Introducing EnigMarch: A Month-Long Puzzle Design Challenge

Editor’s Note: REA writer Sarah Willson tells us about the new event she’s organizing for puzzle creators… and those curious about creating puzzles.

Next month, we’ll celebrate the inauguration of EnigMarch, a 31-day puzzle design challenge that will hopefully become an annual tradition in the puzzling community.

EnigMarch logo

Background

It all began on January 1, when I decided that one of my goals for 2022 would be to improve my puzzle design skills. And what better way to do that than a month-long gauntlet of daily challenges? After I started asking around about the existence of such an event, a group of enthusiastic puzzlers got together and decided to create one ourselves. EnigMarch was born.

How It Works

Every day in March (technically, the night before at 8pm ET), we’ll release a new prompt on social media and enigmarch.com, to be used as inspiration for any type of puzzle you like. Once you’ve created a puzzle, you can post it with the hashtag #enigmarch to share it with the world.

The purpose of the daily prompts is to provide the structure and motivation to create a puzzle every day and emerge stronger and wiser on March 31. Some people may prefer to choose only certain prompts or take more than one day to create their puzzles, and that’s fine too. Whether or not you want to participate as a designer, you can check out the #enigmarch hashtag and see all the different interpretations of each day’s prompt. Some of the fun of EnigMarch will undoubtedly be seeing people’s experimental ideas and the seeds of future puzzle masterpieces.

How to Get Involved

In preparation for the main event, we’ve assembled some resources, inspiration, and secret bonus content on enigmarch.com. Whether you’re already a seasoned constructor or you’ve never tried to write a puzzle in your life, we’re hoping EnigMarch will help you build your design skills and confidence in your creations.

My favorite thing about EnigMarch is that it’s really just intended to help people increase their puzzle-writing prowess and have fun doing it. There’s no agenda except to celebrate a love of puzzles and share them with the community.

If you decide to participate, we’d love to see what you come up with!

Here’s What We Have in Store for You in 2022

Welcome to 2022. We’re planning travels and events… and we’re optimistic about the year ahead.

Lisa and David in a strange room decorated beautifully by lots of tiny, random objects. A text bubble from Lisa reads, "Greetings from Meow Wolf!"

New Feature: Best of the Month

We’re introducing a new feature tomorrow, the last day of January, where we highlight our favorite REA posts from the month. This will include reviews (in person, online, and tabletop), design tips, news, commentary, podcast episodes… whatever we wrote about.

You can help us decide what to highlight by supporting us on Patreon and joining the conversation in our secret (and super fun!) Discord channel. We’ll be chatting there about what to include. (We’re currently also chatting about mystery-flavored candy. Now we all know why there are white “mystery” airheads.)

Escape Immerse Explore: New Mexico

Earlier this month we announced tickets for our 7th escape room tour, taking place in New Mexico in June.

Saturday, June 4 – Tuesday, June 7, 2022

We were really impressed by the companies in the region when we visited in December and we can’t wait to share these games with a group of traveling escape room players.

We’ve started to publish the reviews from the region. Check out Blackwell Manor, Rattlesnake Bend, Super Secret, and Jumanji. You can expect more reviews each week.

Tickets are on sale now! They are already more than half sold.

Reality Escape Pod Season 3

Our podcast returns February 15 for its third season.

David and Peih-Gee are excited to bring you 12 episodes (our longest season yet!) with guests from escape rooms, immersive theater, larp, board games, Survivor, and more.

We’ve already recorded a lot of the season, and we’re really excited by what we’ve captured so far.

In the meantime, catch up on seasons 1 & 2 if you haven’t already. And if you have, please consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcasts. It may sound silly, but it truly helps us.

RECON Boston

The Reality Escape Convention will be in person in Boston this August. Mark your calendar.

Sunday, August 21 – Monday, August 22, 2022

We’ll be releasing tickets, as well as our plans, soon, but I’ll give you a little teaser. Just something between you and me…

RECON Boston is an in-person convention focused on live interaction. In addition to some phenomenal speakers, there will be lots of opportunities to play escape rooms and other fantastic immersive games baked right into your tickets. It will not have a digital component. It will not be recorded. You’re either there or you’re not.

RECON Global will return in 2023 to continue its success of connecting people around the world and sharing their passion for immersive games.

This year the team is focusing on building the best RECON Boston that we can, and we hope to see you there.

Tickets will be limited. If you want to be informed when they go on sale, make sure you’re subscribed to the RECON newsletter. Click the link below and scroll down to the footer to subscribe.

