Overhauled: NYC Escape Room Recommendations Guide

Earlier this week we published a significant update to our New York City Recommendations Guide.

Stylized New York City skyline.

Last year the New York City market faced a crisis when the New York City Fire Department began a series of surprise inspections and shut down many of our local escape rooms.

We these support safety measures. It’s important that the consumers are safe, and feel safe, playing these games. As our 2019 Safety Report demonstrated, escape rooms are a broadly safe activity.

In New York City, however, the inspections were handled rather chaotically. Because of this some companies are still closed, some will never open again, and many were shut down for the better part of a year. All the while, the FDNY would not share what standards they were holding these companies to. We asked multiple times, through multiple channels.

It feels like things have stabilized, so we felt comfortable putting together a total overhaul of our local guide.

That said, all is not resolved. There are some stellar New York City companies that have not yet reopened. They are struggling through bureaucratic hell. We hope they will open their doors again soon, and join this recommendations guide.

Check out our updated guide: New York City Recommendations Guide

Orlando, Florida: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: February 17, 2020

In Orlando, escape rooms are competing with the biggest names in entertainment for a share of your time and your money. While it might be hard to pry yourself away from the parks, it will be worth it. There are some outstanding escape rooms in Orlando.

Stylized image of Cinderella's Castle at Disney Orlando.

Market Standouts

  1. Captain Spoopy Bones, Doldrick’s Escape Room
  2. Super Bomb Squad, Doldrick’s Escape Room
  3. The Quest, Escape Goat
  4. Special Ops & Playground at The Escape Game (or just about anything at The Escape Game)

Since we visited in November 2019, Doldrick’s Escape Room has opened Spoopy’s Ghoulish Graveyard Gameshow, which we’ve heard is outstanding as well.

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Tech Heavy

Newbie Friendly

Denver, Colorado: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: January 8, 2020

Denver has a lot of escape room companies. In fact, Colorado had the most escape room companies per capita in both 2018 & 2019. Here is our guide to the best escape rooms in Denver.

If you’re in the area, check out our guides to Fort Collins and Colorado Springs.

Sign that reads, "Welcome to Colorful Colorado"

Market Standouts

  1. Paradox, Rabbit Hole Recreation Services
  2. Mystic Temple, Rabbit Hole Recreation Services
  3. Experiment C73, Conundrum Escape Rooms
  4. Curse on the Emerald Seas, The Puzzle Effect
  5. Grim Stacks, The Puzzle Effect
  6. The Curse, Puzzah!

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Tech Heavy

Newbie Friendly

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.

Detroit Michigan: Room Escape Recommendations

Latest update: November 16, 2019

We really enjoyed the escape rooms in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan.

When we visited in August of 2019 we found a market on the rise… and it was truly exciting to behold. We’re looking forward to seeing where Detroit is heading.

Stylized image of the Detroit skyline.

Market Standouts

  1. The Aurora Society, Decode Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti
  2. Infirmary, Michigan Escape Room, Clinton Township
  3. The Houdini Trap, The Fifth Wall Escape Rooms, Ferndale
  4. The Minerva Project, Decode Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor

Games we haven’t played but wish we had:

  • Comic Excape, Excape Games, Livonia
  • Minerva’s Escape, Decode Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor
  • Michigan Escape Room – in general – we wish we’d had time to play more with them

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Tech Heavy

Newbie Friendly

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

San Antonio, Texas: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: October 19, 2019

Looking for escape rooms in San Antonio, Texas? We’ve got you covered.

Stylized image of The Alamo at night.

Market Standouts

Extreme Escape is the company to visit in San Antonio. We haven’t played all of their rooms yet, but we really enjoyed the two we did play. We’re looking forward to checking out some of their other games in August.

  1. The Cursed, Extreme Escape
  2. Master of Illusions, Extreme Escape
  3. Alamo Escape: The Race to Liberty, Mobile Escape Room Texas

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Tech Heavy

Traditional

Big Group Games

Nearby Austin has a vibrant escape room scene, and we highly recommend visiting if you’re in the region. These cities are only an hour apart.

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

Austin, Texas: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: October 19, 2019

In keeping with the city’s slogan, Austin has some weird escape rooms.

