Need a One-Stop-Shop for Booking an Escape Room?

Hello everyone! It’s been quite a while since we wrote a non-review-related post, but we have some news that may be useful to the escape room community! We’re here with Marcell from Escape Spy. We’d like to share with you what he’s been doing the past few months.

Marcell is an escape room enthusiast who got the idea for his site, https://www.escapespy.com, while trying to find rooms to escape with short notice. Finding it difficult to navigate the websites on his mobile (and not wanting to have 5 – 10 tabs open in his mobile browser), he created the first version of Escape Spy to crawl the major escape room companies in California. After showing it to friends, they approved and requested he expand outside of California, and then outside the U.S.

Marcell reached out to us for some insight on what else his site should offer as an escape-room-only search site. We provided him with our feedback on making the site more user-friendly and better organized.

Escape Spy started as a simple search for Marcell’s own booking needs. It has since morphed into a one-stop shop to help you find available escape rooms on specific days/times and in specific areas (based on city or zip code) as quickly and easily as possible. The site shows over 13,000 rooms across more than 3,000 locations, making it one of the largest, most comprehensive directories online (if not the THE largest). Dozens of scrapers power the searches for open rooms and locations, using thousands of hours of bot crawler-time a month (plus automated quality checks).

One additional feature Marcell added is an escape tracker. You establish a tracker account and add your escapes and the other members of your group. So, if you wanted to search for a room that you did with only your wife so you could recommend it to your friends, you could narrow the search on rooms you did with only your wife and then send those rooms to your friends. That’s a pretty great feature once you start getting into double- and triple-digit escape counts.

Check out the site here and let him know The Escape Room Guys sent you!

https://www.escapespy.com

Owners, if you have a location and your information isn’t included on the site, or the information is incorrect, just email Marcell. He’s willing to work with owners to ensure that they’re included and the information on his site is accurate and useful.

There is an Art to Capturing Criminal Masterminds – Game: The Escape Game Unlocked: The Heist (Volume 1) – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you prefer to stay indoors, want to be a detective, and are technologically inclined.

Avoid if… you don’t like art and don’t really care about justice.


THE BASICS

The Escape Game:

Developer Information: The Escape Game: Unlocked

The Game: The Heist – Volume 1: Chasing Hahn

Description (from the company website): IN THIS EDITION, YOU’LL CONTINUE YOUR MISSION FROM “THE HEIST” AS A SECRET AGENT IN AN EFFORT TO THWART THE INFAMOUS ART CURATOR, VINCENT HAHN.

With the help of your Intelligence Agent, you’ll uncover The Curator’s true identity, connect him to a crime, and work with the International Police to finally exact justice.

ERG Note: You do not have to have played the previous room of the same name to follow the story.

Difficulty (1-10)Unrated

Time Limit: No time limit

Cost: $20

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 1 to 4 players


OUR EXPERIENCE

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this game for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the game: There are postcards, evidence photos, a brochure, and some props used in the game.

Understanding of the Mission: We were tasked by law enforcement to track down Vincent Hahn, a notorious art thief, by figuring out what he was going to steal next and from where.

How Much Space is Needed: We played on a table that was 3′ x 6′ and there was still room left for our snacks and drinks.

Age Appropriate: The theme is appropriate for all ages, but the puzzles are listed as 12 and up.

Did We “Escape”: Yes!

Time Remaining: There’s no limit, but we finished in about 84 minutes.

Our Suggested Party Size: The game is recommended for 1-4 players and our 6…got a little bored at times. 4 is definitely right.

Did the game challenge the entire team? At times.

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph, Corey, Eric, and Brittany

Worth the time and money? $20 is a steal for this.

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Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 4 – Game Review – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 4 – Australia

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

After a year between doing box 2 (South America) and box 3 (Tokyo), we decided to try and knock out box 4 right after completing Tokyo. In fact, we got a bit frustrated with some of the puzzles in Tokyo, so we started working on Australia, and that went a bit easier. We’ll say that box 4 (in Australia) took us only about 1.5 hrs, which is longer than the first two, but only half the time as box 3.

