Sacramento, California: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: February 2, 2022

California’s capital city and the surrounding region are home to a handful of stellar escape rooms.

While Sacramento may not yet be an escape room destination in and of itself, the top rooms here showcased beautiful sets and strong puzzling. If you’re in the Bay Area, Sacramento would make a great day trip.

We also have recommendations for San Francisco.

Image: Tower Bridge with fireworks behind it. Text: Sacramento, California Escape Room Guide

Market Standouts

  1. The Legend of the Skull Witch, Enchambered
  2. CONDEMNED2: The Box, NorCal Escape Co
  3. The Whispering Halls, Enchambered

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle-Centric

Newbie-Friendly

NorCal Escape Co – CONDEMNED2: The Box [Review]

Condemned2: The Box is one of the best games in Sacramento, CA. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Sacramento.

Think inside The Box.

Location:  Yuba City, CA

Date Played: November 14, 2021

Team Size: 4-10; we recommend 6-8

Duration: 90 minutes

Price: from $200 for 4 players to $350 for 10 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Moderate physical activity and crawling

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

NorCal Escape Co’s CONDEMNED2: The Box was intense, exhilarating, and moderately terrifying. While Southern California is full of horror escape rooms, Northern California overall is quite horror averse, and as such, CONDEMNED2: The Box especially stands out as a top horror experience within the regional escape room scene.

Rather than relying on in-room actors or major jump scares, CONDEMNED2: The Box incited fear through a persistent intensity of the environment and gameplay meant to taunt the player. Lighting and sound had us increasingly on edge, and some puzzles had us spinning in circles. Through all this, the game managed a reasonable balance of frightening and fair.

Yet certain gameplay mechanics intentionally designed to frustrate players toed the line between diegetically justified and somewhat annoying. Especially in the final stages of the game, player-friendly affordances could have been taken to lessen the tedium or “gotcha” moments of a few puzzles without diminishing the intensity of the game.

Located nearly an hour outside Sacramento, NorCal Escape Co is in a bit of an escape room desert. If you’re in the Sacramento area, however, I highly recommend going out of your way for a visit. CONDEMNED2: The Box is a unique choice for medium-to-large teams with at least some experience, and Fox Tail Saloon and Escape Truck are also both well worth a play if you have time.

One piece of parting advice: don’t hesitate to take hints in this game when needed. The environment was intense and exhausting, and if you don’t take a few hints when you need them earlier on, you may end up regretting it by the ending “The Box” sequence. We sure did.

Closeup of an array of black, eyeless masks.
Image via NorCal Escape Co
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NorCal Escape Co – Escape Truck [Review]

Escape Truck is one of the best games in Sacramento, CA. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Sacramento.

Cons and Pros

Location:  Yuba City, CA

Date Played: November 14, 2021

Team Size: 2-4; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 41 minutes

Price: $100 for 2 players, $120 for 3-4 players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [B] Mechanical Release

REA Reaction

The 41-minute-long Escape Truck packed an impressive amount of gameplay into a tiny space.

When approaching a mobile escape room, I look for a game that utilizes clever workarounds to compensate for a compact set and that tells a story appropriate for the mobile vehicle format. Escape Truck checked both of these boxes.

The premise was straightforward: we were convicts being transported to a new facility, and we had a brief window to escape after our truck crashed. When we were first led onto the truck, it felt wholly convincing as a prisoner transport vehicle. We were led to understand our roles in the story before we went on to discover the layers of secrets concealed in this environment.

The gameplay in Escape Truck was subtle yet exciting. A split-team start helped move players around the space efficiently and largely avoided single-player bottleneck puzzles. Escape Truck would be a great introduction to escape rooms for players new to the medium, and with a solid smattering of sneaky little reveals, it would be equally enjoyable for more seasoned enthusiasts.

Note: We played the 41-minute version of the Escape Truck. NorCal Escape Co also offers a different 15-minute version of the game for events, which features an entirely set of puzzles.

Unlocked handcuffs hanging from a metal bar.
Image via NorCal Escape Co
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NorCal Escape Co – Fox Tail Saloon [Review]

Fox Tail Saloon is one of the best games in Sacramento, CA. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Sacramento.

Where’s my gold…en lager?

Location:  Yuba City, CA

Date Played: November 14, 2021

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

Duration: 45 minutes

Price: $120 for 4 players to $160 for 8 players

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: Crawling (for at least 1 player)

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

NorCal Escape Co struck gold with Fox Tail Saloon. This 45-minute beginner-friendly room stood out for its compelling set, slick design aesthetic, and environmentally-appropriate puzzling.

