ Hatch Escapes presented Lab Rat as a theater piece. From the cutscene videos to the final credits, it was delivered as a narrative-driven, interactive piece of art. Authorship and credit is so often missing from escape rooms. We appreciated this delivery of escape room through the lens of another storytelling medium.

+ Hatch Escapes did a great job with story structure. Our tale had a beginning, middle, and end, complete with character development. Few have pulled this off and Hatch Escapes did it with style.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is street parking.
  • At least one person needs to be comfortable climbing a ladder.

Book your hour with Hatch Escapes’ Lab Rat, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Hatch Escapes comped our tickets for this game.

David & Lisa Ask for Escape Room Feedback [Comic]

If you’ve ever played an escape room with us, you know we ask our teammates two questions at the end of the game: favorite part and least favorite part. The answers can be broad or specific. You’re allowed to have as many of you want of each.

What’s more interesting than giving feedback on Stash House

My Neighbor Errol #1322: Car Ride

Errol freaking out about riding in Tammy's Tesla while Lisa & David try to get his reaction to the escape room we just played.

My Neighbor Errol

Errol of Room Escape Divas shares episodes of his life in comic form at My Neighbor Errol. We are honored to have been featured as characters this week… characters with a very flattering introduction:

My Neighbor Errol #1318: The Spiras

Comic introducing Lisa & David as characters.
I can just hear Errol says “SPY-RA” in this comic, just like he did on a recent REDivas episode.

Playing an Escape Room with Errol

By happenstance our visit to Los Angeles overlapped with Errol’s visit.

We are thrilled to have finally experienced erroling in real life. It was exactly as we’d imagined, only better, because of the non-player audience.

My Neighbor Errol #1320 – Stash House Intro

Comic of Errol asking if he can take his shoes off in Stash House.

When we invited Errol to play Stash House with us, we had no idea the experience would be immortalized as a comic. In retrospect, we probably shouldn’t have been as surprised as we were.

My Neighbor Errol #1321: Stash House Escape Room

Errol being Errol while playing Stash House.

Thanks, Errol. We love the comic book versions of ourselves. We’re honored that your experience playing Stash House with us was worthy of comic book documentation.

My favorite of his recent Los Angeles run of comics is still this gem:

My Neighbor Errol #1313: Meetup Activities

Comic of Errol explaining to his wife that he spent 3 hours at an escape room meetup just talking about escape rooms.

Palace Games – The Edison Escape Room [Review]

💡34,000

Location: San Francisco, CA

Date Played: August 20, 2018

Team size: 4-8; we recommend 5-7

Duration: 100 minutes

Price: $410 per team

Ticketing: Private

REA Reaction

Palace Games succeeded in blurring the lines between real life and video game.

The Edison Escape Room was a brilliant display of technology in escape room design. The detailed set was phenomenal. The gameplay ranged from well-executed standard puzzles to wholly unorthodox challenges in the physical environment, all of which leaned into teamwork. Palace Games stitched these elements together with technology that brightened each element individually and energized the interconnected experience. The Edison Escape Room was as impressive as it was fun.

This escape room was a commitment. At 100 minutes there might have even have been too many challenges. A few too many of these felt like the final puzzle leading to an unnecessary anti-climax. Palace Games packed a lot of different twists into The Edison Room. 

Palace Games’ latest creation is a wonder of the escape room world.

It is worth traveling a distance to visit The Edison Escape Room.

In-game: an incandescent lightbulb labeled

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Technology fans
  • Players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Brilliant puzzles
  • Radiant set design
  • Dramatic reveals
  • Unusual teamwork mechanics
  • The room reacts to the players
  • Incredible feat of technology in escape room design

Story

Thomas Edison had maintained a secret study in the Palace of Fine Arts during the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, the World’s Fair held in San Francisco, California, in 1915. When the Palace Games team unearthed a telegram confirming the existence of this study, they did indeed uncover the space.

This study hid a secret: Since Edison had deemed his children unsuitable heirs to his businesses, he had crafted a series of challenges into his study in an attempt to find an acceptable heir. If we could solve all his challenges, we could earn the right to lead Edison’s businesses.

In-game: Promotional image of Edison's 1915 World's Fair Tower of Jewels, rainbow iridescent tower.

Setting

Edison maintained a small wall-papered study with a wooden desk, phonograph, and some wall hangings. A display of lightbulbs featured prominently on one wall. It was cozy and welcoming.

This classic study was a facade. The more exciting and dramatic elements of his challenges were yet to come, if we were bright enough to enter his lab.

In-game: an old phonograph on Edison's desk.

Gameplay

Palace Games’ The Edison Escape Room began as a standard escape room and evolved to deliver highly interactive atypical sequences.

The Edison Escape Room offered a high level of difficulty. This difficultly, however, was adaptive. If a team wasn’t up to the level of challenge, the room would adjust to the give the players a better experience.

Core gameplay revolved around searching, observing, making connections, puzzling, and working together.

In-game: an unusual room lined with lights, wheels, and gauges.

Analysis

+ The Edison Escape Room delivered phenomenal reveals. It was exciting, dramatic, and invigorating.

+ The set was delightful. There was always more to take in. A close look illuminated disguised jokes and puns. I spent a few minutes puzzling through these humorous tidbits that were entirely irrelevant to the larger puzzle game. I enjoyed every second of this time.

