Escape Room Owners Facebook Group Admission Process Update

Back in January we did a piece on the Escape Room Owners group, looking into complaints about people not being approved for admission, and explaining how to gain entry to the group.

You can find that original piece here.

Since then, the process has changed just a bit. It’s better now.

Current Application Statuses

The admins listened to the complaints and cleared the queue. All applications have either been confirmed and approved, or investigated and rejected.

Comic book-ified Members Only jacket
Members Only

After clearing the queue, Brian Warner & Nate Shane stepped down as admins. Erick Gyrion remained and brought on Megan Mouton of Clue Carré.

(Side note: Megan owns of one of the four companies featured on our Escape Room Tour of New Orleans, which has just grown in size. Tickets are now available through April 22. Contact us for details.)

We know Megan and we can attest that she’s on top of things. She reached out to inform us of the updated application process.

Updated Owners Group Admission Process

Quickest way to get approved:

  1. Have your Facebook profile read “Owner at _____________ Escape Game.”
  2. Apply to join the Escape Room Owners Group
  3. Follow the instructions when you apply which read: “Are you an escape room owner? Is your business open and accepting bookings? If so, please message Erick James Gyrion or Megan Lucy Mouton with proof. Thank you!”

If everything checks out, then you’ll be approved promptly. It seems that 75% of applicants ignore step 3 and it slows down their application.

When I emailed with Megan yesterday, they had only 4 requests in the hopper. She says they get between 10 and 20 applicants per day… so they’re on top of this. If you don’t follow the instructions listed above, Megan will reach out to you through Facebook Messenger (which is an unnecessary kindness).

If Megan reaches out:

  • She will send you a private Facebook message asking:
    • What escape room company do you own?
    • Are you open and selling tickets?
    • Can you provide proof that you are currently operating?
  • If you fail to reply within a few days, she will decline your request.

Willy Wonka yelling, "You get NOTHING! You LOSE! GOOD DAY, SIR!"

Who is allowed and who isn’t?

This is one of few exclusive Facebook groups. It is specifically a resource for owners. Managers, employees, and yours truly are not going to be approved.

Recommended Alternative Facebook Groups

Escape Room Start Up for more business-focused discussion.

Escape Room Enthusiast for more player-focused discussion (that sometimes turns business-y). Please be kind to the enthusiast community. These are your customers.

Everything Immersive for a broad mixture of business, news, and player/ participant discussion about all sorts of immersive entertainment.

Trapped Escape Game Nashville – Capone [Review]

Puzzle with Scarface.

Location: Nashville, TN

Date Played: February 11, 2018

Team size: up to 8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $26.99 per ticket for adults, $20.99 per ticket for children

REA Reaction

Capone was a typical search-and-puzzle escape room. It worked, but it didn’t wow.

Who is this for?

  • Two-bit gangsters
  • Any experience level

Why play?

  • The cozy staging
  • The transition


Al Capone believes we narced on him to the FBI. We’ve been locked up in his apartment and he’s coming back in an hour to deal with us if we can’t find our way our first.

In-game: An old secretary's desk open beside a large comfortable chair in a wood floor and walled room.


Capone’s elegant apartment set felt lived in. Nearly everything within the game looked and felt like it belonged there. It was a charming environment.


Capone was a standard search-and-puzzle escape room that leaned more towards puzzling.


The set was elegant. It evoked the bygone era and felt homey.

The gameplay largely worked.

There was a fun transition sequence. It was unexpected, humorous, and interactive.


Much of the gameplay involved reading laminated texts and applying these to props. The gameplay felt uninspired, requiring different versions of the same connection on multiple occasions.

Capone was flat. With the exception of one transition, it didn’t deliver energetic or memorable moments; it never evolved in complexity or intrigue. There wasn’t much of a climax or finale.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is parking outside the escape room.

Book your hour with Trapped Escape Game Nashville’s Capone, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

Expansion Update for Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans 2018!