Moreover, the story in Fox Tail Saloon — the search for Billy the Kid’s hidden gold — so wonderfully tied into local history. Yuba City is in the heart of the “Sierra Nevada Goldfields” and is steeped in mid-1800s California gold rush culture. I love when escape rooms pull inspiration from local history, and it’s not a far stretch to imagine this saloon fitting right into this region 150 years ago.

Fox Tail Saloon included a distinctive approach to search-centric gameplay. In many escape rooms, searching can feel arbitrary or out of place for the set. In Fox Tail Saloon, the searching was naturally incorporated into the environment in such a way that I’d totally believe Billy the Kid hid these clues himself. Each time we found something, it felt intentional and loosely supported the story.

The puzzle sequence was parallelizable and felt quite light overall. With a fairly low puzzle count, much of the game was spent wandering around the space until one player discovered something. That said, this game was more about interacting in a cool historic environment than tearing through a large quantity of puzzles.

Closeup of two drink coins for the Fox Tail Saloon beside a 6 shooter.
Image via NorCal Escape Co

NorCal Escape Co has gained the most recognition for CONDEMNED2: The Box, but in my opinion, Fox Tail Saloon is equally worth a play. This game would be a delightful introduction to escape rooms for beginners, and its elegant aesthetic would also be of interest to more experienced players.

Continue reading “NorCal Escape Co – Fox Tail Saloon [Review]”

Enchambered – Containment Breach [Review]

Containment Breach is one of the best games in Sacramento, CA. Here are our other recommendations for great escape rooms in Sacramento.

Concrete, steel, and puzzles.

Location:  Sacramento, California

Date Played: February 24, 2019

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock 

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Containment Breach was Enchambered’s first foray into escape rooms. It was a strong initial outing.

A solid, fairly traditional puzzle game, Containment Breach offered some good group solves in a detailed but dim set. The lighting was especially low, and we couldn’t really do anything without a flashlight… which grew old.

In-game: a large piece of metal machinery in a heavily worn concrete bunker.

Since creating this game, Enchambered has produced some truly outstanding experiences in The Whispering Halls and The Legend of the Skull Witch. Those games are the reason to visit Enchambered. Containment Breach, by comparison, was an optional add-on.

Who is this for?

  • Scenery snobs
  • Sci-fi fans
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t need to be a part of every puzzle

Why play?

  • A detailed set
  • Some interesting puzzles and interactions

Story

Decades ago, Doctor Henry Rosenburg had built a device that instantly teleported matter. During his first attempt at demonstrating his creation, it had malfunctioned and Rosenburg had disappeared after the ensuing radiation leak rendered his lab uninhabitable.

Now that the radiation levels had dropped to tolerable levels, we went in to investigate what had happened.

In-game: A PA mounted near the ceiling of the bunker. There's a sign warning of surveillance.

Setting 

Enchambered’s first escape game was a bunker.

The dimly lit set was filled with the kind of texture and weathering details that showed the environment was created by someone who cared.

In-game: closeup of a desk with strange schematics beside a large piece of equipment

Gameplay

Enchambered’s Containment Breach was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Core gameplay revolved around searching and puzzling.

In-game: a large, weathered, yellow metal door with a strange locking mechanism.

Analysis

➕ The dim, detailed, and weathered set looked like a convincing lab/ bunker hybrid.

➖ We spent a lot of time searching in low light. It was annoying to play the entire game with a flashlight in hand.

➕ The props felt bulky and real. The gameplay was tangible. It frequently encouraged collaborative solves.

➖ There were tons of papers that we didn’t need and would likely be needless red herrings to less experienced players.

➕ In one instance, Containment Breach taught use how to use a prop through the gameplay. In a game with solid, yet standard puzzle play, this puzzle was especially well thought out so that players would build mastery and have a sense of accomplishment.

➖ All solves led to a 4-digit lock. There were a lot of locks and they weren’t correlated to the puzzles. We ended up trying every derived code in lots of places, which slowed momentum, especially early on.

➖ While there clearly was a story, we struggled to follow it. The story got lost amid puzzles.

➕ We particularly enjoyed the solves that required teamwork.

➕ We truly respect Enchambered’s tiered pricing. Containment Breach was their oldest game, and tickets for it were less expensive than tickets for their newer games. This improved the value of the experience. More escape room companies should adopt this approach to pricing.

Tips For Visiting

  • There is a parking lot.
  • We recommend Thai Terrace for a meal before/after your game.

Book your hour with Enchambered’s Containment Breach , and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Enchambered provided media discounted tickets for this game.