HAUNTS – Rotten Manor – MI

ROTTEN MANOR

Rotten Manor had incredible potential, but was one of the experiences I’ve had at a haunted attraction.

There were a few great actors, beautiful sets and some cool moments. The actress in the gingerbread house and the actor with the pig mask that did the countdown were awesome! The gingerbread house scene was actually my favorite moment in the entire event. The set, scents, props, lighting and actress were all top notch. The payoff of the oven was lacking though…we expected something, anything in that moment but nothing happened. The foam rooms were creative, but there could’ve been fewer. The dark tunnels and tight spaces moments were great the first few times but did get a bit overused. The facades were gorgeous!!! We did meet a few very competent and kind staff members that seemed passionate about the haunt and customer service.

However, Rotten Manor had some of the worst crowd control I’ve ever seen at a haunted attraction. I’ve seen crowds with similar energy at haunts like Haunted Hoochie or House of Shock except at those events the cast and crew are able to keep the crowd in check. Unfortunately this staff and cast didn’t have the same expertise.

A few moments really stood out as disappointing. I asked the staff member that let us into the trail what the rules of the haunt were and he replied, “There are no rules” which seemed to be the major issue. We had an actress say ,”sorry I broke character” and then continue to talk about how hot the guys in front of us were instead of scaring us. The guys in front of us on the trail managed to hide away in the crypt and proceed to jump out and attempt to scare my husband and I but no one stopped them even though we waited and tried to stay far behind them we’d catch up to them harassing actors or making what appeared to be tiktok videos on different sets (with actors watching them do it). One of the actors just blew directly in my face as a “scare”, which isn’t scary but probably going to lead to me catching a cold. Inside the manor an actor separated my husband and I, which we’ve seen done effectively in other haunts, however there was no purpose or payoff we just ended up not being able to enjoy the haunt together. It was so packed we were often standing around waiting to move, I stood trapped in an airbag for a really long time due to lack of purging the line properly. I had strangers grabbing me and running into me through the majority of the dark sections because we were crowded in the space and couldn’t see.

There was a large crowd out, so lines were long. It was mostly frustrating because the people in front of us chained smoked even while standing in front of the NO SMOKING sign. Security appeared to say something to them but instead of putting out their cigarette they passed it around and tried to finish it then lit up again as soon as he walked away. It seemed security didn’t want to eject anyone even if they clearly were breaking the rules.

Overall the haunt has massive potential, but lacks tremendously in skilled actors and an overall effective staff. It seems a bit of training might change this from a hot mess to one of the nation’s top haunts. Unfortunately at the moment they are just a hot mess.

Congratulations 2016 Skeleton Key Award Winners

Congratulations 2016 Skeleton Key Award Winners

banner

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.

Overall:

13thgate

13thgateescape2

60out

Immersion:

wizardsandwires

paniq

enigma

Innovation:

crossroadsaward

basement

puzzah

Family Fun:

epic

1st Gen:

escapemyroom

quicksand

escapezone

Creativity:

exitgame

mazerooms

Competition Room:

denverescape

Set Design:

escapology

ESCAPE ROOMS – Maze Rooms: Magic Kingdom – California

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!!!

CALIFORNIA ESCAPE ROOM LIST

Below is a list of the Escape Rooms I’ve played roughly in order of MY favorite to least favorite. Note: I prefer strong storytelling and immersion, especially in horror, paranormal & magic themed escape rooms, so my preferences may be different than yours. Feel free to write to me Twitter @christinebarger or Instagram @TheHauntGirl  GROUPED BY REGIONS:  LOS ANGELES AREA, “THE VALLEY”, ORANGE COUNTY, INLAND EMPIRE, HIGH DESERT, VENTURA COUNTY, PALM SPRINGS, BIG BEAR, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO

LOS ANGELES AREA ESCAPE ROOMS

Maze Rooms: Magical Kingdom

Maze Rooms: Sky Odyssey

Quest Room: Red Giant

Maze Rooms: The Abyss

Quest Room: Bloody Elbow

60out: The Orphange

Maze Rooms: They’re Coming

60out: Hyde Circus

Quest Room: Perfumer

60out Escape Rooms: Outbreak

Planet Escape Rooms – Wise Guys

60out Escape Rooms: Titanic

Planet Escape Rooms – Game of Swords

60out Escape Rooms: Wizards Workshop

Maze Rooms: World of Illusions

60out: Alice in Wonderland

60out: Time Machine

Quest Room: Cannibals Den

Maze Rooms: One Way Ticket

60out: Houdini

60out: Wizard’s Workshop

Maze Rooms: Lunar Station

Escapedom: The Lair

Exit Game: The School of Sorcery

60out: Amityville

Quest Room: Da Vinci’s Challenge

Maze Rooms: The Dragon’s Lair

60out: Zen Room

Planet Escape Rooms – Cntrl-Alt-Reality

Fox In The Box – Tesla

Exit Game The Ai

Exit Game The Villains Lair

Maze Rooms: Jack the Ripper

60out: Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle

60out: Grandma’s Masterplan

Roomescape LA The Bank (now Fox in a Box)

