St. Louis, Missouri: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: November 30, 2019

I’m not going to lie. St. Louis isn’t an escape room destination. There are pretty games and there are fun games… but we couldn’t find anything that was the total package.

However, what you will find in St. Louis is the City Museum, a gem of another kind.

Stylized image of the Arch in St. Louis.

Market Standouts

City Museum is not an escape room, but it is absolutely the market standout. Wear knee pads.

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Newbie Friendly

Spooky & Scary

Something Else

City Museum is not an escape room. However, it was finest immersive experience that we encountered in St. Louis. We highly recommend this adventure playground for all ages.

Puzzle Warehouse is also not an escape room, but if you happen to also be a jigsaw puzzle fan, it’s a place worth checking out. It claims to be the largest jigsaw puzzle store in the United States, and we believe it.

You are always welcome to contact us if this recommendation list doesn’t answer your specific questions.

Puzzle Warehouse – St. Louis [Reaction]

St Louis isn’t exactly the hottest escape room city. However, if you’re a traveling puzzler there is a delightful place just outside of town: Puzzle Warehouse.

Puzzle Warehouse exterior and sign.

What’s a Puzzle Warehouse?

The Puzzle Warehouse claims that it is the largest jigsaw puzzle store in the United States… and I am inclined to believe them.

They have aisles upon aisles of jigsaw puzzles as well as a respectable mechanical puzzle section.

A very long aisle filled with jigsaw puzzle boxes.

Should I Visit Puzzle Warehouse?

Not every escape room player is into jigsaw puzzles.

If you don’t get the appeal of a good jigsaw puzzle, then you can skip Puzzle Warehouse.

If you heard “aisles upon aisles of jigsaw puzzles” and thought, “I’ll pack an empty suitcase,” then you probably should go.

Shopping carts in the Puzzle Warehouse
They have shopping carts. Process that.

Visit Puzzle Warehouse, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

St. Louis Escape – Curse of the Mummy [Review]

“I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere.” -Anakin Skywalker

Location:  St. Louis, MO

Date Played: March 21, 2019

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

St. Louis Escape makes great sets and Curse of the Mummy was no exception. That said, this escape game had some seriously annoying gameplay.

If things had been clued properly and the tech wasn’t finicky, it could have played pretty smoothly, but it didn’t do any of that. Instead, we were left with a needlessly difficult, albeit pretty, game… I can only recommend this if you want to see a really good Egyptian tomb set and you haven’t yet played Tomb of Anubis… which was on a whole different level.

In-game: A pyramid with glowing symbols in the middle of a tomb excavation site.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Strong Egyptian tomb set

Story

While exploring an ancient Egyptian tomb, we’d happened upon a burial chamber and the obligatory curse.

In-game: A statue of a woman in an Egyptian tomb.

Setting

Curse of the Mummy had a strong Egyptian tomb set. It included a sand-covered floor, a cobwebbed ceiling, statues, ropes, and sandstone blocks. It had a strong, deliberate aesthetic contained within a relatively compact footprint.

In-game: A lantern and scale on a sandstone block that is tied with rope for hoisting.

Gameplay

St. Louis Escape’s Curse of the Mummy was a standard escape room with a high level of difficulty.

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

In-game: A treasure chest, and small locked wooden box sitting on top of sand with hieroglyphs adorning the wall behind them.

Analysis

➕ St. Louis Escape built an impressive Egyptian tomb set for Curse of the Mummy. From floor to ceiling, it was designed, detailed, and delightful.

In-game: Cobwebs hanging from the ceiling.

➖ Our introduction to Curse of the Mummy included how many rooms we’d traverse over the course of the game and information for how to solve some of the puzzles. It was a strange way to introduce the experience.

➖ Many of the puzzles in Curse of the Mummy lacked adequate clue structure. This is the reason we listed this escape room with a high level of difficulty and we recommend it for players with some experience.

➖ Curse of the Mummy relied heavily on a runbook. This was frustrating to use and detracted from our experience exploring the gorgeous set.

In-game: Footprints in the sand.

➖ There were a number of exceedingly frustrating puzzles. One search puzzle burned a lot of time and wasn’t fun to do. There was another riddle that was laughably clunky to resolve into a solution that would fit its corresponding lock.