If you’re looking for an escape room near Austin Texas, these are our recommendations.

Photo of a trombonist performing on stage, the crowd reflecting in the brass of the instrument.

Market Standouts

  1. Dead Man’s Cove, Escape Hour Austin
  2. Lab Rats, Escape Hour Austin
  3. The Escape Game (multiple games)
  4. The Shed, Maze Rooms Austin
  5. Blue Meth Breakout, Lockout Austin
  6. Call of the Ancient, Escape Hour Austin

And if you haven’t played out The Escape Game, they have some great stuff.

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Big Group Games

Spooky & Scary

Games with Actors

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

Cincinnati, Ohio: Escape Room Recommendations

Latest update: October 19, 2019

We spent a few days in Cincinnati at the end of 2018… and then one more afternoon there a couple of months later.

Cincinnati was a puzzle-focused escape room market that felt both traditional and quirky.

Elaborate art deco ceiling of the Cincinnati Museum Center.
Ceiling of the Cincinnati Museum Center

Here are our recommendations for escape rooms near Cincinnati, Ohio:

Market Standouts

  1. The Summons, Seven Forces
  2. Castle Adventure, Escape Room Family
  3. The Escape Game (multiple games)
  4. Oval Office, Houdini’s Room Escape

Set & Scenery-Driven

Puzzle-Centric

Beginner-Friendly

Large Group Games

Non-Escape Room Fun

Los Angeles, California: Escape Room Recommendations

Looking for an escape room near Los Angeles, California?

Latest update: October 11, 2019

Los Angeles is one of the strongest escape room markets in the United States.

This city offers some of the best sets and scenery we’ve seen in escape rooms. That doesn’t mean they skimp on the puzzles. The best escape rooms in Los Angeles deliver full experiences.

You might be interested in our recommendations for Anaheim, California as well.

Scene from LA in black, white, & blue. A sports car speeding past a building that says, "MADE IN LA."

Market Standouts

  1. Stash House
  2. Lab Rat, Hatch Escapes
  3. The Elevator Shaft, THE BASEMENT
  4. The Courtyard, THE BASEMENT 
  5. Miss Jezebel, 60out (Reviewed for REA by Sarah Willson)

Set & Scenery Driven

Puzzle Centric

Creative Tech

Unusual Concept

Newbie-friendly

Big Group Games

Private Booking Companies

Spooky & Scary

Games with Actors

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

Tabletop Escape Game Recommendations

Latest update: October 19, 2019

Looking for an escape game that you can play from the comfort of your own home?

These are our favorite escape room-style table top games.

Unless otherwise noted, you can play all of these games with a bit of table space, pencil, paper, laptop/ phone, and maybe scissors.

For more at-home activities, take a look at our Escape Room Lover’s 2018 Holiday Buyer’s Guide.

In-game: a green biohazard box locked with a plastic 3 digit lock, a gold plastic warded lock, and art depicting a female werewolf.

Boxed Escape Rooms

Boxed escape rooms will take you about 60 minutes to play. This is a longer list… but there are a ton of different games in this category. These were the standouts. 

Presented in alphabetical order:

Escape Room-Style Puzzle Book 

This escape room-style puzzle book contains more content than a boxed escape room, but it’s easy to pick up and put down if you have limited time.

The first page of a Cryptogram Puzzle Post laying on an open envelope with a beautiful illustration.

Subscription Games

Each episode of a subscription escape room takes about 60 minutes to play. New games arrive at your door on a regular schedule.

Presented in alphabetical order:

In-game: a beautiful, intricate laser engraved/ laser cut wooden puzzle box.

Jigsaw Puzzles

These jigsaw puzzles added an escape room-style twist.

Portion of an assembled jigsaw puzzle featuring a beautiful telescope in a warm book-filled study.
Space Observatory

Advanced Challenge & Commitment

These products are more involved than tabletop escape rooms. They are all quite different from each other.

Presented in alphabetical order:

Quiz Master: A red tube with input for a 3 digit number and a letter answer. A key is protruding from its side. An array of corresponding puzzle cards are fanned in front of it.

For Kids

Presented in alphabetical order:

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

(If you purchase via our Amazon links, you will help support Room Escape Artist as we will receive a very small percentage of the sale.)