60out Escape Rooms: Casino

60out Escape Rooms: Doctor Psycho

Exit Game An Hour To Kill

Escape Hotel: Agent

60out Escape Rooms: Cartel DEA Undercover

Trapped in a Room with a Zombie & Still Hungry

60out Escape Room: P.U.T.I.N. (now Red Alert)

Escape Room LA: The Theatre

Get the F Out: The Virus (we played the old location)

60out Escape Rooms: Ghost Ship

60out Escape Rooms: The Mystery of Senator Payne

Roomescape LA: Prison (now Fox in a Box)

Countdown Live: Tiki Palace (now 60out)

60out: DaVinci’s Secret

Maze Rooms: Castle

Escape Room LA: The Detective

60out: Nautilus

Mobile Escape Room LA: MacGuffins Cocktail Room

Maze Quests: Clinic

Countdown Live: Pandorus (now 60out Galaxy Quest)

Maze Rooms: Secret Mission

Roomescape LA: Bunker (now Fox in a Box)

Exit Game: The Lab

Escapedom: Den of the Occult

The Laboratory Escape Room

60out Escape Rooms: Quest in a Box (temporary popup- availability varies)

Escape Room Long Beach: Bad Blood

Horror Escapes LA: Edmond’s Attic

Horror Escapes LA: Captive Chamber

Horror Escapes LA: Dr. Office

Back in Time – Salem Witch Hunt

Escape Hotel: Day Care

Maze Rooms: Motel

Roomescape LA: Zombie Lab (now Fox in a Box)

MagIQ Room: Secrets of Wizardry

Escape Room LA: The Alchemist

Maze Rooms: FBI

MagIQ Room: Pirate’s Den

60Out Escape Rooms: Hangover Game(now Mafia)

Escape Hotel: Witchcraft

Hatch Escapes – Lab Rat

Escape Room LA: The Pyramid

Escape Hotel: Jack Reacher (renamed Espionage)

Escape Haus LA: Masquerade Ball Room

EscapeIQ: Alcatraz

“THE VALLEY” LOS ANGELES ESCAPE ROOMS:

The Basement (Basement, The Elevator Shaft & Study) *NEW GAME* The Courtyard

Level Games: Fortune Teller

Level Games: The Menagerie

Maze Rooms: Wizard’s Tower

Maze Rooms: Lord of the Swords

Escape the Room: South Park

Escape the Room: Jurassic Escape

Exit Artists

Theme Quest Escape Room: Houdini (now Architect)

Maze Rooms Pirate Bay

Theme Quest Escape Room: Bonnie and Clyde (now Architect)

Haunted Recording Studio

Escape Chronicles

Nodus 805 Escape Room

Paniq Room: Bunker

Amazing Escape Room: Mystery of the Red Dragon

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Hideout

Amazing Escape Room: The Starlight Lounge

Amazing Escape Room: Escape the X Corporation

Unlocked Escape Room: The Professor’s Basement

The Bunker Experience (the original version)

Arcane Escape Rooms: The Agency

The Room Live Escape Room: The Cabin

Paniq Room Insane Asylum

Hidden Passage: Pharoah’s Curse

Escape the Room: Clock Tower

Enchanted Escape Room

ORANGE COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

CrossRoads Escape Game: Hex

Quest Room: Amnesia

Quest Room: Resurrection 

CrossRoads Escape Game: The Psych Ward

Scenario Escape Rooms: Mad Rapper

Mission Escape Games: Escape the Hydeout

Unlocked Escape Room

Hidden Donkey – Irvine School of Wizardry

Cinema Escape Room – The Strange Thing

Puzzle Workshop: CSI Hollywood

Puzzle Workshop: Secrets of the Illuminati

Crossroads Escape Game: Funhouse

Escapade Games: Zoe

Escapade Games – The Last Experiment

The Escape Bus

TrapZone Escape Rooms: The Asylum

Detectives Society Escape Rooms: Da Vinci’s Lost Workshop

EscapeX Rooms: Mafia Heist

Escape ERA – Ben Franklin

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Paranormal

Immersion: The Cursed

PuzzleMazement: The Dollhouse(original version)

Legend X Iteration(original version)

Square Room: Harry Potter (now Sorcerer’s Study)

Brainy Actz

*DeadRingers by Escape Bus (seasonal 15 minute Escape game)

*Crossroads: The Asylum (ScareLA mini-game availability varies)

INLAND EMPIRE ESCAPE ROOMS:

Wizards & Wires: The Ghost Chamber

Breaking Point – Whitmore Estate

Wizards & Wires: The Curiosity Shop

Containment: Carnival

Gaslamp: The Sword in the Study

MindTrap – Wizard of OZ

Mind Trap Escape Room: Gold Rush

The 13th Room: Chapter 2 The Silence

Xscape Pods: Galaxy Adventure

Quest Tavern: Last Supper

Breaking Point: Patient 17

Hall of Shadows: Shadow Menagerie

Clever Fox – Book of the Dragons

Mind Trap Escape Room: Conspiracy

Trapped! Escape Room: Sector 13

Hall of Shadows: The Signal

Xscape Pods – Pharaoh

Clever Fox: Forbidden Temple

Quest Tavern – Witches Cauldron

Trapped! Escape Room: Puzzlemaster (original version)

The 13th Room

Xscape Pods – Government Secrets

Containment – Cabin

Open Door Escape Games: The Study

Chronos – ChronosTopia

Get a Clue Room Escape: The Toy Shop

Chronos – Jurassic Island

One Way Out: Bank Heist (now Exodus)

Unity Escape Rooms: The Cabin

Unity Escape Rooms: The Temple

HIGH DESERT ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape the Asylum

CENTRAL VALLEY ESCAPE ROOMS:

Xcape Room Fresno: Murder Scene (original version)

Breakout Fresno: Sabotage – Code Red (now Method of Escape)

Bakersfield Escape Room: RESCUE (now Puzzle Effect Bakersfield)

VENTURA COUNTY ESCAPE ROOMS:

House of Clues: Pirate Ghost Ship (original location)

The Ultimate Escape Rooms: We Are All Mad Here

PALM SPRINGS ESCAPE ROOMS:

Escape Room Palm Springs: Dark Shadows Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Saw Room

Escape Room Palm Springs: Titanic

Escape Games at the River: Secret of the Dragon’s Spire

Escape Games at the River: Baker Street Mystery

BIG BEAR ESCAPE ROOMS:

Mountain Room Escapes Big Bear: Alpine Ski Lodge

SAN DIEGO ESCAPE ROOMS:

Quicksand Escape Games: China Town

Steal and Escape

Quicksand Escape Games: The Diner

The Unlockables

Escape Game SD: Japanese Thriller Room

Quicksand Escape Games: The Speakeasy

Boss Play – Chocolate Factory

The Entrapment: The Disappearance at Fogmore Manor

3rd Day Escape: Harvest Motel

Escapology San Diego: TH3 C0D3

Top Tier – Atlantis Dive to the Forgotten City

Enigma HQ

Clue Avenue: Villain’s Lair

Mighty Awesome: The Office of Professor R.K. Alogee

Nightwalker Caverns Escape Room: Clownotorium

Escapism: Art Gallery

3rd Day Escape: Hourglass (original version)

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA AREA ESCAPE ROOMS:

Enchambered – Whispering Halls

Enchambered – Containment Breach

Palace Games: Houdini

Omescape: Kingdom of Cats

Omescape: Omega

 

R.I.P.

These are rooms that I have played in California but are not currently available:

The Purge Truck

Enigma: The Will

Enigma Escape Rooms: The Seance

Enigma: Apartment 205

Countdown Live: PsychoCountdown Live: Spaceship

Countdown: Mrs. Jezebel’s Tea Party (original version)

School of Hard Locks: Halloween Room

CatCon Animal Planet Escape Box

Exodus: Quake Escape

Exit Game: The Chamber

Captured LA (old location)

Paniq Room: Creepy Cemetery

X Room Victorian Mansion

X Room Court in Session

X Room Escape the Wonderland

X Room Curse of the Mummy

Trapped! The ChamberTrap House (Think Tank)

Square Room: Mario Brothers

Real Escape Room: Treasure Island

Countdown: Special Event Beta Test

Kaien (the game we beta tested, but isn’t open yet)

School of Hard Locks: Principal’s Office

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape from the Cursed Forest Event

SCRAP Real Escape Game Escape the Magic Show

Salvation Room: The Inferno

Amazing Escape Room: Black & White

Ace Escape Game The Pharaoh’s Treasure

SCRAP Real Escape Game: Escape from the Time Travel Lab

The 13th Room (ScareLA mini-game)

Trapped! Escape Room: Jailbreak 

Room of no return: Jail

Mysterium Escape Room

Escape the Night (VidCon)

The Cromwell Estate (Midsummer Scream mini-game)

Maze Quests: Queen Anne’s Revenge

Countdown Live Escape: Krampus

Evil Genius Escape Rooms

Enigma: Crime Scene

Enigma: Secret Temple

Mobile Escape Room LA: Sleep Study

Captured LA: The Starlet Killer

Logiquit: Warehouse of Jack Travis

Logiquit The Laboratory of Dr. Lev Pasted

Logiquit Secret Agent Room

Logiquit: CSI Room

Escape Room Treasure Hunt: The Alchemist’s Lab

The Basement: Boiler Room

Amazing Escape Room: Operation Desert Storm

Famous Escape Rooms:  The Great Redemption

Maze Rooms: Demon Hunter

S.H.A.D.I.E. Grove Escape Room

Hollywood Escape House: The Royal Indian Dungeon

Eskape Rooms: Operation Dream State

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Professor S!

Escape the Place: The Chamber

PuzzleMazement Escape Room: Saving Christmas!

The Cromwell Estate

The 13th Room: Alchemy & Wizardry

The 13th Room: Jack the Ripper

The Game Maker Escape Room (temporary room at Coffin Creek)

Funhouse Escape 60 Minutes to Curtain & Another 60 Minutes to Curtain

Real Escape Room: Bomb

Broken Chains Escape Games: Caught In A Rumple

Real Escape Room: Crazy Secret Laboratory

One Way Out: Apocalypse (now Exodus)

Escape This! Mosi’s Curse

Rooms of No Return: The Classroom

Rooms of No Return: Dead Silence

The Great Escape: Mafia Bomb Squad

Bakersfield Escape Room: Winter Fall

Real Escape: Bootlegger Warehouse

Real Escape: Wizards Lair

Excido: Studio

Excido: Casino

Escape Room Palm Springs: Mystery Room

Divergent Realities: The Informant

Great Room Escape San Diego: Houdini’s Hidden Workshop

Great Room Escape San Diego: The Lab

School of Hard Locks: Art Class

Maze Rooms: VR Cosmos Game

Escape Room Police

Omescape: Forgotten Treasure

Spookador

Escape SF: Escape from Antique Room

Escape Room LA: The Cavern

Kaein LLC: The Alien

Kaien: Time Machine

Suite 201

Escape the Night – PopUp at UTA

LA Dragons – Knights of the Round Table

Escape From Godot

ESCAPE ROOMS – Maze Rooms: Lunar Mission – California

MAZE ROOMS LUNAR MISSION

Maze Rooms - Los Angeles, CA, United StatesMaze Rooms - Los Angeles, CA, United States

The theme “Lunar Mission” lends itself to a high tech atmosphere, and this Maze Room does not disappoint. This is NOT a traditional escape room. This is an immersive interactive experience. There are NO number locks or Sudoku, the puzzles are incredibly woven into the theme and simply feel like actions you must take to accomplish a goal. I found it to be a challenging room particularly because of the amount of teamwork needed. This is not a room you can do alone (and yes I have done rooms alone). I love the blend of mental and physical puzzles combined with the required teamwork to accomplish the steps throughout the mission. It’s incredibly well designed. One of the things often overlooked by escape room companies is the finale. They seem to feel that escaping is enough and forget to really complete their story, but these guys even cover that and it’s one of my favorites. The production value is incredible. One of the best I’ve seen. It feels as though it was created by a movie studio. The set construction, decor, lighting, sound design, puzzles and story are all top notch. I really can’t say enough good things about the Lunar Station Maze Room.

Your team must work together to retrieve a very important item and escape the Lunar Station in time. Part of the team is stranded on the Lunar Station and the rest are sent up in the ship on a rescue mission. You must work together to land everyone safely and get them into the Lunar Station, get what you came for and, escape as quickly as possible. It’s like being in an action film set in space!

We played during the first week it was opened and it was just my husband and I playing. I was in the Lunar Station and he was my knight in shining armor…err…um..spacesuit…coming to save me. One of my favorite things about the experience was watching him light up like a kid at Christmas when we’d succeed at puzzles and received the payoff. It was really wonderful to see him so excited to pretend to be an astronaut for an hour.

The owner is very passionate about his business and expressed excitement for his next room, as well. I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but I can’t wait to go back.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

Also this escape room has a family friendly theme. (No psychos here.)