Mysterious Stranger: A mysterious phone call sends us on a mission to disable a dangerous device that could destroy the country.
Pros: After solving the first puzzle and finding the location of Steal and Escape, we entered the establishment and prepared for our briefing. We were invited to play a fun warm-up game that we really enjoyed. We definitely recommend you play it when you get there. The actual escape room was enjoyable to play even though we struggled with every puzzle. We had but for no hints and were therefore very pleased when we finally escaped. We were allowed an additional nine minutes to complete the game, so technically we did not escape on time. This game then lowered our success states slightly, but it was definitely worth it.
Cons: The Mysterious Stranger required a great deal of outside the box thinking and untraditional game-play strategies. We had to do a few things that you usually do not do in an escape room so be prepared if you visit Steal and Escape.
The Diner: Tasked with the criminal task of robbing the local diner, we had 60 minutes to get in, get the goods, and get out fast.
Pros: Our plane into San Diego was delayed by over an hour and so we rushed to Quicksand as quickly as we could, nervous that we would miss our game. Luckily for us, the gamemasters were very kind and accommodating. They were not the least bit frantic about our late start. We were escorted into the diner where we were immediately awed by the set. We felt like we were actually in a diner with all the props and puzzles set to theme. The only thing missing was a hamburger and chocolate malt to eat. We began playing the game, despite the lack of food and our growling stomachs. After several false starts, we moved through the puzzles at a good clip. We especially enjoyed the last room where the puzzles required we increase our pace in order to get out on time.
Cons: A few of the puzzles were counterintuitive and sign posts could have helped guide us to the solution without the need for help from the gamemaster. We recommend that if there are common problems that all players have, the game designers consider revising the puzzles slightly.
The Diner was so much fun! We wish the other games had openings while we were there. We cannot wait to return and play the other games at Quicksand Escape Games!
Medieval Room: In search of the fountain of youth, we had to get our fill of the miracle water before time ran out.
Voodoo Room: A Voodoo queen has cursed our town. We had to break into her shop and break the curse.
Pros: We arrived in beautiful San Diego ready to explore the city and play some amazing escape rooms. Lockdown San Diego dd not let us down. The gamemasters at Lockdown San Diego greeted us when we walked in and immediately impressed us with their enthusiasm and efficiency. Because we play so many rooms, we especially appreciate when gamemasters are able to shorten their intro for enthusiasts. Mark and Nina introduced us to our story lines in the Medieval and Voodoo Rooms. Once we entered the rooms, we were immediately impressed by the set design. Each room created an immersive feel that gave us the full sense that we were actually in a Voodoo shop or Medieval castle. This only enhanced our experience at Lockdown. The game flow in both rooms was also very smooth. Puzzles flowed logically from one to the other. This was evidenced by the fact that we needed only one or two hints in each room. The puzzles were aligned to the themes of the rooms and we truly enjoyed solving each puzzle.
Cons: There was one puzzle in the Voodoo Room that stumped us for a while (we needed a hint on this one). We felt it was a bit counterintuitive but once the gamemaster corrected us, we were able to resume our flow. The tech in the rooms was a bit slow and tricky at times, but the gamemaster again helped us navigate the issues and kept the game moving.
Lockdown San Diego was an excellent game-play experience for beginners and enthusiasts alike. We definitely recommend you check them out in San Diego!
Houdini's Hidden Workshop: Trapped inside Houdini's haunted workshop, our group had 60 minutes to attempt to free Houdini's soul.
Pros: The set design and special effects of this room were top-notch. The wow factor was truly WOW! Our game master appeared in costume and completely in character. She added to the immersive experience and enhanced the game play by providing hints and clues as necessary (maintaining her accent and role all along). The storyline was clear and consistent throughout the game. The puzzles were a mixture of mechanical and logic types.
Cons: The large group size annoyed us at first and proved distracting at times as communication was clearly an issue. However, the big group size soon emerged as a benefit since the number and complexity of puzzles proved the greater challenge. We did not escape the room and honestly did not even come close to escaping. After reflecting on the experience, we decided that the puzzles were much too complex and detracted from our overall experience. With a little tweaking of the puzzles, this could be a "best of the best" room escape.
