Senator Payne: The Senator has a dark secret. We had to break into his office and discover the truth.
Casino Heist: An abandoned casino was hiding million dollars. We had to find it before the building was demolished.
Pros: We already love 60 Out, so it should come as no surprise that that we also enjoyed playing at the Corinth Avenue location. The game master at this site was super friendly and lots of fun to chat with. She was helpful throughout our game, providing much needed assistance as necessary. We really enjoyed the sets and the puzzles in both games were logical. Casino Heist proved our favorite game at this location. We struggled a bit but still managed to pull off the heist.
Cons: Zero. 60 Out once again provided a solid game-play experience. We loved both of these games and although we definitely still recommend you play the Titanic game at the Marina Del Rey location, you really cannot go wrong at any 60 Out location.
Da Vinci's Lost Workshop: We entered Da Vinci's secret workshop seeking the truth about his mysterious final invention.
Pros: The owners and game masters here really go above and beyond to make your experience fun and memorable from the moment you walk in the door. They remain largely in character throughout the experience and help generate enthusiasm even before the game officially begins. Once we entered the room we found ourselves surrounded by a neat, orderly, and well-designed set that included no unnecessary props or red herrings to distract us from our task. We quickly discovered the game was multilinear and our team of five split up to begin working on different puzzles. The mix of mechanical, word, and symbol puzzles kept us busy down to the very last seconds of the game. In the final pinch, the game master intervened to provide us with a crucial hint that helped us cross the finish line with less than a minute to spare. It was a close call, but we were ecstatic to finish this very challenging room.
Cons: We honestly loved every minute of our experience at the Grand Detectives Society. We applaud the owners and employees for the effort and love they have devoted to their business. Our only advice to future players is to assemble your finest puzzle-solving team and bring your A-game because this room poses quite the challenge!
Ghost Ship - Held against our will on a cursed ship of angry ghosts, we hand to find away to escape fast.
Grandma's Master Plan - Granny had left cryptic clues about our inheritance. If we wanted to cash in on the deal we had to discover Grandma's darkest secrets.
Wizard's Workshop - As students of a talented wizard we were tasked with helping our scatter-brained teacher reunite his soul with his body.
Titanic - This ship was going down. Our goal was to save the sinking crew.
P.U.T.I.N. Bunker - A dictator sent us on a crash course toward a nuclear holocaust. Our mission was to stop the launch sequence of the nukes before it was too late.
Dr. Psycho - Trapped in the room of a psychotic doctor/serial killer, we had to solve the case before we became the next victim.
Pros: The rooms at 60 Out vary quite a bit making it difficult to talk generally about them as a group. The set design on some of the rooms (Titanic for instance) is stellar and far exceeded our expectations. Others are more typical of middle-of-the-road escape rooms. The puzzles are all generally logical with some games being more physical than mental. Yet, all the rooms were enjoyable to play and the puzzles mostly solvable. We had a great experience with all of the game masters who monitored our progress closely and provided assistance when needed. Overall we enjoyed our games at 60 Out and highly recommend visiting all of their rooms in the various locations in the Los Angeles area.
Cons: We had a few mechanical difficulties in some of the more technologically complex rooms and at least one or two puzzle fails in games where poor puzzle design hindered our progress. These rooms were excellent overall. We found 60 Out, specifically Titanic and Grandma's MasterPlan, to be among our top ten favorite escape room experiences. Do not pass up the opportunity to play their games if you are in Southern California.
Mr. Fox's Secret Study: Recruited as special agents, we had to pass one final test before gaining Mr. Fox's approval.
Pros: The puzzles were very logical and fun to solve. The game master followed our game closely and intervened to assist us when necessary. We made excellent progress and needed only a nudge here and there to keep us on the right track. We successfully escaped with time to spare.
Cons: Simple set design, basic storyline and straight-forward puzzles. This experience was certainly nothing to write home about but we had an excellent experience regardless. This was a good middle-of-the road escape room. Recommended for first-timers and enthusiasts.
Cocaine: We found ourself in the office of a mob boss and soon had to solve a murder mystery in order to escape with our lives.
Zombie: A zombie apocalypse was underway and we had to track down the cure to save the human race from extinction.