➖The tolerances on some tech were unforgiving. We had to be incredibly precise to get opens to trigger. We burned a silly amount of time solving puzzles correctly… but not quite perfectly enough.

In-game: A glowing green scarab image in darkness.

➕ Our favorite puzzles were worked into some of the more impressive set pieces… again, spanning the breadth of the space from floor to ceiling. These were really fun, interactive solves.

➖ All of the games at St. Louis Escape were built into a warehouse space with open ceilings. While the ceilings were well designed as a part of the sets, we could hear the groups screaming in the neighboring horror game, Cellar Escape, while we played Curse of the Mummy It was difficult to buy into our Egyptian adventure when we could clearly hear a neighboring team.

In-game: A statue of a cobra's head protruding from the sandstone wall of a tomb.

Tips For Visiting

  • You can park for free on the street directly in front of the building or on the side of the building.
  • There are stairs up to the escape room lobby and the escape rooms.
  • Beware that St. Louis Escape has a habit for putting 4-digit solutions into 5-digit locks.
  • The floor of this game is covered in sand. Wear appropriate footwear.

Book your hour with St. Louis Escape’s Curse of the Mummy, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: St. Louis Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.

Escape From St. Louis – Murder at Denbrough Mansion [Review]

Clue did it?

Location:  St. Louis, MO

Date Played: March 22, 2019

Team size: 2-8; we recommend 3v3 or 4v4 (They have 2 copies are you can play competitively.)

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $34 per player for team of 2 to $24 per player for team of 8

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Murder at Denbrough Mansion was an Agatha Christie-esque murder mystery. We had a dead man, a series of suspects, and a lot of personal effects from those suspects. We had to analyze the information and conclude who had committed the murder, why, and with what weapon.

The stakes were raised by the fact that Escape From St. Louis had two copies of this escape game and we were racing against the other team. (My team beat David’s in this game; our competitive record is once again even.)

In-game: Denbrough dining room table, and breakfront.

While the story and mystery were loaded with details, the set wasn’t inspiring and the input mechanism for solving the crime was as out of place as it was clunky to operate.

We enjoyed Murder at Denbrough Mansion for its unusual take on the murder mystery deduction genre of escape games. It was different and had some good gameplay moments. If that’s something that appeals to you and you’re in St. Louis, then you should take a stab at solving this crime.

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Detectives
  • Any experience level
  • Competitive groups

Why play?

  • You can play competitively against your friends
  • Challenging but fair deduction puzzle

Story

Philip K. Denbrough had been brutally murdered in his mansion after hosting a dinner party with all of his friends and family. We had to gather evidence, analyze it, and solve his murder.

In-game: Denbrough's dining room.

Setting

Murder at Denbrough Mansion was staged within a dining room-like environment. It wasn’t fancy or particularly exciting, but it conveyed the setting.

The set was fine, but it wasn’t the reason to visit Escape From St. Louis.

In-game: the breakfront in Denbrough's dining room.

Gameplay

Escape From St. Louis’ Murder at Denbrough Mansion was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

Escape From St. Louis has two identical copies of this escape room. They offer the option to book both copies and play competitively.

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

In-game: a system for organizing suspects, weapons, and motives.

Analysis

Murder at Denbrough Mansion culminated in a giant deduction puzzle. The deduction elements made sense and the puzzles generally flowed well.

➕ Escape From St. Louis provided the tools (different types of charts) to solve the murder. We had our choice of different ways to keep track of the information and reason out a solution.

➕ As we solved the puzzles, we learned about the characters and their relationships and motives. While these were surface level revelations, it gave the playthrough added depth.

➕/ ➖ Escape From St. Louis built a solution input mechanism into the game. They designed it such that we couldn’t brute force our way to the solution of this murder. It was, however, an odd contraption to have on the wall in the dining room.

Murder at Denbrough Mansion took place in a dining room… with a murder-solving input mechanism. It was a serviceable, but uninspired set. The set was simply a container for the deduction gameplay.

➕ Escape From St. Louis had put a lot of thought in the nuances of the items within the game. We “brought” some of the evidence into the room with us because in the narrative it had been gathered at the homes of some of the other suspects. This was a level of nuance often forgotten by game designers.

