THE LABORATORY ESCAPE ROOM
If you are looking for an interesting puzzle game with a lot to accomplish, this is your game. The Laboratory in DTLA has a unique style. It is especially good for large groups because of the amount of things to do throughout the game. I really enjoyed the way the game designers split the puzzles into smaller groupings allowing small groups within the large group to break off an work together in an organized and effective manner. It wasn’t the chaos I’ve come to expect from large games with so many puzzles. There is very little searching involved. The puzzles themselves are creative, but fairly simple. I believe this game is perfect for beginner and intermediate players because of the difficulty level of the individual puzzles, however I think most enthusiasts would also enjoy themselves and appreciate the experience.
My husband and I played the game alone, so the gamemaster removed a couple of the puzzle groupings to allow us to have a chance to beat the game. The way they accommodate smaller groups is to remove certain puzzles. I like the idea in theory, but we discovered that we’d prefer to play a complete game and possibly lose, than win at a game that isn’t complete. We beat the game and then asked if we could do more of the puzzles since we had extra time. We just didn’t feel that sense of accomplishment that we normally feel after beating an escape room. I don’t know if it would be the same for beginners.
The story is basic…solve puzzles in a lab to prove your intelligence or the bomb goes off. The puzzles aren’t especially connected to the theme, but they fit the world because the story sets up that it’s a challenge. The location is nice. There is no parking, so bring cash for nearby parking lots during the day. They have great customer service.
Overall, it’s a clever and unique game that will definitely keep the players busy.
Congratulations to all of the 2016 Skeleton Key Award winners!
The following games are all incredibly fun and unique in their own ways. Below you can see them listed by the category in which they shine especially bright.
I have never been aboard the Titanic, but I have explored the Queen Mary ship while ghost hunting and let me say that when I entered this Titanic themed escape room I felt like I was actually below deck on a real ship. The set design is incredible. I really did forget that I was in a building in Marina Del Rey during game play because it is so well decorated. The puzzles are integrated into the story seamlessly. This game has very few traditional locks. Instead you are solving puzzles in a way that feels organic to the storytelling. The puzzles are challenging and unique enough for experienced players, but logical in a way new players can still solve and enjoy. I love the creativity they use in creating puzzles that are actual activities you might do on a ship. I also quite enjoy the way they took a common puzzle I have seen a hundred times and recreated it as a large prop that belongs on a ship. Overall the room is well designed, immersive, used creative puzzles to forward the storytelling and has beautiful set decor. It is everything you could ask for in an amazing escape game.
60out is one of the top escape room companies in the nation and they keep expanding, creating new games that are each more impressive than the previous. I highly recommend this and their other escape rooms.
MAZE ROOMS: MAGIC KINGDOM
Maze Rooms is a staple in the Los Angeles escape room community. Their rooms are buyouts, so you don’t get stuck playing with random strangers. They consistently open quality rooms throughout the city and do a great job of making each new room even more spectacular than the last. Magic Kingdom is no exception. It is one of the newest rooms in the Maze Room family and it is outstanding!
Upon entering the game I literally found myself giggling like a child and spinning around to take everything in. It is one of the most beautiful games I’ve played. I especially love the whimsical theme.The storytelling is fantastic. You are immersed in a complete story that has a beginning, middle and end in which you play the lead character. The best part, the puzzles make sense in the story!!! That is such a rarity and I was thoroughly impressed. The set/decor is outstanding. The use of technology in the decor is brilliant and unlike anything I’ve seen in other escape rooms. The puzzles are creative and unique with no traditional locks. The sound and lighting are on point. It’s fun for all ages, too. (Although there is one slightly physical moment that at least one person must do, so consider that when you assemble your group.) The overall creativity in this game makes this escape room stand out from the rest.
I can’t say enough good things about it…HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!