Colorado Springs, Colorado: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: January 22, 2020

On our trip to Colorado, we drove an hour and 15 minutes south of Denver to Colorado Springs, where there were lots of fun games to play. These are our top recommendations for Colorado Springs.

We also have recommendations for Denver and Fort Collins.

Lisa & David resting on the red rocks of Garden of the Gods.
Also, Garden of the Gods is a beautiful place. You should visit it.

MARKET STANDOUTS

SET & SCENERY DRIVEN

PUZZLE CENTRIC

NEWBIE FRIENDLY

Spooky & Scary … with Actors

Fort Collins, Colorado: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: January 15, 2020

There are tons of escape rooms in Colorado, more per capita than any other state. On our trip to Colorado, we drove an hour due north of Denver to Fort Collins where we found a few companies creating unique experiences.

If you’re looking for an escape room in Fort Collins, Colorado, check out our recommendations below.

We also have recommendations for Denver and Colorado Springs.

Stylized image of mountains and a lake.

Market Standouts

  1. Plight of the Margo Part 1 & Part 2, ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms
  2. Puzzlers’ Secret Chamber of Mystery, Legendary Adventures Escape Rooms

Set & Scenery Driven

  • Plight of the Margo Part 1 & Part 2, ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms

Puzzle Centric

TECH HEAVY

  • Plight of the Margo Part 1 & Part 2, ConTRAPtions Escape Rooms

Newbie Friendly

Games with Actors

Escape The Place, Colorado Springs – The Chamber [Review]

A head-to-head competitive escape room that feels a lot like the video game “The Room.”

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Date played: September 5, 2015

Team size: up to 10 (5 versus 5); we recommend 4 or 6, definitely an even number

Price: $28 per ticket

REA Golden Lock-In Badge
2015 Golden Lock-In Winner

Theme & story

The setup for this game is a little out-there:

Two teams that are part of a demolition crew have finished setting explosives in a building. The timers were set for an hour when both teams stepped into identical rooms with cosmic scrawling on the walls, Leonardo da Vinci art, and a mysterious sealed cube in the middle of the room. The doors lock behind the teams and they have to find a way out before they are killed by their own explosives.

Like I said… A little out-there. Thankfully the setup doesn’t stop this from being a very special escape game.

“The Room”

“The Room” (and its sequel, “The Room Two”) are far and away my favorite mobile/tablet video games. The entire game is about unlocking a puzzle box. Each time you solve the box, it reveals another box within it. It’s the Russian nesting dolls of puzzle games.

The elegance of “The Room” is derived from the simplicity of its interactions. The game designers allow the player to control the game by directly touching the puzzle box. The controls are simple, and the game is beautifully rendered.

The real-life room escape industry owes a debt of gratitude to this video game, among others. I have been waiting a long time to see a live room escape game company riff of The Room.

Escape The Place has done just that.

The cube

The beating heart of this game is the cleverly engineered cube in the middle of the room. It produces a linear experience that is filled with original puzzles.

It’s physically interactive and it left quite an impression on me.

Competitive play

We had five players, so we split the teams along gender lines (at the suggestion of the gamemaster). Two women vs. three men… Neither Lisa nor I were thrilled to play one another.

The hinting system worked via walkie-talkie. If your team asked for a hint, the other team heard it.

This particular game played almost entirely to my strengths and Lisa had a rough time. It also turned out that three people was the right team size; two was a serious handicap.

Both teams escaped, but with about a 20 minute differential.

Each team can track the progress of the other via the LEDs on the control panel.
Each team can track the progress of the other via the LEDs on the control panel.

Some bumps

We were the first paying customers in The Chamber. As such, we contended with puzzle failures:

There was a lock that neither Lisa nor I knew how to release.

There were two locks that were positioned in ways that were very challenging to open.

And in Lisa’s room, there was one mechanical puzzle failure.

All of this stuff is fixable, but it detracted from our overall experience.

Should I play Escape The Place’s The Chamber?

This was our first competitive room escape experience and we really enjoyed it. This room was designed for us to escape; the game was in the race.

Get an even number of people together (ideally 6 in total, but 8 would be ok). Make sure players have played at least one room escape game before. Then go at it to outplay the people in the next room.

The Chamber has a silliness about it at first, but that quickly fades as the experience takes over… It is a must-play experience if you’re anywhere near Colorado Springs.

Book your time with Escape The Place’s The Chamber, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Escape The Place, Colorado Springs – The Hangover

Escaping the post-drunken geekfest is a serious challenge.

Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado

Date played: September 5, 2015

Team size: up to 6; we recommend 3-5

Price: $28 per ticket

Story & theme

After a wild night, you and your friends wake up hungover in a hotel room. You deduce that you must be in a seedy part of town because everything in the room is locked… And for some reason you can’t open the front door either. You have to be someplace important in 70 minutes, so you have an hour to figure out what happened last night, find the key to the door, and get out in time to get to the event.

Escape The Place nailed this theme. The game looked like a crappy hotel room filled with junk that would probably keep some nerdy drunks occupied for hours. This isn’t an exciting theme, but oh boy did they commit to it.

As long as people are making
As long as people are making “hangover rooms,” we’re going to keep making this joke.

