Alice in Wonderland: Alice is on trial for crimes she didn't commit. We had to rush in and find the evidence to prevent an unfair conviction.
Jumanji: Sucked into the game world of Jumanji, we had to find a way to survive and return to reality.
Dracula: Vampires beware, the slayers have arrived. We practiced our best Buffy, Xander, and Willow impressions, and prepared to vanquish some revenants.
Pros: We can definitely confirm that after playing three games at their Melrose location, 60out lives up to its reputation as the best of the best in Southern California. First, we'd like to thank our gamemasters, Leslie and Noah, who were consistently enthusiastic and helpful through every game. Our experience was that much better thanks to them. Second, we'd like to thank 60 out for their private room policy. We truly appreciate playing by ourselves (no random strangers). This appears to be an increasingly rare practice and we definitely appreciate it so much more now.
As we have come to expect from 60out, the set design in all the rooms (especially Jumanji) was totally immersive. From the dark cemetery of Dracula to the jungles of Jumanji, we found ourselves completely engrossed in the storylines. Our favorite, with regard to puzzles, was Alice in Wonderland. Although we felt like the Mad Hatter at times scratching our head in an effort to deduce the meaning of each hint we uncovered, we found the odd challenges exceptionally satisfying. Jumanji was hands down awesome. From set-design to storyline to puzzles, this is a must-do experience. Seriously, get over there and play it now!
Cons: Fingers-crossed that the tech holds-up after multiple players. These games our top-notch but we worry about their ability to handle the wear and tear of time. We struggled quite a bit on the puzzles in the Dracula game and felt that they could be slightly modified to improve the player experience. We failed to finish with about 60% of the game left to solve. This definitely lowered our success rate. We are chalking this one up to complicated puzzles. We enjoyed it nevertheless and definitely recommend you play Dracula. Bring a group of 4-6 though. The more brains the better in defeating the tricky revenants.
We cannot offer enough praise to 60out. Seriously they just keep rockin' it!
The Great Car Heist: This mechanic is involved in some shady business. We had to figure out what was going on in his garage and then get out quick.
Pros: We loved the waiting area at Brainy Actz. It was filled with games and we spent some time playing these and warming up our brain before heading into our room. The gamemaster quickly briefed us and escorted us into the garage. The set was decorated to theme with lots of props that gave it a realistic auto garage feeling. The gamemaster was very helpful and the hint system convenient to use.
Cons: We struggled and failed on several puzzles due to mechanical failures and some logical fallacies. We definitely recommend they revisit the puzzles and consider adding guideposts to help direct players to the clues associated with the puzzles. We escaped only after MANY hints and extended time. The puzzles could be reworked to facilitate better game flow. But don't let this deter you. We definitely enjoyed playing at Brainy Actz and recommend you try it out.
Curse of the Mummy: Trapped in a mummy's tomb, we had to find a way out fast or risk permanent entombment.
Pros: This is definitely a great place to take kids to introduce them to escape rooms. The family-friendly environment is perfect for parents wishing to host a birthday party at MagiQ. The rooms are appropriately decorated to theme. The puzzles, though difficult for children, are manageable with adult guidance and help. We really enjoyed the variety of puzzles, including mechanical puzzles (our favorite!). The storylines are simple but effective. The gamemasters quickly briefed us and helped us throughout the game.
Cons: Because MagiQ is kid-friendly it is perhaps less adult-friendly, especially for avid escape room fans. We were a bit overwhelmed by the birthday party that filled the lobby. The high-volume excitement of the children and cake fragments scattered around the lobby almost caused us to flee, but our love of the game encouraged us to stick to the game plan. In the end, we were glad we did because we enjoyed the game very much! However, adult teams be warned and consider playing a later game time or booking a room at PaniQ instead if you wish to avoid the birthday crowd.
Bunker: As members of a terrorist cell, we were seeking to destroy crucial evidence hidden in a torture chamber.
Pros: The game master was exceedingly kind in allowing us to play as walk-ins. We zoomed through the puzzles with no need for a hint until we entered the final room where we stumbled a bit with a difficult lock and trouble finding the final clue. Ultimately we succeeded in escaping the bunker. The puzzles were all simple and logical, clearly aligned to theme. The game master was kindly and assisted as needed. The set had just enough of a dingy and dirty look to make it realistic to theme. A great gaming experience overall.
Cons: Parking (or the lack thereof). You will know what we mean once you get there.
Zodiac Killer – Based on the real-life story of the notorious zodiac killer, you have to try to solve the mystery before you become its next victim.
Zombie Lab – A zombie outbreak. A secret cure. A very limited time before you become just like one of the many dead characters of The Walking Dead. You know what you have to do.
