Taken: A woman had been kidnapped and we had to locate and free her.
Confinement: Trapped in a creepy room in a dreamlike state we had to find a way out.
Prison Break: Captured by terrorists and thrown into a dark, dank cell we had to find our way out of the torture chamber.
The Gift: Our friend left a gift he bought for his girlfriend in his uncle's antique shop. We had to break in and recover the gift to help our friend out.
Once Upon a Time: Trapped in a fairy tale we had to follow the clues to break the spell and find our happily ever after.
Pros: When we walked into Red Door Escape Room, we were only scheduled for one game. Five games later we can definitely say we had the full Red Door experience. We are suckers for a good promotion and couldn’t resist their loyalty program. So we decided to prove our loyalty all in a single weekend in our personal quest to earn elite level and the coveted red key.
The location is ideal and the waiting room looked inviting and fun. Each game begins with a rule video and a storyline video. Wit the exception of Once Upon a Time (which we loved) we found the storylines to be a bit too realistic and less fun (we felt the human trafficking storyline was not appropriate). But the general themes were typical of most rooms. The gamemasters were exceptionally enthusiastic in both the introduction and the celebration at the end of each of our games. We really enjoyed our time with each employee.
The set designs were all aligned to theme. The Gift had some unique and fun set elements. Once Upon a Time had that storybook feel. They were generally well-built adding to the game play experience.
Cons: In all of our games we were grouped with strangers including children under ten. We have already commented on this issue elsewhere and try to accept this as the increasingly more common reality of escape room play even as we vigorously object to this inevitably.
With that issue aside, we still found the game flow difficult in all of the rooms. The puzzles were sometimes illogical or counterintuitive frequently leading to our requests for assistance from the gamemaster. In one game alone, we managed to escape with five puzzles left unsolved. This was a reflection of the limits to the game design. We had to request frequent hints in order to escape on time. We prefer games that are designed to flow flawlessly with no hints from gamemasters and guide posts to keep the game flowing.
We really enjoyed our visit to Red Door Escape! Go for the rewards program and earn your own red key!
Prison Break: Thrown in jail for a crime we didn't commit (again?, this seems to happen to us a lot), we had to find a way to free ourselves from the joint.
Pros: When we arrived at Zscape in San Ramon, after a long day of escape room adventures in Northern California, we were surprised to find a simple, no frills type of escape room establishment. The gamemaster greeted us warmly and helped orient us to our game. We (along with a few bewildered and frightened first-timers) were escorted into our cell and condemned to a life in prison. The room was basic as one would expect a prison cell to be. The props were sparse but the set design helped set the "locked-away-in-hell" kind of feeling. Once the timer started, we immediately began searching for a way to free ourselves. The puzzles proceeded logically and after searching the room thoroughly and locating the necessary items, we were able to make our break. We needed only one hint from the gamemaster (much to my chagrin) as a result of our own failure to thoroughly search the area.
We have played a LOT (and I do mean A LOT) of games and, dear readers, you know that what the Escapeologists (speaking in third person now so you know we are serious) appreciate most is solid puzzle design. We found the puzzles exceptionally logical in Prison Break and the game flow on-point. This is a great game for beginners and enthusiasts alike. We definitely recommend you take a trip to San Ramon to check them out. We look forward to the opening of their next games and hope to visit again very soon.
P.S. We loved their awesome logo!
Heist: Hired to steal a dangerous nano-virus, we had to break into Mason Industries and uncover their dark secrets.
Prison Break: Double-crossed and locked up for stealing the nano-virus, we had to find a way to break out and get back to business.
Pros: It's Vegas baby! Everybody loves Vegas so what's not to love about the escape rooms in Vegas? Some people say all the action is on the Strip, but we say all the action is at Rush to Escape. After our brief game orientation we were locked away in a cell and struggled to break free of our handcuffs to begin our prison break. The puzzles were mostly logical but we did find ourselves completely stumped in the final room trying to locate exceptionally well-hidden items. The gamemaster helped us out and we successfully made our escape. Before beginning the Heist, we were suited up and armed with a variety of tools and nerf guns. This alone made the entire experience worth while. The puzzles in the game were all very physical and consisted of a nice mixture of tasks to accomplish and puzzles to solve. We were physically and mentally exhausted after our two successful missions.
Cons: It's Vegas baby! We walked in exhausted from our revelry and we left even more exhausted. The games were well-designed and fun to play but a bit too complex for our weary brains at the time and we required many more hints than usual. It was probably us, but this is something to beware of before trying to conquer these rooms. Assemble your brainiest team, caffeine up, and be mentally ready for the challenge of the rooms at Rush to Escape.
