Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans – Expansion Update

The original 24 tickets to this escape room tour are officially sold out. We made jambalaya to celebrate!

Close up of a pot of chicken and sausage jambalaya.
And yes, it was delicious.

More tickets?

Due to some serious fixed costs – like an extra bus – we need to get enough people to make it work.

At the moment, we are about halfway to that second bus. All we need is a few more interested parties and that bus will become a reality.

If there is enough interest, we will run a second tour bus. Contact us if you want in.

Details

Dates: June 22 – 24, 2018

Price: $599 per ticket

More information and FAQ.

Still on the fence?

Consider what’s included:

If you have questions, just give us a shout.

My Prexcyt Quest Experience in GIFs

Prexcyt Quest was a lengthy puzzling event and I am not an experienced puzzle hunter.

My goals: level up my skills and have fun.

I absolutely improved my skills and had a lot of fun… but my journey was amusingly bumpy.

Warning

The Cryptex Hunt is still live and you can still complete it.

This post will not contain any puzzle answers, but it will contain structural spoilers and some hints.

… and this post won’t really make much sense if you don’t know the context of each puzzle.

… and this is all kind of self-indulgent.

Enjoy.

Video

“Woot! We’re starting… and we’re overthinking.”

Ski race starting, and one skier falling flat on his face.

PDF

Guy with black eye saying,

Hall of Heroes

Guys saying, I got this

Magic Words

Magician in a pink unicorn shirt pulls flowers out from behind his head.

Simon

Robot with flashing eyes dancing

Light Grid

Elmo and Jimmy Fallon dancing.

Haunted House

Dan Aykroyd in Ghostbusters looking at creepy stairway asking,

Theater

At first glance?

Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero smoking a cigar and asking,

Half a day later?

Schwarzenegger in The Last Action Hero smoking a cigar stating,

Temple of Mill “Oh… It’s a Meta!”

2017 darts premier league final, perfect score, thrower celebrates.

Temple of Lum “The Errol Process”

Bowie asking,

Temple of Nor – “Surprisingly Straightforward”

Solved it fast… then thwarted by a bug.

Julius Thomas spiking a football, then it bounces back into his face.

Pillar of Fire – “The one where I had all of the information but thought it was a joke”

Billy Joel slapping his hands on a keyboard with a fire burning behind him

Pillar of Poison – “Prexcyt Go Outside in the Winter”

The Rock saying,

Bruce Willis saying,

Pillar of Electric – “Catan 2: Electric Boogaloo”

John Travolta in a suit lost on an island.

Pillar of Ice – “Mudpen”

After solving the puzzle in 23 minutes.

Commander Riker's blank expression slowing transforming into a an elated smile.

After looking at the leaderboard and realizing that I ranked 63rd on this puzzle.

Captain Picard facepalming.

After reflecting upon the quality of the competition and my place among them.

Spock saying

Pillar of Acid – “Word Spell Backwards”

“Another map? Ok. I can handle this… oh no… not cryptic crosswords…”

Superman catching a bullet, then it explodes into a cloud of kryptonite.

Vortex

A black Master Lock Directional Lock

Patchwork House – “OMG it’s a Golden Lock-In puzzle!”

Surprised snow owl slowly turning its head.

Wow… It’s a Golden Lock-In puzzle. Everything in this puzzle is about us?!

Woman blushing.

Cute kid with a aww shucks expression resting his head in his hands.

The 10 Puzzle Finale

After puzzle 1:

Morpheus Come At Me

Puzzle 2:

Skin diver swimming off into darkness and disappearing.

Also puzzle 2

Dog floating around in space labeled,

Puzzle 3

A green blob character laying on his back holding a waiving white flag.

Thank Yous

I’d like to thank all of the people who I teamed up with at various points in the hunt. Fro, Andrea, Glyn, Theresa, Ken, Amanda, and Drew. We took turns carrying one another. I’m so glad we did.

Thank you to the creators of the hunt and all of the people who supported them. Y’all are absolutely insane… Go take a nap.

Get Ready for the NYC Escape Room Fan Shindig this is Wednesday!

*Update: Due to the threat of apocalyptic weather, we’ve postponed this event 1 week. It will now be held on 3/14. All other details remain the same.

We’re excited that so many of you are coming out to our NYC Escape Room Fan Shindig.