This expansion is a go!

GIF of Cookie Monster elated by a giant cookie.

We are hiring a second bus and opening another 24 tickets to Escape Immerse Explore: New Orleans 2018.

Note that more than half of these tickets are already spoken for. If you want one of these tickets, contact us today.

Next Steps

If you are one of the 24 original ticket holders, get excited to meet the rest of the folks!

If you have already claimed one of expansion tickets over email, get ready to receive an invoice followed by your super fun personalization survey by email later today.

If you’re interested in this event and you have not yet contacted us, contact us today. These remaining tickets will only be available to purchase for 2 weeks and many of them are already spoken for.


Dates: June 22 – 24, 2018

Price: $599 per ticket

More information and FAQ.

For the people on the fence

This tour is going to be incredible:

  • New friends who love escape rooms
  • Some of the best escape rooms in the United States presented by Escape My Room, Clue Carré, RISE Escape Rooms, and 13th Gate Escape
  • A weekend in New Orleans
  • Time with Lisa and David

We’ve answered questions about transportation, hotels, logistics, specific games, requests to play certain games, and more. We can answer your questions. Just ask.

See you in New Orleans in June!

Everything Immersive NYC Meetup

We haven’t made a lot of noise about it, but last year we teamed up with our friends over at No Proscenium to create a friendly, organized, and well-moderated community of folks who love all sorts of immersive entertainment, be it immersive theater, VR, or escape rooms.

That community is Everything Immersive. If you aren’t a member, you should join.

One of the members of the community, Lisa Cohen, proposed that we host a NYC Everything Immersive Meetup, so that’s exactly what we’re doing.

A group of period dressed me and women in a speakeasy.

Everything Immersive Community Meetup (NYC)

When: Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30 PM – 9 PM

Where: TBD, somewhere in lower Manhattan

Who’s this for?

This event is for those interested, passionate, or working Everything Immersive in NYC: creators, storytellers, directors, engineers, designers, performers, authors, event planners, producers, etc.

If you want to meet other passionate souls, exchange ideas on immersive theatre, VR/AR, site-specific, experiential art & tech, and the future of entertainment and storytelling, this is the event for you.

The emphasis for this event is on creators and people who are somehow involved in the industry. That being said, we won’t turn down passionate fans either.

Escape rooms are just one type of immersive entertainment. We’d like to bring people from different backgrounds together to connect with and learn from each other.

We hope to see you there. RSVP today.

Murfreesboro Escape Rooms – The Blind Pig [Review]

The pig may have been blind, but the designer sure wasn’t.

Location: Murfreesboro, TN

Date Played: February 10, 2018

Team size: up to 5; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $24 per ticket

REA Reaction

The Blind Pig came together spectacularly. The, puzzles, interactions, and reveals made it a ton of fun. While we’ve played plenty of escape rooms with more impressive sets, puzzles, and technology, few escape rooms have felt as satisfying to play through as The Blind Pig. 

Who is this for?

  • Puzzle lovers
  • Scenery snobs
  • Contraband contrarians
  • Players with at least some experience
  • Players who don’t mind tight spaces

Why play?

  • The set
  • The puzzles
  • The excitement


Prohibition had returned and many recreational substances had been outlawed. A speakeasy of sorts known as The Blind Pig could help us get what we needed, but with the police on our tails we had little time to complete the task.

In-game: a boarded up business with a sign out front that says,


The Blind Pig let us loose in a narrow alleyway between a few different businesses. It looked convincing. It was filled with interesting details and interactions.

In-game: a newspaper vending machine beside a boarded up business' door.


The Blind Pig’s gameplay felt like a traditional escape room with plenty to discover and puzzle through in fairly equal proportions.

Additionally, Murfreesboro Escape Rooms made great use of technology to produce unexpected interactions.

In-game: a flower box outside of a business.