+ The puzzle design encouraged both parallel puzzling and group solves. The branching came back together repeatedly in interactive and entertaining group challenges.

In-game: A period appropriate Periodic Table of the Elements.

+ We enjoyed so many of the puzzles in The Edison Escape Room. These included more typical escape room style puzzles as well as more atypical, interactive group maneuvering.

– One of the late-game puzzles felt under-clued. Witnessing it play-out, we liked the concept, but it seemed as if the game was dragging us through it rather lighting a path of clues that we could follow.

+/- The Edison Escape Room provided audible feedback to confirm that we’d correctly solved a puzzle. Some of the choices of confirmation tone seemed oddly out of place and immersion-breaking in an experienced grounded in 1915… even when they were amusing.

In-game: a grid of incandescent light bulbs all labeled with different words.

+ Palace Games intertwined gamespace and puzzle seamlessly; for much of the escape room these were interconnected on a level far beyond what we’ve come to expect from escape room design.

+ The gamespace responded to our actions. Furthermore, it adapted to the team’s ability. It was impressive.

+ The Edison Escape Room encouraged us to build mastery of the gamespace and the props within. We welcomed Palace Games’ unambiguous approach to prop reuse. It furthered our engagement with the gamespace. The props were enticing and we were eager to see them recalled and reimagined as the game progressed.

-The Edison Escape Room didn’t need to be 100 minutes long. Some of the late-game content became overly repetitive. On multiple different occasions, we thought we’d solved the final puzzle… and then Edison tossed us another challenge. Considering how much time we spend in escape rooms, it’s strange to say that this was too much escape room, but by the end, that’s how we felt. The energy of the space dimmed.

– The final puzzle – the actual final puzzle – wasn’t as climactic as some of the culminating puzzles that came before it. This contributed to the petering out.

In-game: An old 6 lever Winchester lock.

+ The technology driving The Edison Escape Room was impressive. We were in awe that it worked. While we don’t believe escape rooms need technology to be great, Palace Games incorporated this technology brilliantly to bring the elements of escape room design together.

+ The Edison Escape Room provided a continual sense of new discovery. In a gamespace as elaborate and interesting as this, discovery was invigorating. This was a ton of fun. I still can’t believe that this thing exists.

Tips for Visiting

  • Drive to the back of The Palace of Fine Arts. There is parking.
  • For food we recommend Super Duper Burgers.
  • Accessibility: If you have mobility concerns, speak with Palace Games about adaptations to accommodate for these. The Edison Escape Room is highly adaptable.

Book your hour with Palace Games’ The Edison Escape Room, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Palace Games provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Vote for Escape Rooms with 10Best

For the third year is a row, USA Today has opened the voting for their Readers’ Choice 10Best escape rooms.

We see USA Today’s 10Best as an opportunity for newbies to start out playing a great room, and hopefully get hooked. As such, we did our best to nominate geographically dispersed companies as candidates for their 10Best list.

10 of our nominees are included in this year’s vote. No, we will not say which ones.

USA Today 10Best Readers Choice 2018 logo

10Best Travel Lists

USA Today publishes 10Best lists to help travelers make the most out of their trips. The 10Best lists cover food, lodging, destinations, travel gear, things to do, etc. Experts select the nominees and the readers vote on their favorites.

According to USA Today, across the different categories, 10Best is read by 5 million travelers per month.

California

8 of this year’s nominees are in California. Most of these are in and around Los Angeles.

This speaks to the strength of the Los Angeles market (and that most of the reviewers consulted have spent a lot of time in California escape rooms). There are a lot of companies creating incredible experiences there.

We recently spent a week enjoying escape rooms in California. We’re looking forward to sharing reviews from that trip in the upcoming weeks. We’ll be publishing reviews of some of the companies on this list and others that we can’t wait to tell you about.

Louisiana

3 of this year’s nominees are in Louisiana. While this is a smaller market than California, it’s no less impressive. The scale of some of these experiences is mind boggling.

We were thrilled to showcase many of these games at Escape Immerse Explore New Orleans.

Promoting Escape Rooms

A vote for your favorite escape room is a vote that promotes escape rooms to travelers.

Escape rooms are competing with museums, tours, amusement parks, theater, and all sorts of other entertainment.

While California and Louisiana may have emerged as destinations for escape room tourism, there are phenomenal escape room companies all over the country. The 2018 10Best nominees include companies in 7 other states. You can travel to so many different cities and find outstanding escape rooms. Help other travelers find these – and other – escape rooms.

Cast your vote for escape rooms!

 

DAEDALUS – Competitive Digital Escape Room [Players Needed]

If you like escape rooms, you might like to participate in this competitive digital escape room.

Details

  • Who (Organizer): Game designers and researchers from Northeastern University
  • What: An escape room called DAEDALUS as part of a study
  • When: Accepting signups on a rolling basis
  • Where: The internet… and Boston*
  • Why: To study the impact of individual differences on group performance

Teams race against each other to finish the game in the shortest time. Teams that complete the game in time will win a cash prize.

*Eligibility: Players must be 18+ and permanent U.S. residents or citizens. Teams can be spread out all over the world, but teams must have a minimum of 2 players in the Boston area. Some challenges involve performing actions in physical locations in Boston.

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Disclaimer: We are not affiliated with this escape room and we are not participating in the competition.