If you haven’t RSVP’d yet, or you are one of those folks who clicked “interested” on Facebook, now would be a good time to RSVP. (That means clicking “going” for those on Facebook.)

If your friends like to geek out about escape rooms, bring them too!

Black & white & red photos of hands clinking wine glasses.

When

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 March 14, 2018. That’s two days away.

7pm – 10pm

Where

Shades of Green Pub (125 East 15th Street, New York, NY between Irving Place and Third Avenue)

Note that this is a change from our original venue.

Shades of Green Pub will have food and drink available for purchase. Please encourage them to host this type of gathering by purchasing food or drinks.

RSVP

Please RSVP so that we have enough space for the group.

RSVP on Facebook or via email (roomescapeartist@gmail.com)

FAQ

For more information, read the FAQ at the end of the original announcement.

Why Come Hang with Us?

  • You want to talk about escape rooms all evening.
  • You’re looking to meet potential escape room teammates.
  • You need local (or far-flung, I suppose) escape room recommendations.

We look forward to seeing/ meeting you there!

 

Announcing – Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans 2018!

Southern Louisiana is home to some of the best escape rooms in the United States. This June, we invite you to travel to New Orleans with Room Escape Artist.

Tickets are $599 per ticket. We are currently sold out, however, we are about halfway to being able to run a second bus for this tour.  Contact us if you want in.

Escape Immerse Explore logo.

About Escape, Immerse, Explore: New Orleans 2018

Join us June 22 – 24, 2018 for a weekend of escape rooms in and around New Orleans, Louisiana.

On this personally-tailored escape room tour, you will get a chance to play some of our favorite escape rooms with other likeminded escape room fans.

What’s Included in the Tour?

Your ticket includes a customized itinerary of 9 escape rooms, distributed among the following companies:

This is so many more escape rooms than our New York tour!

There will be three 2017 Golden Lock-In Award-winning games on this tour (and many more that were in the running).*

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Your ticket also includes:

  • Bus transportation to escape rooms outside of New Orleans
  • A weekend with Lisa and David as escape room tour guides
  • Networking with other tour attendees
  • A talk by Lisa and David
  • One group meal
  • Exclusive discount coupons to book additional escape rooms at these venues
  • Event t-shirt
  • Teammates who are as excited about this as you are!

See the FAQ below for many more details.

Tickets are $599 per ticket. We are currently sold out, however, we are about halfway to being able to run a second bus for this tour.  Contact us if you want in.

Event Structure

Friday – You will play two escape rooms in New Orleans on Friday evening. You will also have time to hang out with us or explore New Orleans nightlife on your own.

Saturday – Saturday will be a full-day bus tour with 5 escape rooms outside of New Orleans. We will spend the day with you on the bus and deliver a talk.

Sunday – You will play two escape rooms in New Orleans on Sunday morning. Take the afternoon to explore the city on your own or catch a flight home.

What Happened in Presale?

We launched an exclusive presale for this event less than two weeks ago.

We sent presale invitations to those who attended Escape Immerse Explore in NYC in November as well as everyone who emailed us since then expressing interest in future tours… and they gobbled up 23 tickets in no time.

We are thrilled at the early enthusiasm for the tour and we’re especially happy that so many people are returning customers.

Extended Event Sales?

Since the event basically sold out during presale, we are looking at extending the event.

Next Steps: Contact us with your full name, email address, and the number of tickets you’re interested in.

This gets you on the list. If enough of you sign up, we will run a second tour bus.

FAQ

Are you guys “selling out?”

We’re hosting this event because we want to bring this community together again and share a few of the games we love with you.

Considering the costs of booking all these games, the travel involved in putting this together, and things like insurance, this is not an overwhelmingly profitable endeavor.

If we were looking to sell out, we’d do something unethical like consult/ review, or design games… and post reviews of them on our own site.

How many tickets are available?

There were 24 tickets available, but unexpectedly all but 1 sold out during our secret presale.

If there is enough interest, we will expand the event and run a second bus.

Why New Orleans?

David has a vicious gumbo habit.

Southern Louisiana offers some of the finest escape rooms in the country. It’s home to 3 of the 2017 Golden Lock-In Award-winning games and plenty more that were in the running.

Each of these companies offers multiple high quality escape rooms. A few of them are an hour or so outside of New Orleans. This makes the group bus tour feasible.