The Blind Pig was playful despite a more intense theme. From the set, to the interactions, to the puzzles, it was a lot of fun to move through this escape room.

The varied puzzles solved tangibly, but differently from one another. Murfreesboro Escape Rooms combined pure physicality with tech-driven opens. In both cases, these were satisfying solves.

Although we uncovered written passages, these never felt burdensome. They added clue structure in the form of narrative. It worked. Furthermore, the reading material was tangible and durable.

Murfreesboro Escape Rooms concealed a lot of secrets in and around this speakeasy. From its opening moments through our triumphant exit, again and again, spaces were not as they had originally seemed.

We really enjoyed the set of The Blind Pig. This extended beyond its reveals to various tangible set pieces and props. It was a fun space to explore.


Although on the outside the set was polished, as we unlocked spaces, we didn’t always find the same refinement inside… and some of these interior spaces would have benefitted from additional fit and finish.

In the second act, the puzzles didn’t flow as cleanly as they had earlier on. The locks seemed unconnected to the puzzles and we couldn’t rely on proximity to determine where to enter a solution. Additional lock-to-puzzle cluing would improve the late game puzzle flow.

The Blind Pig felt crowded, especially around some of the opens. With five adults in the space, we were continually stepping on one another other or maneuvering around each other and whatever set piece was in play.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is parking out front.
  • We enjoyed the muffins (and other delicacies) at Mimi’s Cafe.

Book your hour with Murfreesboro Escape Rooms’ The Blind Pig, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

Dispatch by Breakout – On the Run, Box 3

Commit Sudoku.

Location: at home

Date Played: March 5, 2018

Team size: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯; we recommend  2-4

Duration: as long as it takes to solve the puzzles

Price: $24.99 per month for a monthly subscription

REA Reaction

On the Run, Box 3 followed in the style of On the Run, Box 2. It was a narrative-driven, puzzle-focused game. Compared to the previous boxes, we liked a few of the puzzles a lot less, and we enjoyed other puzzles a whole lot more. The box was a mixed bag.

Who is this for?

  • Story seekers
  • Puzzle lovers
  • Armchair detectives
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • The puzzles are tied to the narrative.
  • You can play at home.


Box 3 continued Dispatch’s On the Run Box narrative, taking us to Japan to continue our investigation into the murder of our best friend’s wife. While this chapter provided some additional clues to our main narrative, we found ourselves focusing most of our energy on a fire in a local hotel.

An assortment of documents and items from Dispatch Box 3.


Box 3 looked similar to Box 2.

We were given an assortment of largely paper-based items that were printed on various types of paper stock and in a wide variety of styles. These paper components were augmented by a couple of more tangible props.


In addition to looking similar to the Box 2, Box 3 also played similarly. The gameplay was derived from exploring documents, websites, and props, identifying the thematically relevant puzzles, and working through them.

Box 3 concluded with a video that both indicated the end of the box’s puzzles and recapped everything that we were supposed to have uncovered.


Box 3 contained the rarely seen thematically- and narratively-appropriate Sudoku puzzle, and Dispatch put a fun twist on this.

Box 3 continued the trajectory established by Box 2 and provided an even more interesting series of puzzles that fit the story and setting of the game.

This was a good team game, as there were ample opportunities to parallel puzzle.


There was another lengthy and tedious process puzzle that dramatically overstayed its welcome. It was complicated by ambiguous cluing and functionality. We were counting the minutes until we could end this task. Plus, we’re pretty sure that there was a typo that confused the conclusion of this puzzle.

We struggled to fully connect the events of this box back to the overall narrative.

Between the typo and struggling to get started with the aforementioned process puzzle, we found ourselves wishing that Dispatch had a better self-service hint system. They have Slack channels where players can discuss the puzzles, but it was a clumsy tool and once there, it was filled with spoilers that we couldn’t avoid or unsee.

Tips for Playing

  • Box 2 items were required for resolving Box 3.
  • Box 3 ramped up the difficulty.