Commitment to the theme

Like a good improv actor playing a sketch gone wrong, Escape The Place’s commitment to the theme and story of this game makes it work just enough.

Everything in this room was strangely on theme (if the game was set circa 2008… A first generation iPhone and a rented DVD play prominent roles in this game).

When we needed a hint, we picked up the landline phone to dial the front desk.

More scavenger hunt then puzzle room

This escape room has something like a 7% escape rate.

The room was packed with key locks. The core of this game was finding what we needed at a particular moment. Keys were labeled so we knew exactly where they went, but finding game components was one hell of a challenge.

There weren’t many puzzles in this room, but it was our first encounter with each of them. Still there just weren’t enough puzzles… And one of them basically took half of the team two-thirds of the game to solve.

That monster puzzle was the kind of puzzle that a team could nearly solve, but screw up in an irreparable manner. Thankfully we didn’t do that.

However, after solving all of the puzzles in the room, we could not find one last item that we needed to escape.

I actually enjoy losing in an escape game because I love encountering a puzzle that’s just too smart for us. It really stings to lose due to a hidden object.

Should I play Escape The Place’s The Hangover?

The Hangover was one of Escape The Place’s first rooms, and it wasn’t bad. The silliness of the room and the staff’s commitment to the joke held the game together.

The puzzles were original, outlandish, and at times flawed, but they fit, and they worked (with both skill and luck).

The Hangover won’t be your favorite game, but it would be a solid introduction to escape games. It’s clear that Escape The Place is on an upward trajectory. If we make it back out to Colorado Springs, I’d be happy to go checkout their future rooms.

Book your hour at Escape The Place’s The Hangover, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Puzzah, Denver Colorado – The Steal [Review]

A work of art that falls flat as its about to hit high notes.

Location: Denver, Colorado

Date played: May 10, 2015

Team size: 2-4; we recommend 2-4

Price: $79 per team Sunday – Friday, $99 per team Saturday

Plot

“Test your skills in “The Steal”, a heist mission where steady hands and clever wits are all you have. Your job is to steal a priceless Qing dynasty coin from INTERCEPT, a shadowy criminal organization. Your team must outwit security sensors and alarms to retrieve the coin. You cannot fail this mission, or it will be your last…”

the_steal

More heist, less escape

This game is more of a heist than an escape. You’re “breaking” into the private museum of some anonymous bad guy to steal some stuff. Technically you have to “escape” at the end, but the escape is not the focus; the setup is cool.

Before you walk into the room, you learn the basic structure: You must circumvent an alarm system in order to steal a series of artifacts. When the light on an alarm is green, you can make an attempt at circumvention. When the light is red, you’re in danger; you must reset and wait for the light to turn green before you can make another attempt.

Thoughtful business owners

Puzzah Waiting Room

Puzzah has a beautiful waiting area complete with puzzles for sale, and lockers for players to stash their belongings. They’re even building a mini puzzle game to occupy players while they wait their turn to enter their room.

Puzzah Lockers

Theses are nice touches that I have not seen from any other company.

Beautiful

This is a beautiful room.

The designers minded the details in an admirable way. Everything from the floor to the ceiling is deliberately crafted to make the small room feel like a private museum… Seriously there was a point in the middle of this game where I found myself gazing up at the ceiling and admiring how perfect it was for this game.

Hint heavy

This room is very technology heavy, and tied to that, the hints seem automated. They are tied to various actions that you could take within the room. As you wrestle with the rooms “alarm systems,” hints are delivered based on home much the system thinks you’re sucking.

The room is very linear. Often we figured out how to disarm an alarm, but needed to make a few attempts at it… The hints started to feel a little patronizing, telling us things we already knew.

Uncertainty

We figured out all of the puzzles in the room reasonably quickly. Some of them we figured out before we had the gear we needed to complete them.

In spite of the fact that we figured out the puzzles, when we went to resolve them, we were never really sure if we were doing it correctly. The alarms felt wonky, and at no point were we sure that they were going to turn off after we stole an artifact. This made this room fall flat.

Each time you steal an artifact should feel like a moment of triumph. The puzzles were clever, so solving them is fun… But then spoiled by the total uncertainty of whether or not we just lost because maybe the alarm wasn’t going to shut off. And in the end, that’s exactly what happened to us.

We solved the final puzzle correctly, stole the aforementioned coin, and the alarm didn’t turn off. Our game master walked in, told us that we lost, and then when we made him explain why the alarm didn’t turn off, he looked at our solution and confirmed that we did it correctly.

We left with a lot of mixed emotions.

Confused & confounded
Confused & confounded

Should I play Puzzah’s The Steal?

The Steal was such a great idea. The look of the room was spot on. The puzzles were fresh and clever… Yet I left feeling letdown.

The Steal’s crime was that it sets huge expectations for itself, and consistently fell just short of delivering.

There were so many good ideas in this game, and the alarm system was one of them… But it needed to be tuned for fun and accuracy. You cannot build an automated system that tells you that you lost when the puzzle was solved correctly; especially on the final puzzle.

I’d love to recommend The Steal, but I cannot in its current form. It needs tuning.

That being said, I love what Puzzah is trying to do, and am excited to play their second game.

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