Maze Rooms – Tombstone [Review]

Shoot out

Location:  West Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 5, 2022

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $49.50 per player for teams of 2, $37 per player for teams of 3+

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Tombstone was a solid escape game set in an unusual environment, a wild west town at night.

I’ll shoot you straight. The reason to play this particular escape game are a couple of really cool cut-scene moments. Be cautioned, however, because they are both “blink and you missed them” scenes. So please call out your solves to your teammates.

Bird Cage Theatre facade

Beyond these key scenes, Tombstone is a good game, but unremarkable. And as for the wild west town… I found myself wishing that we could see inside of more of the businesses on the street.

Tombstone is in the same Maze Rooms location as Whatever Happened To The Garretts, and in my opinion, that’s the stronger of the pair. If you’re already visiting for Whatever Happened To The Garretts… tacking on Tombstone ain’t a bad idea. There certainly were puzzles worth solving in this wild west town.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Western fans
  • Any experience level
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • Nifty wild west town set
  • A couple of fantastic cut-scene moments
  • Solid puzzle play

Story

It was 1881 and Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and Doc Holliday had just gunned down most of our gang at the OK Corral. Those that they didn’t gun down had been taken to jail and would have a date with the gallows in the morning, unless we could pull off a jailbreak and ride off into the sunset.

Facade of an old western jail. The door is padlocked shut.
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The Escape Revolution – Wrongfully Convicted [Review]

You get at least 1 phone call.

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 8, 2022

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 80 minutes

Price: $59 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: All teammates need to be comfortable going up and down a flight of stairs and crawling a bit to fully experience the game.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

The Escape Revolution is an interesting beast, and Wrongfully Convicted perfectly captures the essence of the company.

The prison set of Wrongfully Convicted was large and presented a surprisingly accurate aesthetic of a modern prison. Their use of two floors shined here, as it was an interesting and entertaining space to traverse.

A hallway in a prison.

However, as with Escobar (and I’m not going to rehash my thoughts from that review, because they are largely the same for Wrongfully Convicted), The Escape Revolution’s inconsistent design and desire to take edgy material, but only flirt with the darkness of the story and setting that they have built, made this game feel beautiful and a little hollow.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great build, and a cool game… but it is bogged down by its own premium expectation and the faux heaviness of its plot.

Similar to Escobar, a portion of the proceeds from this game go to the Innocence Project, which is a wonderfully selected organization. (Innocence Project on Charity Navigator).

I’m very open about my dislike for prison escape rooms. I’m tired of them… and I find the underlying politics of them distasteful. So believe me when I say that this is one of the better prison escape rooms I’ve seen. It’s a worthy game… it just feels like it wants to be and is striving for more.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Prison break fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Cool two-story set
  • Some unusual interactions

Story

We had been wrongfully convicted and sentenced to life without possibility of parole. Our appeals had been denied. We only had one option: escape.

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The Escape Revolution – Escobar [Review]

The great coke robbery.

Location:  Los Angeles, CA

Date Played: March 8, 2022

Team size: 2-6; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 80 minutes

Price: $59 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: At least one player needs to climb a flight of stairs.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Escobar set us on an adventure in an unusual Columbian setting, pursuing a stash of cocaine. It was a deliberately edgy game, with a premium price (that has lowered a bit since the game originally opened).

Premium price points and edgy game design force us to ask questions that don’t necessarily come up in more run-of-the-mill experiences. In the case of Escobar, those questions are:

  • Does this feel like a premium product?
  • How did The Escape Revolution handle the very real world issues surrounding coke cartels?
Detailed Columbian set with a auto repair shop in frame.

The question of whether Escobar is a premium product is a lot easier to dig into, so let’s start there. From my vantage point, Escobar felt mostly premium… but there were some missteps that dull the shine. Simple things like a very dark lobby with essentially no seating didn’t feel premium. Within the game itself, the gameplay vacillated between traditional escape room fare and some truly unusual and occasionally destructible interactions.

Escobar was at its best when it was unusual… and dull when it leaned into tradition. But overall, this was a reasonably premium product.