Inheritance: Tesla's inheritance awaited us if only we could solve his final puzzles.
Conspiracy Theory: A room of mysteries reveals the biggest conspiracies in history. We had to solve the biggest one.
Pros: The waiting room at Off the Couch was super cool. There was so much space and lots of games to play while you wait. The gamemasters were enthusiastic and clearly enjoyed their work. They did a great job telling the rules and introductory story lines. We were excited to get started playing the games. First we played Conspiracy Theory. We struggled through most of the puzzles and required lots of hints and intervention from the game master. Some mechanical difficulties coupled with less than logical puzzles impeded our game flow. We successfully escaped only with constant hints from the game master. Luckily our experience in Inheritance was quite the opposite. We loved the set and the puzzles. We moved through the game relatively effortlessly requiring only one major hint. The game flow was excellent ant the puzzles were all aligned to the game.
Cons: See comments above. The complexity of Conspiracy Theory could be improved with a few guideposts to lead players to the puzzle solutions. The first room also contained a lot of distracting stimuli that slowed our game play.
We definitely recommend you play Inheritance if you visit Off the Couch!
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!
The Escapeologists' arrived in Beijing, China last week excited to play our 30tth game! We have played in some pretty exciting places around the world, but this topped them all. After a day of exploring the Forbidden City and climbing the Great Wall we had one last milestone to conquer: Omescape China! We tried to book the room before we left the United States with no success. Upon our arrival in China, we located Omescape and tried to book a game but had trouble communicating with the staff. Finally, a few of our Chinese-speaking friends booked our room and played with us. We played a game called Jenny's Study. We had no idea what the storyline was but managed to figure out the puzzles. We were grateful for the helpful translations in the room but these were difficult to understand. We definitely could not have progressed very far without the help of our friends who asked for clues from the gamemasters as necessary!
Thank you Omescape China for marking letting us celebrate our 300th game with you!
Pharaoh's Tomb: The archaeology professor has gone missing. Deep inside the Pharaoh's tomb we had to discover the ancient curse that has trapped the prof deep inside the tomb.
Pros: We were tired and in a time crunch by the time we arrived at Maze Rooms but the gamemaster was amazingly awesome and helped by quickly briefing us and starting our game. Once we entered the room, we were excited to begin playing since the set created an immersive feel that helped get us in the Indiana Jones mode of thinking. We solved the first puzzle relatively easily but spent too much time searching around for clues to move us ahead in the game. We did not ask for clues in part because our pride tends to get in the way sometimes and in part because we like the feeling of accomplishment when we finish a room without hints. But this proved to be our downfall in this room. We spent too much time searching around delaying us and ultimately ending in our failure to successfully escape. The puzzles however were all aligned to the theme and maintained the immersive feel of the game.
Cons: We should have asked for clues. This is not a con for Maze Rooms but for us. If we had asked for help early on we could have finished the room and more effectively evaluated game flow. We also stumbled a bit with a few of the tech puzzles that delayed us. Again this was more our fault than the game itself. A word to the wise - watch your pacing when playing Pharaoh's Tomb.
We wish we had time to play another game at Maze Rooms before we had to leave. We definitely loved the archaeological adventure of the Pharaoh's tomb and imagine that the Spy Safe House is equally as fun. Definitely a must-do escape room in Austin! Check them out!
Cabin Fever: Trapped in a blizzard at a secluded ski resort, we had to find the keys to escape.
Oval Office: The Oval Office is rigged with a bomb that must be defused within one hour. Our team had to locate it and cut the correct wires on time.
Pros: We arrived in Austin ready to play! We had two early morning games. The gamemasters were very accommodating and more than happy to brief us and get our games started quickly. When the door locked behind us in Cabin Fever we were ready to roll. The game was on and we moved swiftly through the puzzles with only one suggestion from our gamemaster. The puzzles were aligned to the ski resort theme and we especially enjoyed the bear puzzle (no spoilers). We flowed smoothly through the game but ended in the nick to time: a sign of a good game. It was scaled to complexity just enough to make it doable but not so difficult to make it impossible to complete on time. We had a similar experience in the Oval Office game and enjoyed successfully defusing the bomb with minutes to spare.
Cons: There was nothing really stand out about the puzzles or the set design in either room. This is a no frills, straight-forward type of escape room.
We definitely recommend Austin Panic room as a solid escape room experience. Beginners and enthusiasts will enjoy the challenge of the games. Groups of four would be ideal for the size of these rooms and complexity of the puzzles. We really enjoyed playing at Austin Panic Room during our visit to the Lone Star State!
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: 352