Subscribe to Dispatch by Breakout’s On the Run, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Dispatch by Breakout provided a complementary subscription.

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

LiveMinds Adventure Escape – Treasure of Pacari [Review]

Explore a treasure.

Location: Franklin, TN

Date Played: February 10, 2018

Team size: 2-11; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: from $28 per ticket

REA Reaction

Treasure of Pacari included some of the most impressive set design and interactions that we’ve encountered to date. LiveMinds Adventure Escape poured so much love, skill, and attention into this gamespace… and they are flirting with true greatness. With a bit more work, they could nail the gameflow. If they do that, this will be a genuine treasure.

Who is this for?

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

Why play?

  • The set
  • Incredible attention to detail
  • Large-scale interactions
  • The whole facility is cool


Following in the footsteps of a famed and missing archeologist, we were seeking a powerful and mysterious artifact lost within Aztec ruins.

In-game: A massive stone circular temple door.


LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s set design was dumbfounding. This is what the hallways between LiveMinds’ games looked like:

I’m going to repeat this: these spaces had absolutely nothing to do with the games and they weren’t even the lobby. These were hallways.

The Aztec ruins of Treasure of Pacari were absolutely gorgeous and otherworldly. Each new space that we discovered had a unique feel, but was clearly part of the larger whole. The level of detail in the set’s construction was off the chart. There was so much to look at that David spent a fair amount of time simply taking in the set… because I had my head in the book with most of the clues.

In-game: A close up of a lantern, water tanks, and a crate in front of an archeological dig site.


Treasure of Pacari was all about the adventure. The set and the interactions facilitated this by presenting puzzles that felt Indiana Jones-esque. We had to reference our notebook, explore the space, and determine how to properly manipulate the environment in order to progress.

The size and scope of everything made this room escape feel enormous. There weren’t that many puzzles, but everything was memorable.


The puzzles in Treasure of Pacari required us to interact with the set. Our role was tangible, physical, and exciting. The scale of these interactions fit with the enormity of the gamespace.

The expansive set amazed us. LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s attention to detail was breathtaking. They fully developed these spaces and everything they contained. Treasure of Pacari rivaled the most impressive sets we’ve seen to date.

The artwork was beautiful.

The excess. One puzzle had hundreds of components. It was nuts. They didn’t need to do it. There was no need to build animatronics. They didn’t need to produce a lobby and hallway with more nuance and finish than most escape room companies put into their games. There was no need for the level of detail, but LiveMinds Adventure Escape did it… and it was so worth it.


The puzzles lacked feedback. We weren’t always sure which interaction had triggered a reveal. We couldn’t necessarily tell if we had completed the interaction from a specific prop or set piece. Sometimes doorways opened and we didn’t hear or see them pop. LiveMinds Adventure Escape could use lighting and sound to clarify when players accomplish solves.

Many puzzles lacked clue structure. Most existing clueing was buried in a journal. Beautiful as the space was, with my eyes in a book, I missed many of the more impressive set reveals. Only one person could look at this journal at a time so players were either poking around the set blindly or heads down in a book. It would have been cooler to see the written information reduced and worked into the set.

Our actions could have unintended and unsafe consequences. If players have the capability to manipulate large set pieces, LiveMinds Adventure Escape needs to build precautions that keep other players out of the way of heavy moving props.

Despite all the tech-driven opens in this escape room, the final reveal was an unclued, manual interaction. We recommend restructuring the ending so that the challenge is in solving the puzzles, not determining what they reveal. This structure deflated the drama of the win.

Tips for Visiting

  • There is parking out front.
  • We enjoyed The Tin Roof 2, especially their signature sandwich.

Book your hour with LiveMinds Adventure Escape’s Treasure of Pacari, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

Mystery Room NYC – Chapter 5: Secluded Vault [Review]

Who gave Uncle Scrooge a vat of lacquer?

