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

TransWorld’s Escape Room Conference is coming to San Antonio in August, 2019.

If you’re going, we’re delivering a free State of the Industry talk and David will be on the Safety Panel.

For conference attendees and other travelers, here are our escape room recommendations near San Antonio, Texas.

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.)

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit this Halloween

If you’re traveling to haunted attractions this holiday season, don’t forget to include horror escape rooms. It’s one thing to walk through a scary place; it’s way more fun to have to play and think within the space while you’re afraid.

A ponderous skeleton.

The Most Terrifying

Pretty Damn Scary

Scary but Accessible

Creepy & Unsettling

For more details check out our our lists:

Happy Halloween 🎃

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit near Los Angeles this Halloween Season

Los Angeles offers many varieties of horror experiences. If you’re looking for horror in escape rooms this Halloween season, these are our recommendations.

A glowing, smoking, menacing jack-o-lantern.

Classic Serial Killer

At THE BASEMENT, Serial Killer Edward Tandy is out to get you. Even if you escape one of his rooms, there’s always another death trap to thwart.

The Elevator Shaft, THE BASEMENT – Our unconscious bodies had been tossed into the body-disposing, Death-Star-trash-compactor elevator shaft. We needed to trigger the override sequence. This dark, detailed, and badass set felt alive. It always doing something different… whether we wanted it to or not.

Close up of the wall, "Are you listening?" is painted in blood.

The Study, THE BASEMENT – As we explored our captor’s home, we stepped into a set that looked great in a dingy, “this is the worst place on earth to die” sort of way. Our escape included a superb solo moment that triggered fight or flight.

Image of the Study. A bookcase with a few books on it, a taxidermied buck, and a boarded up window.

The Courtyard, THE BASEMENT – Next we played Tandy’s murderous game in his fenced-in courtyard, an incredible environment, combining nature with decrepit structures to deliver a sense of continual discovery tinged with foreboding. An actor-driven midgame puzzle sequence was unforgettable.

In-game: an aged porch with a rocking chair.

Truly Terrifying

This is the scariest escape room that we’ve found thus far. It’s worth a drive to Anaheim for this absolutely terrifying game… but only if you’re honestly ready for it.

Zoe, Escapades This was a haunted house with escape room mechanics as gates. We were mind-controlled and at the mercy of Zoe as she paralyzed us with fear… then made us solve puzzles.

In-game: Closeup of heavily damaged piano keys in a dim room.

Poking Fun at Horror

Also in Anaheim, you’ll find a cheeky take on high school drama horror.

Hex Room, Cross Roads Escape GamesThe Hex Room cast six players as different horror film archetypes. Costumed and locked into separate places, we became these high school drama queens. The set, ambiance, and isolation built fear through anticipation more than any in-game frights.

In-game, a hallway with a coatrack holding a fedora, and trenchcoat. Clearly the detective's room.
Image via Cross Roads Escape Games

Christmas Horror

Krampus, 60 Out – We were investigating the festive yet morbid apartment of the Krampus killer, who murders naughty children on Christmas Eve. It was intense and creepy… and heart-poundingly scary.

In-game image of a dramatically lit Christmas tree in a dark and creepy home.

Horror of Old

Bloody Elbow, QUEST ROOM – Back in the 14th century, we awaited slow, gory, and creative deaths at the hand of a sadistic executioner by the name of “Bloody Elbow.” His torture devices alone instilled an urgency to puzzle out our escape.

In-game: A dark dungeon environment with a bloody torture table.

Happy Halloween 🎃

The Best Horror Escape Rooms to Visit near New York City this Halloween Season

The metro New York City area offers a lot of great escape rooms. If you’re looking for a fright this Halloween season, check out these scary escape rooms.

A man in a hoodie with an scary LED mask.

True Horror

In Manhattan, there is one truly terrifying escape room:

Cursed, Komnata Quest – This journey through an abandoned house haunted by the ghost of a little girl delivered tension, story, and puzzles. The practical effects made it both challenging and exciting.

In-game: A blood-soaked bathroom.

Badass Moment

Take the 7 train to Long Island City for this creepy thriller:

Sanatorium, I Survived the Room – In this game with actors, we were at the mercy of the doctor in this dark, gritty, and creepy asylum setting. If you can puzzle through a nerve-wracking set, intense actors, and a deliberately gross environment, you might just get your hero moment.

A woman inspecting a cabinet of drawers with candles atop it.
Image via I Survived The Room

Actors in October

During October, 13th Hour Escape Rooms lets actors roam through their escape rooms, all of which take place on the premises of the creepy Hayden farmhouse. 13th Hour Escape Rooms is located in Wharton, NJ, about a 45-minute drive from Manhattan.

The Cookhouse, 13th Hour Escape –  The murderous Hayden family cannibalizes their victims and we were about to be their next meal. This grotesque kitchen made us want to both shy away and interact.

The Dungeon, 13th Hour Escape – We started in individual cells and solved our way into a two-story macabre prison/ shrine to infamous American serial killers.

In-game: a stairwell going up in a dark dungeon.

The Great Room, 13th Hour Escape – Locked in the majestic and creepy Great Room of the Hayden farmhouse, we needed to solve a series of challenging puzzles to survive.

In-game: a collection of skulls.

Jersey Shore

Drive 1 hour south to Red Bank, NJ for this frightening escape room:

Bogeyman, Trap Door – In this hide-and-seek-and-puzzle game, the Bogeyman lurked behind any twist in the maze of rooms. Our investigation into a paranormal-influenced disappearance of children turned into a game of challenge and intrigue in the menacing world of the Bogeyman.

Escape room camera image of a team puzzling and a guy cowering and sitting against a door, blocking it.
Game camera image provided by Trap Door.

Happy Halloween 🎃