Escapedom is an excellent escape room located in Westwood, not far from Los Angeles. They are upstairs, so enter the entrance at street level and take the stairs up. It’s a good idea to give yourself a few extra minutes in case of traffic and to find parking. The owners and staff at Escapedom are wonderful. To me the signature difference that makes them stand out from others in the industry is their introductions. The way they introduce the stories are fun, innovative and unique.
In the Den of the Occult your group is challenged to retrieve the Crystal of Death and escape the den of Maya Conway. Maya is a tarot card reader and satanic worshiper. I wouldn’t say that the room is scary, but it is definitely a darker theme than their first room.
Your team must work together to solve unique puzzles. There is both searching and solving involved. The puzzles use many different ways of thinking. If you are stumped on a puzzle, ask your teammates to take a look because they may understand it right away. It’s great because there is something for everyone to solve. The room is well decorated. I was impressed by the use of technology. It’s a clever and unique game.
ROOMS OF NO RETURN
Rooms of No Return is a family run escape room company in Bakersfield. It is easy to find and has plenty of parking. Jail Break is their second room.
This is the most unique Jail room I’ve played in California. It’s a well told story that does a good job of immersing you in the in game. Grace Wright has asked you to help her escape after being locked up for her husband’s murder. She claims to have been framed. You have an hour during a riot to escape the game.
The puzzles are creative and organic to the stories for the most part. This room includes solving, searching, teamwork and physical puzzles. They have some fun uses of technology in this room. The decor is okay. The staff is wonderful!!! They are my favorite rooms in the Bakersfield area.
EXODUS ESCAPE ROOM
My husband and I were a little hesitant to play this escape room since we heard there were a lot of people booked per game and it was all the way in Rancho Cucamonga which was a bit of a journey for us coming from Los Angeles, so we went in with low expectations. They exceeded our expectations. I still prefer to play escape rooms with just the two of us, but for a large escape game this was a lot of fun. There were enough puzzles to keep our group of 12 busy. (Random note: Rancho Cucamonga has a weird smell and so did the room. I don’t know what it is, but it was really noticeable.) This is located in a mall so there is a parking lot and many restaurants walking distance from the game.
The story is that you are in a restaurant during an earthquake. The space is very large and beautiful. This is a good example of a company creating an escape room around the space they have available to them and using what is already there. Certain areas are off limits and clearly marked, however the game master can easily access them. The puzzles are clever. There is a mix of mental puzzles, searching and physical puzzles. There is no lobby, so you will enter at your game time. They do a quick orientation outside of the door. There are bathrooms that you may use during the game…there were no puzzles/clues inside the bathrooms.
My only complaint: a couple of the locks were a little past their prime making them difficult to open. The game master gave the reason that they had been used a lot, but I don’t understand why they haven’t just replaced them with properly working locks since replacing locks is a common and major part of upkeep on escape rooms.
Secret Mission is a spy themed escape room in Los Angeles near Korea Town. My husband and I played here on New Year’s Eve and the lot was packed, but I used to live a few blocks from this location and I know parking is usually rough. The parking lot is small and often very busy, so I recommend giving yourself plenty of time to find parking in case the lot is full. It is upstairs in a strip mall. The lobby is nice. There are restrooms in the business.
The Secret Mission room is well designed and decorated. There are a few really creative puzzles and a few similar to things I’ve seen before. It’s not an especially difficult room, however we had trouble with a couple of things. One of the things we struggled with gave us such a difficult time that the game master had to come in and do it for us because we knew what we were supposed to do, but just couldn’t get it to work. He took a moment of fiddling with it and finally we could continue. After speaking with him, it seemed as though he was trying to find a fix for that prop. He seemed very passionate about his business and excited for his next room, as well.
Eskape escape room is located in Irvine in a business area with a large parking lot. The game master was very friendly and upbeat, especially since we were the only people there and it was a last minute booking keeping him at work on Super Bowl Sunday. He didn’t appear to be the owner, but rather one of the best escape room employees I’ve met. He really seemed to love his job.
It is a good solid game with about 1/2 standard puzzles I’ve seen before and 1/2 really creative and unique ideas. The decor is good. The hint system is through a monitor.
The story is FBI themed, but slightly more creative than other FBI rooms I’ve seen. Here’s the description from their website, “After a decade of meticulous searches and raids, the FBI have finally captured William Lee Woods – #1 on the FBI “Most Wanted” list. His crimes: mass murder and heinous acts of terrorism. During the capture of Woods, the FBI found evidence of his next act of terror. It is up to you and your team of highly skilled agents to expose the details of his next attack before it’s too late!”
It was a good escape room, however one of the main puzzles malfunctioned and there was a bit of trouble with the sound and temperature in the room. It got uncomfortably hot due to the large windows on a hot day.