When it came to the story of Escobar, there are a couple of routes that I can imagine going with a story like this. One is completely bonkers, leaning unapologetically into the tropes of drugs and crime. The other is a more subdued exploration of the darkness of the material. Escobar didn’t really do either of these. Instead it dabbled with the tropes in a sterile manner. It rarely got me thinking… or caused my heart to pound.

The Escape Revolution seems to recognize that their game is playing in some ugly territory and donates a portion of their proceeds to Los Angeles Gang Reduction and Youth Development (GRYD), which really is an incredible organization, worthy of the money (GRYD on Charity Navigator).

Ultimately I think that Escobar is a really good escape room in Los Angeles. I think that the premium price and premium boasts by The Escape Revolution harm this game (and all of their games) by elevating expectations. I don’t think that this game is rivaling the games at the top of the Los Angeles market, and the forced comparison leads to disappointment when really… it’s quite a good product.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Crime story fans
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • Cool two-story set
  • Some unusual interactions
  • Uncommon theming and story

Story

It was 1993, in Medellin, Colombia. Our boss Pablo Escobar had flown into a rage when he’d learned that someone in his organization had turned DEA informant.

Escobar needed to flee and demanded that we retrieve his passports and stash of cash. The catch was that the only person who knew where these items were hidden was the guy who’d turned on us.

If we couldn’t get Escobar his stash, he swore he’d have us and our families killed.

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Quest Tavern – The Witch’s Cauldron [Review]

Which witch was which?

Location: Pomona, CA

Date Played: December 19, 2021

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $40 per player for 2 players to $32 per player for 8 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release

REA Reaction

Quest Tavern is an escape room company centered around a fun premise: in a RPG-esque fashion, adventurers gather at the town’s tavern, and from there they are sent off on a variety of fantasy-themed quests.

A cabinet lit red and filled with strange occult objects.

The Witch’s Cauldron was Quest Tavern’s first attempt at designing an escape room, and their lack of experience showed. A loose story premise about obtaining a cure from a local witch’s abode very quickly fell apart in the actual game. The set was sparse and showed its age. Nevertheless, the puzzles were simple and logical, and the game flowed quite nicely overall.

While Quest Tavern’s first quest wasn’t the grand adventure we’d hoped for, it demonstrated the early seeds for Quest Tavern’s newer and more ambitious experiences: The Last Supper and The Bridge Between. With the continued addition of more tech, more varied sets, and more ambitious narratives, I’m excited to see where Quest Tavern ventures next.

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Quest Tavern – Bridge Between [Review]

Bridge Betweenย is one of the best games in Los Angeles. Here are our other recommendations forย great escape rooms in Los Angeles.

I want a genie, and a cheetah, and a unicorn.

Location:  Pomona, CA

Date Played: March 4, 2022

Team size: 3-7; we recommend 4-5

Duration: 75 minutes

Price: $45 per player for teams of 3-4 and $42 per player for teams of 5-7

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: At least one person needs to go in an enclosed space. Everyone needs to go up a few stairs.

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Bridge Between had a couple of unusual things going for it:

First, it was really cute. There aren’t enough cute escape rooms:

Lisa and Peih-Gee sitting together cuddling baby unicorns.

Second, it was explicitly designed for experienced players, with lots of layered puzzles and a 75-minute game clock.

David and Peih-Gee standing together cuddling baby unicorns.

Quest Tavern did both cuteness and elevated difficulty well.

There were a few places where I would have liked to see a little more clue structure, and there were instances where the puzzles would have been helped by having bigger, chunkier components. Overall, however, Quest Tavern has emerged as one of the more compelling escape room locations for experienced players to visit. Intentionally designing for experienced players looking for something different and novel is an interesting approach that seems like it could actually work in the greater Los Angeles area.

If you’re an experienced escape room player in (or visiting) Southern California, Quest Tavern is a company that you should seriously consider, whether you’re more drawn towards the theatrical Last Supper or the puzzley and adorable Bridge Between. There’s something here for any seasoned escape room fan.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • An unusual theme
  • Many layered puzzles designed for experienced players
  • A cute conclusion

Story

The guardians of the Enchanted Forest had gone missing. The rumors suggested that a local merchant had had something to do with it. We set off to investigate.

A shop filled with middle eastern lanterns and plates.
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