We have reviewed Room Escape Live before and we definitely recommend it. They presently have six games and in our experience they are all great fun to play. This review is specifically for the rooms Zodiac Killer and Zombie Lab.
Pros: Both rooms are meticulously designed and created to reflect the theme and storyline. The high quality props and solid construction of the rooms is what we have come to expect from Room Escape Live and they definitely did not disappoint in both these rooms. The puzzles are always logical and aligned wit the theme. The game masters are professional, attentive and ready to help at a moment’s notice. This is a thoroughly professional establishment in every respect.
Cons: The puzzles are complex. We need lots of hints every time we come to Room Escape Live. That is not always a problem. We have no ego issues in asking for hints, but we do like good game flow without interruptions. A few more guideposts to help players through the process could eliminate the frequent need for hints. We found ourselves at a complete loss on some of the puzzles, especially in zodiac killer. Since that does not usually happen to us, and we assume that beginners would really struggle, we suggest that they just offer a few more signals in the room to help guide players to the solutions.
You really cannot go wrong playing at Room Escape Live. So just do it. You know you want to.
Smuggler’s Tunnel: Artifacts, artwork, precious jewels and more! All just waiting for us to steal it. But how much could we gather before time ran out?
Testing Facility: An Artificial Intelligence machine has developed a mind of its own and is literally out of control. We had to find a way to shut it down before we became its best friends forever.
Pros: We played both Testing Facility and Smuggler’s Tunnel in back-to-back games at Escape Chronicles. The game masters were accommodating and helpful in every way. The set design was appropriate to the themes in both rooms and especially impressive in Smuggler’s Tunnel. The puzzles were also aligned to the storyline of the rooms. We especially enjoyed the creativity of the puzzles in Testing Facility. The game flow procceeded smoothly overall thanks to helpful and timely hints from our game masters.
Cons: There were a few puzzles in both rooms that were overly convoluted, requiring a few too many steps or logical leaps to solve. In other cases, we found puzzles that we were able to work around in some way that led our game on a different trajectory than the game designers intended. Most of these issues can be fixed with a few minor adjustments. Our advice to the designers/owners is to carefully observe future players and note which puzzles players need hints to solve. Those are the problem areas that need to be fixed in future games. A good game should be perfectly solvable without any hints. We all get stuck sometimes and need a little help. But a puzzle that requires the same hint over and over again reveals a problem in design logic or puzzle execution.
Despite the issues mentioned above that caused us to fail to escape on time from Testing Facility, we definitely recommend Escape Chronicles. The creativity of the puzzles, the set design, the helpfulness of the game masters and the enjoyable storylines made for an overall good experience. Bring your friends to Escape Chronicles!
The Basement: A dark, dank basement. A deranged serial killer who likes to play games. An hour to escape. You’ve done this before. You know the drill.
So this was it. We had finally made it. After years of hearing about the allegedly BEST escape room in the world, we finally had the chance to play it. Prior to this day we had several missed opportunities to play owing mostly to the fact that they require a certain minimum number of players for optimal game play. Everywhere we have visited people have asked us: Have you played the basement? Now we could finally say: “YES!”
Much to our disappointment, however, we felt, in our humble opinion, that the Basement has been much exaggerated and definitely overhyped. Our theory on this is that many so-called escape room review bloggers have never actually played the games they recommend but only pass on what they have “heard” from others (most of whom are first-time escape room players). But to give credit where credit is due, let’s start with the positive.
Pros: The set design was cool! Not the best of the best, but still pretty darned cool. The dark lighting and added effects created the spooky ambience befitting of its reputation. The fear factor was definitely heightened in the minutes waiting before the start of the game and the whole group was mentally prepared to be scared silly by the trailers and overview videos. The game master was likewise instrumental to creating a sense of terror and preparing us for the feeling that we were really about to be locked away fighting for our lives.
Cons: It wasn’t scary. Wait, maybe that should go in the pros? Yes, that is definitely a pro. Let me repeat: IT IS NOT SCARY. For those of you who HATE HAUNTED HOUSES (you know who you are), you can breathe a sigh of relief. I personally love haunted houses (though usually not in combination with escape rooms) but this was definitely not a haunted house in any way. There was a surprise sound or spooky element here and there but nothing terrifying at all. So never fear, my fretful friends who may have steered away from this place based on the promos. The reason why we have placed this fact in the cons section, however, is based on the fact that their entire advertising campaign and hype is focused on being a terrifying experience. It was, in fact, not terrifying.