Location: New York, NY

Date Played: March 19, 2018

Team size: 6-10; we recommend 3-6

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $28 per ticket

REA Reaction

Despite the uneven clue structure and set construction, we enjoyed many of the puzzles and nifty mechanisms in Secluded Vault. If Mystery Room NYC can remove debris from former puzzles and put a bit more attention into upkeep and cluing, Secluded Vault will deliver a more satisfying experience.

All in all, the fifth installment from Mystery Room NYC was a big step up from chapter 4.

In-game: a collection of gold coins lacquered to a silver table. The lacquer is clearly pooled around the coins.

Who is this for?

  • Observant players
  • Players who enjoy mechanical interactions
  • Best for players with at least some experience

Why play?

  • Unusual interactions


Our pursuit of Edwards, the recurring villain at Mystery Room NYC, had led us to a vault. We needed to solve our way past the security to steal a journal from within.

Although this was Chapter 5 of the Mystery Room NYC saga, it didn’t rely on any knowledge of previous chapters. It was only connected to those other chapters in so far as there was a recurring character as the backdrop for the escape.

Those of us who didn’t know the story going in had no idea that there was a story.

In-game: A bookcase with books a plant, and some coins all behind acrylic plasic shielding.


The set was an escape room-style office with a few bank-esque nods. A few desks, shelves, and bookcases-turned-display cases were set against barely adorned white walls.

Any decor not behind glass was lacquered down. The entire set felt like a giant still life.

In-game: A digital keypad against a silver table.


Secluded Vault was an observe-and-puzzle escape room. If we could move or manipulate it, we were going to have figure out how to use it by connecting it to something we could observe.

The clue structure varied enormously. Sometimes Mystery Room NYC told us exactly what to do and sometimes we had to grasp at connections.


Secluded Vault included a few unusual mechanical interactions. We enjoyed these moments as many of them were particularly cool.

Mystery Room NYC thwarted our expectations with one prop that wasn’t used as we’ve come to expect. We thought we had this case cracked, but we were wrong, in a good way.

The reliance on observation of a larger gamespace facilitated teamwork.


Since opening Secluded Vault, Mystery Escape Room had removed some of the puzzles, but left disabled set pieces or props. This created needless red herrings that persisted throughout the experience. It was also a disappointment because some of those props seemed like they should have done something cool.

In-game: A beat up contraption with odd symbols on it.

The set and props lacked polish and showed signs of wear. Some of this wear made the game look beat up; other instances obscured the in-game clues.

There were audio clues that were so garbled that we couldn’t understand them.

Secluded Vault suffered from inconsistent clue structure. At times, it was too direct. Other times, we were presented with unfamiliar objects and expected to intuit connections without any cluing.

Mystery Room NYC remains heavily committed to their ongoing narrative, but it is so loose that it’s irrelevant, missable, and forgettable.

Tips for Visiting

  • Mystery Room NYC’s downtown location is accessible by subway. Take the B/D/F/M to Broadway-Lafayette or the 4/6 to Bleecker or the R/W to Prince. There is also street parking.
  • For nearby food, we recommend Burger and Barrel (try the Bash Burger). There are lots of options around.

Book your hour with Mystery Room NYC’s Chapter 5: Secluded Vault, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Music City Escape – Japanese Thriller [Review]

Unfulfilled potential.

Location: Nashville, TN

Date Played: February 11, 2018

Team size: up to 9; we recommend 3-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $25 per ticket

REA Reaction

Music City Escape drew inspiration from obscure (to Americans) and interesting events. From this, they landed at one inventive game mechanic. Unfortunately, Japanese Thriller couldn’t capitalize on any of this. The set was too haphazardly constructed and worn out; the puzzles weren’t constructed cleanly. There’s a great concept here, but Japanese Thriller needs more attention before we can recommend it.

Who is this for?

  • Hopeful Japanese gameshow contestants

Why play?