Pros: The lobby was designed like a 1920s-era hotel complete with zombified bell hops and hotel staff. From the moment we walked in, we were excited to begin our adventure. The clerk took our photo and created passport books for us which further added to our excitement. We anticipated a great experience based on the initial hubbub in the lobby. Once we exited the lobby, our excitement, unfortunately, permanently checked-out of this hotel.
Cons: Once we were escorted to the escape rooms (we played two back-to-back: Cocaine and Zombie), our experience quickly degenerated into frustration and annoyance. The rooms were dark and full of clutter in the form of tools and other props that we were hesitant to touch for fear of getting our hands dirty. The puzzles defied logic and were often either overly complex or utterly incomprehensible. Our frustration was further exacerbated by game masters who were slow to respond and mostly unhelpful in providing hints or clues. In Cocaine, we stumbled our way through the awkward puzzles but had substantial difficulty solving the last puzzle because pieces were missing since the room had been improperly reset. Instead of apologizing or offering to refund our money, the game master insisted that the fault was in our game-play. When he finally agreed that the error was on the part of the staff who reset the game he simply shrugged it off and continued to remind us that we had failed to escape the room.
Don't be fooled by the glitzy lobby. Save your money for some of the much higher quality escape room experiences in So Cal.
The Vault: As secret agents we were sent on a mission to break into the vault and rescue our fellow agent.
Alcatraz: Out group of jailbirds had to find a way to escape the most notorious prison in the world.
Pros: Let us start by saying that the employees at this establishment were extremely courteous, enthusiastic and helpful. Let us end the pros list with that.
Cons: The set in the Vault was simplistic, adding little to the storyline or experience. Alcatraz had a much more theme-based set comparatively. The puzzles in both rooms were illogical at times and disconnected from the room themes. We required numerous clues and some technical assistance on puzzles that were either illogical or impossible to complete without assistance. The themes were the stereotypical escape room storylines with little variation or creativity. We escaped but with lots of hints which detracted from the thrill of escape.
If you are in Los Angeles and only have time for a few escape rooms, we recommend you put this one lower on your list since there are so many great ones in the area. But if you too are an escapeologist, then of course you would want to visit EscapeIQ.
Krampus: Someone has been kidnapping children. Could it be Krampus - the Christmas devil? Our investigation team had to locate the missing children in a creepy apartment building and escape with the evidence to convict the Krampus.
Spaceship: The rocket was set for take-off. We had to find our way out quick if we didn't want to get launched into outer space.
Tiki Palace: Our island paradise just turned into a volcanic nightmare. We had to find a way to appease the goddess of fire, before we became toast.
Pros: The set of Krampus was an odd mixture of Christmas and Halloween - perfect for a Krampus themed room. As the escapeologists favorite mythical beast, Krampus proved a worthy nemesis for us to defeat. The unique theme of this room made it all the more fun. The set design in the Tiki room was very immersive with lots of attention to detail that added to the experience of being at an island resort. The set of Spaceship was likewise impressive. The puzzles were both logical and challenging in all of the rooms. We escaped but with one hint or less in each room and not much time to spare. The puzzles generally fit the theme of the room. Our game masters were extremely helpful and responsive when called upon.
Cons: Playing in the dark is one of our least favorite ways to play. We wouldn't mind so much if there were enough flashlights to go around. Otherwise one of us is always left in the dark. This was only a problem in the Krampus room. We had some trouble in the Spaceship room finding all the clues and the logic of one of the puzzles was difficult to follow.
Overall, Countdown Live is a top-notch, high-quality escape room experience! If you are in Los Angeles you don't want to miss this one!
The Cavern: Trapped deep inside a cavern underneath the city streets, our group of adventurers discovered the remains of a lost city. However, we had to find our way out quickly before we ran out of air.
The Theater: We found ourselves trapped in an old haunted theater with a discontented ghost. We had to free the trapped spirit without permanently trapping ourselves in the underworld.
Alchemist: This alchemists lab held many ancient secrets waiting to be discovered. Our group had to reveal them all and unite the four elements before the alchemist returned.
Pros: The set designs in the rooms at Escape LA are absolutely fantastic. We especially loved the alchemist set for its ingenuity and immersive feel. The cavern and the theater were also quite impressive. These rooms were very large with lots of room for movement which is great given the large group size. The puzzles were multi-linear, aligned to the story themes, generally logical and fun to solve. The puzzle master deserves praise for the effort put into aligning these to the overarching narrative.