In-game: A pile of evidence found elsewhere and brought to the crime scene for analysis.

➖ Some of the later puzzles could have used a bit tighter cluing. A few of the logical connections we needed to make seemed a step off.

➖ The triumphal moment of solving the murder fell flat. It wasn’t entirely clear how to register that solution. As the winning team, we were confused whether we’d won, as we could still hear the audio of the other team playing.

➕/➖ We enjoyed playing this room competitively against our friends. For those keeping track at home, we are now tied again at 3 wins each in competitive escape games against each other. That said, it would have been more interesting if there had been opportunities for the two groups to impact one another or even be aware of each other’s progress.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking is available on the street in front of the location, as well as in a private lot behind the building.
  • Stay organized while playing this escape room.

Book your hour with Escape From St. Louis’ Murder at Denbrough Mansion, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: Escape From St. Louis provided media discounted tickets for this game.

St. Louis Escape – Pirate’s Curse [Review]

Blow the man down!

Location:  St. Louis, MO

Date Played: March 21, 2019

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

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per player

Ticketing: Public

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Pirate’s Curse looked great and included some interesting puzzles.

Unfortunately, the great things about this escape game were undercut by a lack of feedback, finicky technology, and gamemastering that became condescending when we became confused by the lack of feedback and finicky technology.

The reason to play Pirate’s Curse is to see the set. If sets are your thing, then this is a must-play. Beyond set design, we found this experience lacking.

In-game: An open door with a coat of arms on it.

Who is this for?

  • Adventure seekers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • A great pirate adventure set

Story

We’d boarded a cursed pirate galleon loaded with gold and treasure. In order to keep the gold and our lives, however, we would have to break the treasure’s curse.

In-game: A wrack filled with muskets and swords.

Setting

Pirate’s Curse was a compact game with an attractive pirate ship’s interior as the set.

It was deliberately designed from floor to ceiling and beautifully weathered. From a visual standpoint, there was a lot to enjoy in this game.

In-game: a dead and decaying pirate captain surrounded by treasure.

Gameplay

St. Louis Escape’s Pirate’s Curse was a standard escape room with a moderate level of difficulty.

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

In-game: Closeup of a shelf with a lantern and a ship in a bottle.

Analysis

➕ The pirate ship looked outstanding. We appreciated the rounded aesthetic that made it feel especially… ship-y.

➕/➖ Pirate’s Curse included some interesting and thematic layered puzzles. Unfortunately, many of these were not clearly clued. Additional playtesting would go a long way.

➖ Pirate’s Curse included a lot of different symbol systems. This started to feel repetitive.

In-game: A bright "we need a clue" sign beside a flashlight, an ornate skull, and many small treasure chests.

➖ We had some problems with triggered opens. In one instance, the open was substantially delayed. Additionally, if we closed anything that we had previously triggered to open, we had to resolve that puzzle to reopen that part of the game. This was tedious when we wanted to recheck our searching.

Pirate’s Curse lacked feedback. We were hardly ever sure when we’d solved something. Inclusion of sound and light cues, or even springs, so that opens would prominently pop, would have helped build forward momentum.

The barred off ceiling of the ship.

➕ The gold and jewels looked great. St. Louis Escape designed them in such a way that they were beautiful and touchable, but not distracting.

➕ We especially enjoyed one satisfying late-game search solve that didn’t flow as we’d expected.

➖ The final puzzle was incredibly finicky and lacked feedback. It took a hint and an unfortunately sassy conversation with our gamemaster to figure out that we had solved the puzzle minutes earlier. When the gamemaster came in, we asked for a demonstration of the final puzzle and it once again was finicky and slow to respond. We kind of enjoyed how this undercut the condescension that she’d flung our way.

Tips For Visiting

  • You can park for free on the street directly in front of the building or on the side of the building.
  • There are stairs up to the escape room lobby and the escape rooms.
  • Beware that St. Louis Escape has a habit for putting 4-digit solutions into 5-digit locks.

Book your hour with St. Louis Escape’s Pirate’s Curse, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Disclosure: St. Louis Escape provided media discounted tickets for this game.