  • The introduction
  • Experimental game mechanics


We were contestants on an edgy Japanese gameshow themed on a mixture of horror movies, the Aum Shinrikyo death cult responsible for the 1995 sarin attack on the Tokyo subway (and the near total disappearance of public trash cans in Tokyo), and the apartment of serial killer Futoshi Matsunaga.

We had to escape the place where countless people had been tortured and murdered.

Music City Escape Room Logo, a cube with a door and a maze.


Japanese Thriller was set in a bland apartment with puzzle components and Japanese props. It was a visually unimpressive escape room.


The core of the game was rooted in searching and puzzling, as we typically expect from an escape room. There were also hidden gems that we could uncover through detailed searching to earn additional points.

More interestingly, at any point in the game, a haunting could occur. The lights would start flickering and we would have to stop what we were working on, find the only room without flickering lights, and close the door with ourselves in that room. Failure to do this would result a in a points penalty.


The introductory sequence was captivating. The video was intriguing. Our gamemaster played off this, lightening the intense theme with humor. It worked.

The puzzles generally resolved cleanly. Puzzles were clearly delineated. We could easily follow the parallel threads of gameplay.

Music City Escape’s addition of the haunting was a conceptually fun addition to the escape room format.

This might be the first time a Sudoku was thematically appropriate.


Despite its thematic relevance, there was a Sudoku. We’d prefer to see puzzles that utilize the physical space inherent in escape rooms.

The set was bland, haphazardly constructed, and worn. It felt cheap and lazy especially when compared with the overwhelming majority of escape rooms we visited in the region.

While we liked the idea of the haunting mechanic, Music City Escape never realized the full potential of this concept. It felt more like an annoyance than an exciting challenge.

The introduction captivated our attention and posed an intriguing mystery. Solving the escape room didn’t deliver any resolution or even make much use of the elaborate setup.

Tips for Visiting

  • Parking: There is a large parking lot.
  • Food: There are a few dining options in and around this plaza.

The next Room Escape Conference is taking place in Nashville, TN from July 27-29, 2018. The conference organizers sponsored our trip to Nashville, Murfreesboro, and Franklin to play this game and others in the region. We strive to help conference attendees visit the room escapes that are best for them.

Pronouncing Massachusetts Towns: A Rebus Guide

If you’re looking for a puzzle more challenging than any you’ll find in a Massachusetts escape room… it’s pronouncing the names of the towns that these companies are in.

Some may be straightforward, but most of them offer no clues in the spelling.

I’ve simplified these names by turning them into actual puzzles so that you have a fighting chance at pronouncing these names correctly. You’re welcome.


The Gate Escape

Leominster rebus - a lemon plus a hand stirring coffee.

Lemonister Pronunciation:




Time Warp

Peabody Rebus


Peabody Pronunciation:




Wicked Escapes

Saugus Rebus: Hand saw + Gus Fring

Saugus Pronunciation:




Curious Escape Rooms

Fitchburg Rebus: Farm - Arm + Itch + Iceberg - Ice

Fitchburg Pronunciation:

Fitch-burg… April Fools! That one’s spelled sensibly.




Tewksbury Rebus: Tea + Books - Bee + Bury

Tewksbury Pronunciation:




Escape Room Salem

Salem Rebus: Sale + Lemon - On

Salem Pronunciation:

Sale-em… Don’t be smug; you only knew this one because of the witch trials.



Winchendon Escape Room

Winchendon Rebus: Witch + Inn + Dunce - S

Winchendon Pronunciation:




North Shore Escape

Woburn Rebus: Woo girls - girls + burn

Woburn Pronunciation:




Escape Games Worcester

Live Action Escapes

Worcestershire sauce + Ring - Shearing - Sauce + Turkey - Key

Worcester Pronunciation:





Escape the Room Boston

Komnata Quest

Raid the Room

Room Escapers


Boston Rebus: Bass + Ton

Boston Pronunciation: