Only 1 Week Left! Your Rankings Will Help TERPECA Find The Top Escape Rooms

There is only one week left to vote for your favorite escape rooms as part of the 2020 Top Escape Rooms Project Enthusiasts’ Choice Award, TERPECA. This a community-driven endeavor to help surface the industry’s best escape rooms.

Top Room Escape Project Enthusiasts' Choice Awards 2020 logo.

Note for 2020

Even if you haven’t played many real-life escape games this year, if you’re eligible to vote, you can and should add your voice.

A participant is required to have played at least 50 rooms to be eligible to rank rooms.

Due to the emergence of online escape rooms in 2020, you can include online games in your count of 50.

Also, online escape rooms have their own category this year; you’ll rank them separately.

Vote Now!

Visit the TERPECA voter portal to sign up.

Rankings (votes) are due November 30 at 11:59 PM Pacific.

Ranking is hard. Oh boy, do we understand. We are each ranking more than 80 rooms, played over the course of almost 5 years. You can do it!

The more people who rank, the more meaningful the rankings will be.

Background

If you’re unfamiliar with TERPECA, I invite you to read more about it here, in our piece calling for voters last year.

You can also read TERPECA FAQs on their website.

I will remind you that David and I share a vote on the TERPECA board. It is not our project, but we do our best to help guide it along with a few other well-intentioned folks.

Introducing REA Swag – Where the Real Money From the Blog is Made

Many have asked… and so we’re finally bringing you proper Room Escape Artist swag.

Come! Walk this way, take a look. We put the website’s name on everything!

Merchandising! Merchandising! where the real money from the blog is made.

REA-the T-shirt

Lisa in a white REA t-shirt.

Until today, there were only 4 REA t-shirts in existence. Now anyone can have one! All of our t-shirts are made with premium materials – because – comfort.

  • Unisex/ Men’s cut t-shirts are in sizes ranging from S to 3XL and are available at $24
  • Men’s cuts are available in black & smoke
  • Women’s cut t-shirts are in sizes ranging from S to 2XL and are available at $24
  • Women’s cuts are available in black & white

REA-the Hoodie

Lisa in the REA hoodie in Autumn

For years we’ve wanted to have REA hoodies… and now we do, and they are super cuddly.

David in the REA hoodie in Autumn

The material feels fantastically soft. It is not a baggy or loose hoodie, so select your size appropriately.

  • Unisex/ Men’s and Women’s cut hoodies are both available at $51
  • Sizes range from XS to 2XL

REA-the Coffee Mug

Lisa looking lovingly into a REA coffee mug while wearing a REA hoodie on an autumn day.

Our coffee mugs come in two sizes. Your choice depends upon your commitment to caffeine:

  • 11oz – $14
  • 15oz – $15

REA-the Sticker

REA sticker on a laptop.

Stickers are available in the multiple sizes, and come printed with either a solid white or clear border:

  • 2 inch – $5
  • 3 inch – $6
  • 4 inch – $8
  • 5 inch – $9

REA-the Notebook

Lisa in a REA shirt taking notes in a REA notebook.

If you’ve ever played an escape room with us, you know that Lisa takes lots of notes in a notebook. We have volumes of notes in our escape room notebooks… and now we have spiral-bound REA notebooks for all to enjoy.

REA-the Magnet

REA magnet holding up a postcard from Meow Wolf

Magnets are available in the multiple sizes:

  • 3 inch – $8
  • 4 inch – $10
  • 6 inch – $12

REA-the Flamethrower!

Yogurt from Spaceballs firing a flamethrower with the REA logo.
The kids love this one.

Support & Fulfillment

Everything is printed on-demand and fulfilled by Threadless.

If there’s something you’d like to buy that you don’t see, feel free to ask and we’ll see what we can do.

We are planning to expand REA merch in different ways over time. Our blessing and curse has always been more ideas than time… and we like to take the time to do things right.

Finally, all of the profits will go towards helping us run and improve the website. As with the merch, we have bigger and better website plans for the future.

Thank you for supporting us. Whether you’re reading our content, backing us on Patreon, or buying our swag, we truly appreciate you.

Let’s make it exist in LEGO: The Safe from ‘The Room’ [Interview]

Have you ever wanted to touch that incredible safe from The Room videogame? This is your chance!

The Safe Lego set inspired by The Room.

There’s a LEGO IDEAS project called The Safe from ‘The Room’ that needs your vote. Without enough support, it can become an actual, tangible reality, outside of the videogame. And it’s free to support!

We recently spoke with the creator, Roger Schembri, to learn more about his LEGO IDEAS project.

REA: Hello! What’s your background for this LEGO IDEAS project?

Roger: Hi there! This LEGO IDEAS project is based on a videogame called The Room by Fireproof Games. It is particularly special to me as I’m one of the original game developers. I’m the Graphic Designer at Fireproof, working across many aspects of the games, from the user interface, concept art, pre-visualisation and in-game textures to marketing assets such as logos, key art, trailers & social media promotion.