Cons: We have very conflicting feelings about our experience at Escape LA. On the one hand, the puzzles were fun and the sets in the rooms blew us away. On the other hand, the large group size, massive number of the puzzles, and very limited time frame severely detracted from our full enjoyment of the experience. Elsewhere In this blog we have railed against large group sizes and the limitations they place on a positive and productive playing environment. We will not repeat those points here except to say that once again (three times again) our theory on this was validated through our game play at Escape Room LA. We detest group sizes over six and recommend escape room owners think more about the player perspective in a game with this many people. Even with the large numbers of players in the room (10-12) we did not have nearly enough time to solve the multiple numbers of puzzles in these rooms. Although we enjoyed the puzzles and their clear ties to the theme, we felt there were far too many to solve in the time frame. With only 50 minutes instead of the standard 60 minutes the buzzer often went off with the exclamation from the game master "Oh so close, only two minutes away." In all three of the games we were only one puzzle away or one box in process of opening before a successful escape. The missing ten minutes and ridiculous number of puzzles explains the low escape rate at Escape LA. Even with our extensive game play knowledge, we found ourselves overwhelmed and short of time. We also had mixed encounters with the various game masters who were ever present in the rooms. We generally disapprove of game masters in the room since they tend to intervene either too frequently or discourage the free-thinking of players. This was no exception. The game masters interrupted our thoughts to say "don't touch that" or "that's not important" which tended to suppress the exploratory, trial and error approach to problem-solving that is essential to an enjoyable escape room experience. Instead, players often turned to them asking for permission to touch items or advice on how to proceed, in effect robbing them of independent thought and action. We did however truly appreciate the very thorough walk-through and debrief at the conclusion of each game. This should be standard practice at all escape room venues.
Major props to Escape Room LA on the set design. Truly remarkable craftsmanship and creativity. You definitely deserve the Eacapeologists Set Design Award!
The Dynasty - Royal Library: Traveling back in time to Ancient China, our group found ourselves inside the Imperial library tasked with the job of retrieving a powerful forbidden seal.
Pros: The room was decorated in Chinese artwork and furniture according to the story theme. We breezed through the challenges in the beginning and enjoyed some nice surprises with the technology of some of the puzzles. We successfully solved the first game and were told that we could progress to the next one. This was a fun twist to the traditional game. We did not move very far in the second game before time ran out. The game master was friendly and explained the process well.
Cons: The puzzles in the second room were less logical and we struggled with these a bit more as a result. Would love to come back and finish this room and begin the next!
Mystery of Murder Manor: Locked in a mysterious haunted room, our team of ghosthunters had to reunite the deceased members of the Cain family in order to free their ghostly spirits.
Casino Heist: A casino owned by a mafia kingpin has millions of dollars in cash and jewels inside. Our goal was to retrieve as much of the stolen material as we could within an hour.
Pros: From the moment we stepped into the waiting room, we loved Escape X. The owners were friendly and excited to share their passion for escape rooms with us. They clearly explained the story theme, the rules, and set the tone for the game. They were readily accessible for assistance throughout the game. The set design in Murder Manor was intended to create that eerie feeling of being locked in a haunted house. It worked. Our whole group proceeded cautiously around the room, unsure what to make of the spooky storyline. The puzzles were logical and varied in type and style. The storyline of trying to reunite the Cain family carried throughout each puzzle and culminated in the final challenge. It was a masterfully designed room in the flow of the puzzles.
However, our favorite room by far was Casio Heist. In a twist from the typical escape room goal, our mission was not to escape but to collect as much money and as much evidence as possible before time ran out. This added an intensity and purpose to our game play that motivated us far beyond expectation. We delegated tasks and found ourselves prioritizing our puzzle solving in order to maximize our gain. The puzzles were fun to solve and scaled in complexity. Several of the puzzles stumped us. Yet, in the end we still felt like big winners as a result of the quantity of our booty and the enthusiasm of the game master.
Cons: We absolutely LOVED Casino Heist and cannot think of anyway they could improve it. Murder Manor was a blast as well. Congratulations to the escape room owners on a well-designed set-up!
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