ESCAPE ROOMS – Brainy Actz – California


Brainy Actz is a kid friendly escape room located in Irvine, California near Los Angeles. I felt a little duped by their marketing, though. I bought my husband a deal for his Christmas present that included tickets for 2, candy gift basket and BEER GLASS. Beer glass does not equate to kid friendly room in my logic, so when we were placed with 8 strangers (2 couples and a family of 4 with children) I was a little confused as to why we were grouped with kids.

It is a good location in a business district with plenty of parking. The staff is nice.

I have to word this carefully since I was contacted by Brainy Actz asking me to change my Yelp review because they felt it gave spoilers.
The Pirate themed room has cheesy decorations. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was the iPad playing music illuminated in the corner easily within reach. When I asked about it the game master assured me that it wasn’t part of the game, just music. Overall the room design and puzzles severely lacked in creativity. It’s easy to make the puzzles harder than they are because they are so poorly designed.

It was a difficult room to play because of our large group. There were simply too many people. There wasn’t enough to do to keep everyone occupied so we kept getting in each other’s way.

ESCAPE ROOMS – School of Hard Locks: Art Class – California


Art Class replaced one of my favorite Halloween themed rooms from 2015, but it is not comparable to it. The Art Class is a “classroom” themed escape room located in Carlsbad near San Diego. The story is great. They have a wonderful backstory about the school. The lobby has pictures that help show the story. There are also lockers for your personal items during the game. The Art Class room’s decor is fine. It’s basically decorated with student artwork. You enter and exit through the same door. The puzzles, however, were less than creative and even worse…illogical. (It wasn’t as bad as the Principal’s Office that I played the same day at this location. It is now closed. That one actually had a puzzle that when we asked how we were supposed to solve it and were told that basically we just guess because the rest of the puzzle we were looking for to solve it wasn’t even in the room.) I was most frustrated with a lock that had a very muddy answer, so much so that the game master couldn’t get it unlocked and the second employee couldn’t get it open without holding the answer code in hand and still struggled a bit. How are we supposed to figure out the answer if the staff can’t even figure it out and they know the answer. We actually had some difficulty with our game master when it came to getting hints. She came in the room and couldn’t figure out where we were in the puzzles, then pulled out a sheet of notes and started reading through them hoping it would help us. Overall, I was incredibly disappointed in the Art Class.

ESCAPE ROOM – Escape Room Police – California



Two words: DUCT TAPE

The escape room located in San Diego is literally held together by duct tape. I never quite got past that during game play because it looks so bad. Oh and I tripped over a cord in the room unplugging a computer which screwed us up a bit. I guess the duct tape wasn’t sticking well to the floor.

The puzzles were okay, but nothing especially creative. However the owner was so excited explaining them that they seemed more exciting in the debrief than the game. He’s a very nice guy that loves his room. He even justified the duct tape on the walls holding up everything…even a shelf. I didn’t think it was a good justification, but he has his reasons.

My other big problem with this game was that a major prop had been damaged by the group before us and the game master didn’t tell us that he had removed it. So when we got to that point we just kept looking for it. We had to walkie to him to ask where it was because we gave up looking and he said we didn’t need it, basically just find a work around for the puzzle.

I wish him the best and I hope his business does well, but…seriously…duct tape?