We wish we were able to play the other rooms at Great Room Escape. The introduction videos looked amazing. Unfortunately, they were completely booked the weekend we were there. Next time, San Diego!
Escape Gallery 3919: Our friends invited us to a lovely art gallery for a private party. When we get there, things were not what they seemed in this odd place.
Escape the Attic: The strange neighbor asked us to housesit for him. A weird noise in the attic prompted us to investigate. It turned out our neighbor had some very dark secrets.
Pros: We loved the waiting room which was big and well-decorated. In addition to plenty of seating, it also had props and a great wall for taking photographs. We played Gallery 3919 first and found it particularly challenging at times but awesome fun for our group of about 8 people. The extra people helped locate all the clues in this room. We played the attic game easily with two people. The puzzles in both rooms were logical and we were able to solve them with limited help. Many of the puzzles in the gallery were unique and specific to the story and set. The set-design in both rooms was well-thought out and clearly tied to the storyline. We especially enjoyed the added creepiness of the attic which gave us that whole "should we even be in here" feeling. Creepy props constantly surprised us as well. The game master was friendly and we appreciated the hints as needed.
Cons: None that we could think of. These were good solid room escape experiences. The rooms are good for beginners and advanced players alike. Professional and courteous employees! Looking forward to checking out their next room when it opens.
The Disappearance at Fogmore Manor: Trapped in an apparently haunted room, our group determined to locate a missing business partner before the spirits of the manor stopped us dead in our tracks.
Pros: This room was not only meticulously decorated, but the attention to detail in the props and the puzzles added to the overarching storyline. We loved many of the high-tech, mechanical puzzles. These were top-notch and demonstrate excellence in set and puzzle design. We played alongside a friend and veteran escape room player. We all agreed that we had never seen anything like these puzzles before. The puzzles were complicated but perfectly logical and solvable. We barely escaped but progressed at a good pace through each challenge. The game master was on hand to provide assistance with some mechanical difficulties.
Cons: None. We really enjoyed our experience at Fogmore Manor and look forward to seeing more rooms like this one. Bravo!
Sitting Duck: This mission was designed to test our collaboration skills and prove our ability to work together as a team. Successfully completing the mission would allow us to become bonafide Divergent Realities Bureau Agents.
Pros: Loved the website layout and the unique theme of this room escape company. The puzzles were easy to solve and we set a record in making our escape. The props for the final photo were fun and engaging.
Cons: The room was tiny. Two people were crowded and four would be too many. They recommend 1-3 players in this room which makes sense given the size of the room. The set was non-existent since it was just a tiny room with some furniture and props. There was not a lot of creativity in the overall set-design. The puzzles were not very logical at times and similarly lacking in creativity. The room and puzzles did not fit with the overarching theme. Not our favorite escape room. Not even close.
Unfortunately, they were not able to schedule us for any of the other games. We are hoping to be able to try out their other games at some future point to see if the premise improves from there.
The Study: Trapped in the mysterious room of the deceased J. D. Howell, we had to navigate our way through the puzzles to solve the mystery.
Pros: The game master's costume and dramatic entrance helped generate enthusiasm and establish a sense of ambience for the game. Upon entering the room we found a very small game play area with plenty of puzzles to confound us. A mixture of puzzle types from symbolic to mechanical allowed us to exercise various parts of our brain throughout the hour. The set-design was basic but fit well with the theme.
Cons: Despite the enthusiasm of the staff and the game master, we did not really understand the storyline and were therefore less invested in the outcome of the game perhaps than we should have been. The puzzles were logical, but flimsy construction and design made solving some of them near impossible. Although we made it out successfully, we were more confounded by the shoddiness of some of the props and pieces than the challenge of the puzzles themselves.
Recommended for pairs or groups of four or less.
Cover photo taken at Countdown Live .
We are escape room fanatics who have played over 300 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: 329