Overall I would recommend it to both beginners and advanced players because beginners can always ask for hints if they get too stuck.
ESCAPE ROOM LA
Unusual circumstances left my husband and I able to play this escape room with just the two of us, but it is an 8-12 person room. It’s made for a large group and I recommend playing with a group. Unfortunately we didn’t get out with only 2 of us, but we did solve just over 75% of the puzzles which I’m very proud of. There is a lot to do in this room!
I loved the theme and decor of the room. The puzzles are all pretty obvious once you discover them and none of them are overly difficult, however some are incredibly time consuming. If you are really curious, you can see inside the room in this online clip of Conan at this location.
Although this isn’t my favorite room with this company (I like the theatre best), we had an amazing experience being able to work together without the normal large group. Most of the escape rooms I’ve played with my husband (2 alone) and we love working together but often find large groups too overwhelming…so it was a really special moment to be able to experience this room the way we did. (Normally they would cancel the game, which they’ve done to us before.)
Note: Give yourself a little extra time because traffic and parking can sometimes be difficult downtown Los Angeles.
ENIGMA ESCAPE ROOMS
I’ve played all three current rooms at Enigma and they are truly one of the top companies in the escape room industry. They are located on Sunset in Los Angeles. The Will, the third room, is an amazing experience unlike the typical padlock style puzzle room. The Will is set in a home and that’s what it looks like. There are not a bunch boxes hiding behind objects sealed with padlocks, but rather furniture and realistic set dressing. At first I just stood in the room taking everything in and trying to figure out where to begin, but once I accepted that this room is much cooler than the typical room I quickly got into the groove and start figuring out the solutions.
The puzzles are unique and creative. The room design and decor is great. The story is well constructed. The owners/creators are passionate and very nice. I highly recommend Enigma’s The Will.
WIZARDS AND WIRES
This escape room was definitely worth our drive to Riverside from Los Angeles. This is a “haunted” shop. There is no lobby, so we waited outside until out scheduled time. (Technically I ran into the fast food restaurant down the block to use the bathroom and by the time I got back the game master was outside passing out release forms.) There is ample street parking directly in front, so if the weather is not ideal you could easily sit in your car until it’s time to begin.
The Curiosity Shop is one of the best examples of storytelling in an escape room that I’ve experienced out of the 90+ escape rooms I’ve played so far. It’s incredibly well done. The decor is outstanding. The effects are perfectly executed. You are given ghost hunting tools, which is one of the most creative hint systems I’ve encountered. One tool allows the ghost to speak through EVPs and if you pay attention it might help you along the way. The use of the other tool is a really cool way to give assistance and have the timer incorporated into the story.
The puzzles are not especially difficult, but still challenging enough to be fun. It didn’t have the same rushed, panicked, competitive feel of a typical escape room. It is a nice change of pace to know that the owners/creators want everyone to experience the entire story, so as long as you want to get out and pay attention you will receive enough help along the way to do so.
The two owners/creators that I met are very nice and passionate about their room. They have a background in haunts and it shows.
This is one of my favorite experiences because it felt like being immersed in a movie due to the incredible storytelling, set, and effects. Also I love the paranormal, so this combined two of my favorite things: Ghosts & Escape Rooms.
This is an average escape game located in San Diego. It’s got an okay story, not particularly strong or interesting. The decor is good. The puzzles are not bad, but not incredibly unique. I must have misunderstood the intro because I thought we were told not to touch the art pieces, yet we had to in order to escape. There were a few moments that seemed a bit unsafe during our game, but nothing too crazy. There is one person singled out to be agent death to do one task alone. I wish they had a good hint system that didn’t break the illusion so drastically.
We got paired with a group of 3 strangers to make a total of 5 playing the game. That was a good number of people for the size of the game and they were nice ladies.
HAUNTED RECORDING STUDIO
I think one of the things that separates this from other escape games is authenticity of the set of the haunted recording studio. It’s incredibly immersive. The puzzles fit the story/theme of the game. It’s definitely not one of those escape rooms with a bunch of laminated puzzles to open box after box. No tedious Sudoko here. (Thank you Misha! I hate math.) This is a wonderful space with multiple rooms that place you smack dab in the middle of a recording studio to help the ghost, so each room has unique puzzles that make sense and use more than your average “number gathering” skills. I especially love the use of sound effects to assist players through the game. It’s creative and very useful.
It’s a fun game. The owner is passionate about escape games. His excitement filled the room as we entered and signed the waiver. He shared with us some of his ideas for future rooms…I can’t wait to play! This is a good game for all ages and experience levels, although advanced players may not find it as challenging as some other rooms they’ve played.