With that out of the way, now we can evaluate it as a normal escape room. As you know we love puzzles (like all escape room fanatics) and focus mostly on looking at quality of puzzles, logic of puzzles, and game flow. The Basement suffered on all these accounts. First, the puzzles were not all aligned to the theme of the room. Some were random and most were not puzzles at all but merely objects or codes to find. Finding objects in a dark and dirty (faux dirt) room with only one flashlight between twelve people is nearly impossible. The logic of a few of the puzzzles was questionable. Game flow was severely complicated by the sheer number of players packed into the room. Twelve people? Communication is nearly impossible. Twelve people and a linear, one puzzle at a time room? Definitely impossible. We did not escape. We were close, we were told. But we did not escape. This was not for want of trying or lack of experience but due to the fact that twelve people were crammed into a dark room with 1-2 flashlights and very well-hidden codes and objects. Reduce the number of people and provide us proper lighting and then we will be able to see well enough and communicate well enough to easily solve the simple puzzles in this room.
Our recommendation? Play it to say you’ve played it but we found it mostly just overhped and overcrowded. The large number of people in the room made for an unenjoyable escape room experience especially when compared to the vast majority of other escape room companies out there. Southern California has so many other AMAZING escape rooms – give some of those a try.
Spellbound: A deadly curse has afflicted the town and trapped inside the evil wizard’s lair we had to find a way out and break the curse.
Task Force Agency: As potential future secret agents, we had to prove our worth in order to qualify for admission to the academy.
Pros: Although we were tired after our flight to the Los Angeles area, the game master at Enchanted Escape Room quickly improved our spirits with his enthusiasm and joy. First we tackled Spellbound. This other-worldly adventure through the spirit realm challenged us with a variety of magic-themed puzzles. We had little trouble progressing through the game with few hints thanks to good game flow and logical puzzle design. We had a similar experience as undercover agents playing Task Force Agency. The game had several unique physical puzzles that deviated from the monotony of typical escape room word or math puzzles. We needed a few more hints than usual to move us along, but we were ultimately able to uncover the sleeper cells and succeed in our mission.
Cons: The set design was somewhat cheesy (mostly with the game Spellbound). Cheap props tended to detract a bit from the magic of an otherwise great room. In Task Force Agency, shoddy equipment or puzzle pieces complicated or delayed the puzzle-solving. For those who play lots of escape rooms, you will recognize this as a pretty typical phenomenon for most establishments. But in Los Angeles the escape rooms tend to go above and beyond in set design, so this one is a bit atypical of the norm in the area. This should not deter people from playing. Enchanted Escape Room is definitely a good, solid game-play experiencs and is definitely recommended for both beginner and advanced players alike! Be sure to visit Enchanted Escape Room in Northridge.
Occam's Apartment: Occam's death had been ruled a suicide, but we didn't believe it. We entered his apartment to discover the truth.
Norcross Art Gallery: This art gallery housed a dark secret that our team had to discover.
Pros: At present, Evil Genius has two rooms both connected by a common storyline. The mysterious death of Occam is a compelling narrative that kept us on our toes. We played both games back-to-back and the transition tied the games together adding to our experience at Evil Genius. The puzzles were sufficiently complex to keep us perplexed through most of the game, but were not impossible to solve. Norcross Gallery seemed more difficult than Occam's Apartment but with hints we were able to successfully make our escape. The set design was immersive and corresponded with the theme. Added audio elements in both games added a different element. The game master was enthusiastic and remained in character throughout.
Excellent! We loved Evil Genius!
Zen Room: Sent into a dream state, we had to work our way through our sleepy subconscious to bring color back to the world.
Outbreak: A deadly virus has destroyed most of humanity. Our goal was to locate the serum that could save the world.
Pros: We finally made it back to 60 Out Marina Del Rey (our favorite Los Angeles escape room thanks to the Titanic room). We couldn't wait to see what amazingness they had to offer. At first, we played the Zen room and entered a dream state where we had to find our way out of our slumber. This room was genuinely unique with crazy out-of-the-box puzzles and some twists and turns that had us laughing. As avid players (now over 200 games), we appreciated the ingenuity of the Zen room.
After a pleasant and calming experience in the Zen room, we were dropped into a post-apocalyptic world where a deadly virus had devastated the planet. We stumbled our way through this game with a few technical difficulties that greatly slowed our progress. Some puzzles required us to break the conventional rules of escape rooms and therefore further delayed us until our game master encouraged us to overcome our normal instincts and go ahead and break this or that particular rule.
Cons: We had a problem with malfunctioning equipment and though we voiced our concern multiple times, the game master and first did not hear our concerns and then assumed the problem was with the player. This 20 minute delay annoyed us but in the end it all worked our well. Our game master was otherwise super friendly and helpful, we just recommend they double check the equipment and then listen carefully to the game to understand the problem.
Overall, we once again really enjoyed the experience at 60 Out. Highly recommend this place as on of LA's best!
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 370 games in the U.S. and Europe. We love the art of escapology and we wanted to share our adventures in playing room escapes with you!
Rooms Played: 370