Industry Report

We are putting together our annual industry report, scheduled for release in late February.

This next report will be an update to our most recent industry report and our 2021 study on the impact of the pandemic on the industry.

If you know of any escape room companies opening, closing, moving, or rebranding, please contact us. Your regional knowledge helps keep our directory up to date.

Thank you!

Thank you to our Patreon backers. You all help make all of these projects possible. We can’t wait to see many of you in New Mexico and Boston in 2022.

We especially want to thank the handful of folks who increased their pledge this month. It means a lot and it truly makes a difference.

Alexander Gierholz
Amanda Harris
Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Sturridge
Anna Lysova
Anna Simon
Anne Lukeman
Barry Joseph
Ben Rosner
Bethany
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brent Mair
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Brian Vinciguerra
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
Bytes
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
deadpan113
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Elaine
Emile Wang
Eric Mittler
Erich Schultz
Expedition Escape
Fabrice Falcao
Farand Pawlak
Greg Marinelli
Haley & Cameron Cooper
Herbert Chan
James Shearer
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jason Richard

Jenna
Jim of PARADOXsquared
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal
Jonathan Dautrich
Jonathan Driscoll
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Kathryn
Ken Zinn
Kevin
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Leanne
Lee-Fay Low
Lindsay Froelich
Lonnie
M. Sean Molley
M&C Saiewitz
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Michael Andersen
Michael Wolman
Michelle Rundbaken
Mihir Kedia
Natalie Currie
Nathan Walton
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Olivia Anderson
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Paul
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Psych Out

Puzzling Company
Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ruud Kool
Ryan
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Sarah Zhang
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Sendil Krishnan
Seth Wolfson
Simon Edwards
Spencer Arnold
Stephanie McNeill
Steve Ewing
Steve Gaddy
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Team Bluefish
Teo Litto
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
The Escape Room USA
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Tommy
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
Will Rutherford
YouEscape

To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll consider joining this wonderful group of supporters.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon, Etsy, or Art of Play after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.

Room Escape Divas 141: Year in Review with Reality Escape Pod

As is our annual tradition, we wrapped up 2021 with the Room Escape Divas.

In this year’s conversation, Manda hosts David and Peih-Gee, giving these two podcast hosts a fun opportunity to be podcast guests. And they cover a lot of ground! We just might have a lot of projects these days.

Plus, if you are on the fence about Escape Immerse Explore New Mexico, David and Peih-Gee explain why these tours are so much fun.

Room Escape Divas Logo, a cartoon representation of the four hosts.

Topics

In this episode David and Peih-Gee tell you about:

And if you want to hear more from David and Peih-Gee, join our Patreon to get access to the REPOD bonus episodes. We really appreciate your support.

Los Angeles Meetup Rescheduled for March 8

It is with a heavy heart that we let you know that The Next Stage Summit & Mini-Festival slated for Jan 7-9 is canceled.

In light of that cancellation and the complications for travel at this time, we’ve postponed our Los Angeles trip and the LA Escape Room Community Meetup we’d planned for January.

The good news is: we’ve rescheduled our trip and this meetup for March. We hope it will be safer to gather again in a couple of months.

Palm trees at sunset, text reads, "LA Escape Room Meetup: Hosted by Room Escape Artist."

Details

  • Date: Tuesday, March 8, 2022
  • Time: 8:00 PM – 11:00 PM PST (drop in whenever)
  • Location: Hatch Escapes (1919 3rd Avenue, Los Angeles, CA)

Please bring your proof of vaccination.

And feel free to bring a snack or beverage to share.

Thank you to Terry and Tommy from Hatch Escapes for providing the venue!

West Coast friends, we look forward to seeing many of you in March.

How to Find the Best Escape Rooms

At Room Escape Artist, we believe that they key to finding the best escape rooms is to figure out what is you love about these experiences.

Once you know what you like, read the reviews!

When we review an escape room, we think about what type of player will most enjoy it and what the experience excels at.

Or, if you need a shortcut, consult our regional recommendations guides or remote recommendations guides. We break them into subsections so you can quickly find the best game for you and your team.

A gold trophy with a black base.

About the Golden Lock Awards

We may have created the earliest escape room awards… but there are a whole lot of them now… and December/ January is crowded. Last year by the time we had announced our own awards, we were sick of escape room awards. The fatigue was real.

We’ve decided to move the Golden Lock Awards to the summer.

On top of giving us our own time of year, separate from the constant release of awards, this solves a whole bunch of logistical problems for us. So we’re pretty excited about the adjustment.

Regional Recommendations Guides

We’ve been maintaining regional escape room guides for a long time, and have recently put a lot of time into writing new ones as well as updating our existing guides.

Plus there are many more coming soon. Some of them are long overdue; others may be a surprise.

Recently Released

Recently Updated

Coming Soon

  • Sacramento, California
  • San Francisco, California
  • San Jose, California
  • Metro DC
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Albuquerque & Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Eastern Pennsylvania
  • Williamsburg, Virginia

Remote Recommendations Guides

We continue to see innovation in the online escape rooms category. With the help of the REA Hivemind, we continue to play and review these games, and we recently updated our selection of recommendation guides.

Most Popular: Recently Updated

Recommendations Guide: 2-Player Online Escape Games – An escape game is a wonderful way to spend time with someone special, whether you’re in the same room or across the globe. This guide includes games designed for exactly 2 people, and games that just work really well as a duo.

The Best Online Escape Games for Large Groups – If you’re looking for a corporate team-building option, or bringing a large group of friends together remotely, there aren’t a lot of options. Here is our (eclectic!) selection for teams of 8+ players (including for groups of over 100).

Recently Updated

Thank you!

Thank you to our Patreon backers. You support the daily reviews that make these guides possible. We are thankful to each of you for helping us find and promote incredible escape rooms.

Ace
Alexander Gierholz
Amanda Harris
Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Sturridge
Anna Lysova
Anna Simon
Anne Lukeman
Ben Rosner
Bethany
Bill Chang
Breakout Games
Brent Mair
Brett Kuehner
Brian Resler
Brian Vinciguerra
Bronna Butler
Byron Delmonico
Bytes
C.J. Smith
Cara Mandel
Chris Cannon
Chris M. Dickson
Chris White
Daniel Egnor
Daniel Kolb
Darren Miller
David Longley
deadpan 1113
Derek Tam
Drew Nelson
Elaine
Emile Wang
Eric Mittler
Erich Schultz
Farand Pawlak
Greg Marinelli
Haley & Cameron Cooper
Herbert Chan
James Shearer
Jan-Luc Van Damme
Jason’s Fitness Consigliere
Jenna
Jim of PARADOXsquared
John Wardrope
Jon Kaufthal

Jonathan Dautrich
Jonathan Driscoll
Joseph Friesen
Josh Kendrick
Julie Burge
Justin Nevins
Kathryn
Kelly
Ken Zinn
Kevin
Kurt Leinbach
Laura E. Hall
Leanne
Lee-Fay Low
Leo Dennett
Lindsay Froelich
Lonnie
Lori Miller
M. Sean Molley
Marisa Capobianco
Mark Blume
Mark Denine
Matt Beverly
Matt Keyser
Matthew Stein
Michael Andersen
Michael Wolman
Michelle Rundbaken
Mihir Kedia
Nathan Walton
Neda Delavarpour
Negina Kolesar
Nick Moran
Nick Rose
No Proscenium
Olivia Anderson
Omer Aru
Patrick McLean
Patrick McNamara
Paul
Paul Tashima
Paula Swann
Philip Ho
Psych Out
Puzzling Company

Rebecca Horste
Rene Sorette
Rex Miller
Rich Bragg
Richard Burns
Rob Tsuk
Ruud Kool
Ryan
Ryan Brady
Ryan Hart
S T Cameron
Samantha Koehler
Sara Reed
Sarah Zhang
Scott Olson
Sean McBride
Sendil Krishnan
Seth Wolfson
Simon Edwards
Spencer Arnold
Stephanie McNeill
Steve Ewing
Steve Gaddy
Steven Valdez
Stuart Bogaty
Stuart Nafey
Tahlia Kirk
Tammy McLeod
Teo Litto
Terry Pettigrew-Rolapp
ThatRandomEditor
The Escape Room USA
The Wild Optimists
Theresa Piazza
Theresa Wagner
Tiffany Schaefer
Todd Geldon
Todd McClary
Tom Henley
Tommy
Victor van Doorn
Vivien Ripoll
Wesley James
Will Rutherford
YouEscape

To those of you reading who have the means, we hope you’ll consider joining this wonderful group of supporters.

Support Room Escape Artist’s Mission

There are lots of ways to support Room Escape Artist, like buying from Amazon, Etsy, or Art of Play after clicking into the links included in this post or backing us on Patreon.

The money that we make from these helps us to grow the site and continue to add more value to the community that we love so much.