Since the initial success of The Room on iPad (including winning a BAFTA!) we expanded the series over 4 sequels on mobile, tablets, PC, and Nintendo Switch, and recently took the plunge into virtual reality with the most recent game released in March this year.

The Room Safe open with all its contents laid out.

Tell us about your LEGO kit. How does it work?

My LEGO model is intended to be primarily a display set for adults, though it does contain several play features too. The build consists of the iconic metal safe from the first level, set on the wooden floorboards of a dusty attic, with bespoke stickers in Adobe Photoshop for the ornate panels around the safe. It has many details inspired by the game waiting to be discovered, from the secret hatch at the rear of the safe to the ornate jewelry box and stack of books set on top. The door to the safe can be opened to reveal a minibuild of the ornate wooden box (from the 2nd level of the game) or an alternative build of the tentacle creature, the physical manifestation of the dark power from the games.

Of course it wouldn’t be a LEGO set without a minifigure, so this set comes with the mysterious guide from the game known only by the initials A.S. Naturally he comes with a range of suitably Victorian accessories to help him explore the mysterious safe and discover its compelling contents.

Little Lego man inspecting the wooden puzzle box.

Why do you think this Safe from The Room LEGO kit will appeal to escape room players?

Building with LEGO bricks scratches a similar itch in my brain to solving puzzles. I hope that many escape room players will have a similar experience. The Room games are often compared to real-life escape rooms, from the searching for clues hidden in plain sight to decoding arcane riddles. It seems like a natural fit.

What inspired you to design this LEGO kit?

I’ve always been a fan of films and television steeped in mystery and intrigue with a supernatural twist, from Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Shining to The X-Files, Eerie Indiana and Stranger Things. Even after 8 years of making The Room games, I still love the mysterious atmosphere and all the intricate details that pull you into these fantastical worlds we’ve created.

As for many people, toys and models have always been a big part of my life. For me there’s something almost magical about having a physical piece of a film or videogame, which brings that fantasy into reality, from playing with Star Wars figures as a child to building LEGO Star Wars sets as an adult! As The Room is a very tactile game with buttons to push and hidden panels to open, I’ve always thought it would be amazing to have a tangible piece of the game that you could hold in your hands.

The pandemic pause on ‘normal’ life gave me more free time to try something new and the iconic safe from The Room seemed like an ideal subject for a LEGO build.

Which game in The Room series is your favorite?

There have been 5 games in The Room series over the past 8 years and it’s hard to choose among them as they’re all a snapshot in time from my life and each of them offers something different for the player.

Our most recent game The Room VR: A Dark Matter is certainly up there, as exploring the rooms in virtual reality is incredibly immersive. I learned a huge amount about game development as we had to reinvent everything that had gone before so it worked properly. On balance, however, I’d probably say that my favorite would be The Room – the first game we made as Fireproof Games, which gave us total independence and so many happy memories.

The safe open with the null spilling out and attacking a little Lego man.

Are you an escape room fan as well?

Yes! For many years now we’ve gone to a different escape room as part of our work Christmas party. These are always a really good afternoon out.

Do you have a favorite real-life escape room?

A few years ago we did the Operation BlackSheep mission at ClueQuest in London, which was particularly good. It had a really compelling atmosphere and set dressing with great use of sound and lighting; my favorite ones are definitely when you feel almost like you’re on a film set!

How does LEGO IDEAS work?

LEGO IDEAS is a way for people to get the LEGO set they’ve always dreamed of! Anyone can submit a project to LEGO Ideas and people can support as many projects as they want, all totally free! If a project reaches 10,000 supports then the LEGO group will consider it to be made into an official LEGO set. There have been dozens of incredible LEGO sets which have come into existence this way, from the Ghostbusters car to The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine!

At the moment over 1500 people have voted for my project, but there’s still a long way to go, so if you like the look of my project, please click the link and add your support. Every vote counts!

If your project gets 10,000 supporters, do you think that LEGO will have any difficulty procuring the rights to The Room?

No, I can’t see any problems securing the rights as Fireproof Games would be very pleased to get the publicity and kudos attached to having a LEGO set based on an original IP.

What can escape room fans do to support you in bringing the Safe from The Room to life?

When it was first released on iPad, word-of-mouth played a huge part in making The Room a success and the same is true with this LEGO project. The single most important thing to do right now is to stop reading this and support the project on LEGO IDEAS. 😉 Once you’ve done that, share the project on any social media channels you use to tell your friends and family about it to help spread the word. The power of word-of-mouth is truly remarkable and with your help I really believe this project stands a good chance of becoming a reality. Thank you for your support.

And if you’re already supported this project, don’t forget that there is also a LEGO IDEAS project called Carter’s Escape. You can read more about it this interview. You can back them both, and any other creative ideas you’d like to turn into a reality. It’s free!