ESCAPE ROOM – Escape Hotel: Agent – California

Escape Hotel: Agent

We enter a beautiful hotel lobby reminiscent of the Disney California Adventure’s former Tower of Terror. A strange bellhop greets us in a rather robotic manner. Upon approaching the desk we are warmly greeted and asked for our IDs. Several minutes later we are handed a very professional looking passport. To the right of the desk stands a counter that serves sandwiches, salads and drinks. Many comfortable couches are scattered about the lobby and the second level. The wheelchair specific lift to the second floor next to a backdropped photo op look a bit out of place, but it’s forgivable because their purposes are so clearly important. Postmodern Jukebox rings throughout the building adding to a fun but slightly creepy environment. This lobby sets expectations high even if you haven’t watched the incredible marketing videos before arriving.

Unfortunately the Agent Room isn’t quite as spectacular as the lobby, but it is a lot of fun. The decor is good. I honestly expected a bit more from it based on the amazing lobby. There are zip ties holding a few things together that seem a bit more functional than decorator choices. I’m usually not a fan of war themes, but this one was quite fun. I felt transported to a different time, maybe because I would never expect to find swastikas on anything these days. I couldn’t tell you the story primarily because I couldn’t hear the video that explains it over the loud music meant to set the tone. There is very little tech in the room, but what is there worked properly. It is very much your typical well-done escape room. I liked one of the puzzles near the beginning because it felt very MacGyver and I hadn’t seen it before. The room bottlenecks near the end, but up to that point there seemed to be enough to keep all six of us busy. If you are sensitive to violence or historic war visuals, this may not be the room for you. Also be aware this is right smack in Hollywood, so arrive early to find parking and deal with unexpected traffic.

Overall my husband and I had a really good time. We went opening weekend, so the company is still going through some growing pains of a brand new business. I expect amazing things from them in the near future, but until then The Agent is the room I recommend at Escape Hotel.

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ESCAPE ROOM – 60out Escape Room: Doctor Psycho – California

60out Escape Room: Doctor Psycho


I’ve played A LOT of psycho killer rooms and honestly I thought I was “over” that theme until I played Doctor Psycho. This new room in Los Angeles is a refreshing change from the typical psycho killer escape rooms. It is innovative and fun. There is a great creep factor and comfortableness about it that I haven’t felt in a while. The decor is good. The puzzles are great. Yeah, there are still typical locks and some standard puzzle logic that I’ve seen before, but they also did some new and creative stuff that I just love! (Honestly I’m almost at my 200 room mark, so chances are the puzzles I have seen before will still be fresh and new to most players.) I especially love the way they integrate the players into the story in such an immersive way. Normally when I play a room that just opened I expect a few glitches and growing pains, but this room didn’t have them. I am looking forward to seeing what these guys come up with next.

 

ESCAPE ROOM – Steal and Escape – California

Steal and Escape

stealandescape

The government wants me to break into my neighbor’s house to save America? Sure. I always thought he was a weird dude anyway. Let’s go!

The story of Steal and Escape is a unique take on the typical “you work for the government.” I really like that we are called on to save our country by breaking IN to the neighbor’s house. Not a lot of rooms have you break IN, usually you are breaking out. The story continues throughout the game as you discover and unlock the pieces. The puzzles themselves are well done and creative. I managed to solve a large physical puzzle by myself that was supposed to be a team effort. I enjoyed the creativity of the puzzles, instead of the standard blacklight searching games I see in so many rooms. There was a lot of thought and passion in this game and you can tell. The decor is great, as well. Overall it is a fun, immersive game located in San Diego.

ESCAPE ROOM – Exit Game: The School of Sorcery – California

Exit Game: The School of Sorcery


You and your wizard friends are all dressed in your finest Hogwarts attire about to head to Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter for the 45th time when you realize it’s over 100 degrees today. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy some magic and excitement in more comfortable conditions? Go online and book a time slot for The School of Sorcery. You won’t be disappointed.

I have always wanted to be able to wave a wand and do real magic…The School of Sorcery is the closest I’ve come to that in an escape room. The wonderful blend of tech and traditional puzzles make for a strong game. The storytelling throughout the game creates an especially immersive environment, although the characters can feel a bit long winded considering we are racing the clock.

I had played the old wizard game that previously occupied this room, and I am glad they upgraded to an almost completely different game. (If you played the old game you may recognize a couple of things in the room.) Without giving any spoilers, I’ll just say the final puzzle of this game is one of my favorite uses of technology in a room. It’s done in a way that feels organic, clever and fun.

I played The School of Sorcery with my husband and a friend of ours that is also very good at escape rooms and we barely made it out in time. I would recommend a team of at least 4 people for this game, however if you are determined to play with less I think you must have at least 2 for certain puzzles.

This escape room is located in Monterey Park, just outside of Los Angeles.

Midsummer Scream  Escape Room Panel


No Way Out: Horror Escape Rooms

Saturday, July 30

Time: 11:30am-12:30pm

Where: Second Stage

Panelists: Christine Barger (moderator), Eddy Millis (13th Room), Kayden Ressel (Basement), Madison Rhoades (Cross Roads)

* 30% off General Admission tickets to Midsummer Scream.
Code: ESCAPE

Enter code at ticketing page on MidsummerScream.org

ESCAPE ROOM – Enigma Escape Rooms: The Seance – California

Enigma Escape Rooms

I love seances!!! I am a member of the magic community so I have studied seances and even attended a few. I find them fascinating. So when I found out one of my favorite escape room companies was creating a seance room I could  barely contain my excitement. 

I went in with high expectations and was not disappointed. This experience is much more than a typical escape room. I would actually describe it as an immersive theatrical experience with escape room elements. The story and setting are perfectly executed using lighting, sound, effects, decor and actors. You become completely lost in this creepy world where you feel compelled to achieve your goal not just because of the game, but because of your role in the story. The puzzles are tied into the storytelling as well. The hint system is organic. There is a sense of urgency and excitement that makes for a wonderful adventure. 

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley HotelMy husband & I stayed at the Stanley for our anniversary this year. First of all, I thought it was the hotel from The Shining movie. I was incorrect. It is the hotel that the movie was based on. There was a newly planted shrubbery maze in the front because they didn’t actually have a labyrinth like the movie but decided to add one recently. They do however claim to be haunted. Unfortunately our ghost tour was rescheduled earlier in the day because they claimed they weren’t having the evening your that we booked (even though we saw it walking by after our tour ended) so the tour wasn’t particularly creepy. It also screwed up our evening schedule because they changed our booking which made it a bit more difficult to enjoy. We ended up exploring on our own for quite a while and still no sign of anything paranormal. We were booked in a room in the Lodge, not the main hotel. Supposedly there are pets that haunt the Lodge. I kept hoping a ghost cat would curl up on my pillow and purr me to sleep, but no luck. The room was nice, aside from the lack of air conditioning. Oddly there is a giant TV in the room that plays The Shining 24/7, but they don’t have AC because that would be too modern. Overall The Stanley feels like an incredibly expensive tourist trap. I would highly recommend visiting and even taking a tour of the place if you are interested in going because the history and building are fascinating, but I wouldn’t recommend staying there.