Escape Artistry – Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon [Review]

Seavey shanties

Location: Chicago, IL

Date Played: March 10, 2022

Team Size: 1-8; we recommend 3-5

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $34 per player for 3+ players

Ticketing: Private

Emergency Exit Rating: [A] Push To Exit

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon was based around a truly fascinating bit of local Chicago history: the real-life tale of “Roaring” Dan Seavey, a pirate who frequented the Great Lakes. A well-acted intro video and a theatrical gamemaster helped open this historical portal, and while the room and gameplay were otherwise that of a generic pirate-themed escape room, this historical framing helped the room feel rooted in its location.

Escape Artistry’s rooms stand out for their sustainably built sets, and the masonry and woodwork in Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon were solid and beautiful. Even many of the wooden crates strewn around the room were handbuilt, and some contained some neat handmade mechanical locks.

A pirate's den viewed through a cargo net.

That said, the set felt somewhat underutilized for the puzzles, with most puzzles involving standalone elements in the room. The puzzle flow was fair and contained some rather cute moments, but overall it felt quite dated. I’d love to have seen more Roaring Dan and other local Chicago history directly incorporated into the puzzles and props, and generally more of this story driving the gameplay.

Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon‘s immersive set and smooth, accessible puzzle flow would be especially great for newer escape room players. For experienced players, Duck & Cover Classroom provides denser puzzle content and a few more twists and turns, but Roaring Dan’s Pirate Dungeon would also be an enjoyable appetizer if you have time to play both.

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60 to Escape – Mystery Manor [Review]

G-g-g-GHOST!

Location: Gurnee, IL

Date Played: March 13, 2022

Team Size: 2-8; we recommend 2-4

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: $30 per player

Ticketing: Private

Accessibility Consideration: One player must be able to crawl

Emergency Exit Rating: [A+] No Lock

Physical Restraints: [A+] No Physical Restraints

REA Reaction

60 to Escape’s Mystery Manor was a goofy and spooky take on the haunted mansion theme, full of character and whimsy. With a clear yet easy puzzle flow and parallel paths to victory, this experience was on the easier end of 60 to Escape’s offerings. The build quality was on the same level as their other experiences, including fantastical lighting and audio cues. Atmospherically, 60 to Escape nailed the immersion of the space in every corner.

Compared to their other experiences at both locations, Mystery Manor’s ending was missing some of the charm we’ve come to love from 60 to Escape’s games.

An old, rundown victorian manor with an assortment of pictures, and items laying on and around a desk.

Mystery Manor is a fantastic game for newer players. It will be a great introduction to the wonderful world of escape rooms. If you’re choosing between 60 to Escape’s games, we recommend Hidden Temple for more experienced groups. However, if you have time in your day, Mystery Manor would be a delightful add on.

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US Escape Room Industry Report – July 2022

In this report dated July 2022, we present a data-driven look at the US escape room industry today.

After a global pandemic caused 2 years of significant upheaval for small businesses and in-person entertainment, the escape room industry is rebounding.

This report is based on 8 years of data collected and maintained through the Room Escape Artist Escape Room Directory since 2014.

Reads: 2022 Escape Room Industry Report, depicting the REA logo.
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Announcing Escape Immerse Explore New Orleans for November 2022

It’s that time again… when Room Escape Artist brings a group of escape room players to visit New Orleans. Now running for the third time, this escape room tour will showcase beauty, gameplay, and spectacle.

If you’re eyeing a trip to New Orleans, but your friends aren’t sold on the idea, and you don’t know how you’ll get the minimum 4 teammates to play at the world-renowned 13th Gate… well… we’ve solved your problem.

Tickets are moving quickly. We already sold more than a third of the tickets during pre-sale.

Escape, Immerse, Explore New Orleans 2022 banner designed to look like Mardi Gras beads.
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