And really, who doesn’t want to spend a weekend in New Orleans?

Why June?

It fits in our absolutely insane travel schedule. It doesn’t conflict with anything else going on in New Orleans… and most importantly, it’s nowhere near hurricane season.

How will we get from game to game?

The games in New Orleans will be walkable from our recommended hotel. They would also be a very short taxi/ Lyft/ Uber ride.

On Saturday, we will have a tour bus taking the group to Tickfaw and Baton Rouge.

Can I choose my teammates?

You’ll be playing most games as a group of 6. You may select a buddy or put together a full group. The pre-tour survey will cover these types of questions.

I don’t have a team. Will that be a problem?

Not at all. We’ll put you in a group with other escape room enthusiasts from far and wide.

I’ve played most of the games from these companies. Can I still participate?

Contact us. There might be an opportunity. We’ll try to make it work and let you know if we can’t.

Will I get to choose which escape rooms I play?

No, but we’ll choose games specifically for you. You’ll fill out a fun pre-tour survey about your escape room preferences. We’re confident you’ll play a lot of games that you’ll love.

You’ll find out your escape room agenda far enough in advance that you can book additional games for yourself during the rest of your time in New Orleans.

I’m an escape room owner/ employee or immersive experience designer. Can I participate?

Yes!

I have nothing to do with the escape room industry. I just want to play all the games! Can I participate?

Yes!

What should I do about airfare and hotels?

Your ticket does not cover travel or lodging.

We are setting up a hotel block near the New Orleans escape rooms. You’ll receive more information about that after purchasing a ticket.

Are meals included in the ticket price?

Your ticket includes one casual group meal on Saturday.

You will have opportunities to purchase food throughout the tour.

I can’t make it that weekend. Will you run this again?

It’s highly likely, although future tours may go to other cities.

Can I buy a ticket for someone under 18?

Unfortunately, no. All participants must be 18 years of age at the start of the tour.

Can I sponsor this event?

Contact us about sponsorship opportunities. We are not accepting escape room companies as sponsors.

What if I have other questions?

Contact us.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans this June!

*We cannot guarantee that every tour attendee will play all three of these games. However, we will keep everyone’s game list balanced and in line with how they answer our pre-tour survey.

The Unauthorized Prexcyt Quest Starter Guide

It’s dangerous to go it alone, take this advice:

The Cryptex Hunt, known more formally as Prexcyt Quest, is in full swing and I’ve been having a lot of fun with it.

I’ve also been fielding a lot of questions from readers about puzzle hunts in general and Prexcyt Quest’s oddities.

Here are my puzzle hunt & Prexcyt Quest tips to help you get started. Once you get going, this game is a lot of fun!

A hand holding a large cryptex with the colors inverted.

 

Mild Spoiler Warning

Also, the Prexcyt Quest crew has no idea that I wrote this. While we interviewed them before the hunt began, this guide is not official by any stretch of the imagination. There may also be some mild early-game spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

General Puzzle Hunt Puzzle Structure

Puzzle hunts are fundamentally different from escape rooms in that they are a lot more challenging and typically a lot less tangible. If you’re a seasoned escape room player, you’ll find puzzle hunts a whole lot harder. They are a different beast and there is no guarantee that they will be your cup of caffeine. That being said, I encourage you to try them out.

One thing to remember about puzzle hunts is that the puzzles frequently follow a similar structure:

  1. Figure out WTF it is – The puzzles don’t always declare what they are.
  2. Solve something – Solve whatever you’ve been presented with.
  3. Extract a solution – Take whatever you solved and push it a step further to pull an answer out of it.

You Meta Save Your Work

You’re also going to want to document your solutions because puzzle hunts typically have meta puzzles that conglomerate your past solutions into a new puzzle. These are typically viewed as the puzzle equivalent of a boss battle in a video game.

Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to save all of your work in a puzzle hunt. You never know when you might need to reference something you solved earlier.

General Puzzle Hunt Tools

There are a few tools that I’d encourage you to keep handy while attempting a puzzle hunt.

Code Sheet

The free monthly international puzzle gathering Puzzled Pint has a basic code sheet that they provide at all events. This thing is pretty useful because it lists a number of common puzzle hunt encodings.

Apps

The code sheet is far from exhaustive. These free apps offer a lot more detail and decoding functionality:

iOS – Puzzle Sidekick

Android – Puzzlehunt Assistant

Google Sheets

Google spreadsheets are a puzzle hunter’s best friend. Use sheets to collaboratively puzzle with friends/ teammates… and use them to keep a record of all of your work and solutions.

The puzzle hunter’s toolkit can get pretty crazy at higher levels, but this is a solid place to start.

Now on to Prexcyt Quest specific advice:

Getting Started with Prexcyt Quest

To get started, simply visit CryptexHunt.com and click the button in the middle of the page to watch the intro video.

There are two pre-game puzzles that help you earn access to new materials and the digital game world.

Getting in the Prexcyt Quest MUD

With the exception of the first two puzzles, Prexcyt Quest exists in a MUD (Multi-User Dungeon). MUDs date back to the 1970s. They are a text-based way for multiple players to interact with a game environment.

The black & white MUD display.
Behold the MUD

While they aesthetically don’t look like anything at all, MUD-based games like Colossal Cave Adventure are some of the most important early forerunners of escape rooms.

The Prexcyt Quest MUD takes a little getting used to, but it’s a really cool interface for a puzzle adventure.

Basic Commands

One of the documents that you’ll receive is a 15-page MUD guide. Don’t panic. This really isn’t that hard, especially once you try it out. I’ve been puzzling for hours and basically only used the following commands:

  • Movement – all you have to do is type, north, south, east, or west to traverse the world
  • Inspecting – to look at an item described in the game all you need to do is type, look name of thing you want to see (eg. look sign)
  • Reading –  to read a book type, read chapter# bookname (eg. read 1 guidebook)
  • Opening a Cryptex – all puzzles lead to a cryptex and to open one, type unlock cryptex solution (eg. unlock cryptex star)

That’s it. The MUD is painless.

If you happen to need another command, just reference the manual.

No Grinding Necessary

When you first enter the MUD, you’ll be hit with a whole bunch of Dungeons & Dragons-y stuff: character stats, classes, MUD training, combat. This stuff is fun, but not important because you’re not in this game world to slay a beholder; you’re here to solve puzzles.

While you’re free to explore the RPG aspects of the MUD, I haven’t done any of it, and I have been assured that my character being level 1 will have no impact on my ability to puzzle through to the end of the game. If I fail, that is on me the human, not me the video game character.

The MUD is Noisy

So… one of the first things you’ll notice when you boot up the MUD is that there’s a lot of text scrolling. It’s not quite “reading the Matrix” but in a busy room, it might be close.

What is this?! Everything that every other player or non-player character does in the same space as you appears as an action in the MUD. This can get a bit annoying.

A mixture of four different approaches can help fix this for you:

  • Go to a less busy space – Some areas in the game have a lot going on. If you can exit to a quiet place, do so. Channel your inner introvert.
  • Turn on quiet mode – By simply typing quiet into the MUD you’ll turn off all chat channels. The MUD will still display actions, but eliminating one source of noise helps.
  • Copy & paste – I copy & paste all important game text into a separate text file. I like doing this so that I can read at my own pace and easily reread things without having to traverse or interact with the game environment.
  • Turn on the Freezepane – In the top left corner of the MUD is a series of buttons. The second one from the left opens up a duplicate MUD display that you control entirely by scrolling. It’s a gift from Mil, Nor, & Lum.

Screenshot: Toggle a freezepane

Hint Buying

You may buy hints from the hint market. I’d encourage you, however, to team up with other players, collaborate and piece the puzzles together. Thus far, everything is absolutely solvable… even if some of the puzzles are tricky.

That being said, hints are an option should you get stuck.

The First Puzzle

Your first puzzle can be found northwest of the starting tavern in the Temple of Mil.

Playing to Win?

There are lots of prizes on the line and simply completing the puzzles will enter you in for a drawing.

The cryptex that goes to the champion at the end of this is legitimately gorgeous, but here’s the thing: if you’re reading this post to learn about puzzle hunt basics, you ain’t winning. It’s cool. I’m not winning either. There are some monstrously talented puzzle hunters in this competition and they’re going to duke it out for that top prize.

Don’t play for the prizes; play for the puzzles. This is a really nifty, innovative, and challenging game. Enjoy it.

Some of these puzzles I’m making quick work of. Some of them are humbling the crap out of me. Honestly, I prefer the ones where I have to struggle to learn a thing or three.

Puzzle hard.