We really liked the flow of this one as well. It did a good job in progressing the story and adding additional information and challenges, but still made you go back to other boxes and utilize things you found and messages you received in order to “solve” this box and get to the video that tells you that you’re ready to progress to the next one.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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The Escape Game: Unlocked – The Heist, Volume 1: Chasing Hahn – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

The Heist by The Escape Game: Unlocked – Game Subscription

Volume 1: Chasing Hahn

Cost: $20.00

We were contacted by The Escape Game: Unlocked and asked if we’d be interested in playing their new game. Of course we said yes.

So, this is essentially our reaction video after playing the game, but we’ll be doing a comprehensive review post with ratings based on our new escape game rubric. Stay tuned!

Here is how the game plays: Your mission: as a team of detectives, you need to stop international art collector (and thief!), Vincent Hahn. He’s been stealing from museums over the years, and has always eluded capture. Now, you have a break in the case and need to piece together clues, gather evidence, and try and stop him before he strikes again.

Overall, this was a pretty fun game. It took us just over an hour with a small group of friends (we had 6 total in our group). The website that you needed to use to play the game was well designed (but – HINT – make sure you sign in with a user name and password that you’re willing to give the rest of your team so you can all be in the website at the same time… otherwise, there will be a lot of waiting around by some of you).

There were lots of things to look at, but the game is pretty linear, so you’ll need to be good at sharing and working together as a team as you progress.

We’re looking forward to Volume 2.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Have you played this game? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 3 – Game Review – May 27, 2019

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 3 – Tokyo

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

So, we continue with this “play at home” subscription about your childhood friend, James, who is on the run after being accused of killing his wife, Victoria, on their honeymoon. Victoria is the heiress to a family dynasty, so James has to stay on his toes to stay ahead of them.

We had a bit of a hiatus between boxes 2 and 3 (just over a year, actually), so that probably contributed to the fact that we got REALLY stuck on this box… and admitting that some of the puzzles are a bit more challenging than the first two boxes we completed.

This one took us about 3 hours, and we were only able to finish it because of a hint or two provided by some of the other players in the Slack channel, but, the puzzles were fun and challenging, which was a big switch from box 2.

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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We Were Named to a List of Top Escape Room Bloggers – News – January 7, 2019

ESCAPE ROOM NEWS:

Hello all!

We just found out that we were named to a list of the Top 48 Escape Room Bloggers to Follow in 2019, being ranked #11 by an escape room marketing and seo (search engine optimization) company called SEO ORB. The top 48 were chosen from over 300 escape room blogging websites.

Check out the write up on us!

Obviously, we’re honored to have made the list, which features a number of other great blogging sites. We worked hard on establishing our grading rubric to ensure that we covered all rooms we do consistently and fairly, and spend hours trying to write our reviews to provide an accurate representation of our experience, while not giving away spoilers to ruin the experience for others.

This blog started off as a hobby in February 2016… an experiment (if you will), to see if we could provide a service to the emerging escape room community and help grow the popularity of this type of event. It was also a way for us to refine our way of thinking of what escape rooms should contain to give that overall great experience., and we continue to refine as we go.

We ended 2018 with 4x the number of unique visitors and hits to the website than we had the previous year, so it’s encouraging and exciting to see how our little experiment is taking off, and we’re looking forward to what the future might bring. Thank you to all of our readers, whether you are new to the site, or are a frequent visitor.

Um, Escape or Die!? Can We Get 500 Extra Clues? – Movie Preview: Escape Room Movie – December 26, 2018

ESCAPE ROOM NEWS:

So, for a little while now, we’ve seen rumors and then brief snapshots of an Escape Room movie. Being the enthusiasts that we are, as well as loving a good thriller, we were a bit intrigued as to how the crew was going to take an escape room experience and turn it into a cinematic experience.

The local DC rep from Columbia Pictures reached out to us to see if we’d be interested in attending the DC premier of the movie. Since we already promote reviews and games, and worked with the Solver team last year on their movie, we agreed spread the word.

This movie opens in theaters on January 4.

The premise: (from the press release)

You find yourself in a room – no windows, only one door, and it’s locked. The madman who’s locked you in has set up a series of fiendishly clever and difficult puzzles that, when solved in the correct order, will lead to the key and your salvation. And to add to the difficulty, he’s set a ticking clock, with one hour to complete the puzzles and escape… or face the consequences.

What sounds like a horror movie is one of the fastest-growing entertainments in the world: the escape room phenomenon. Armed with only your wits – and the variety of strengths of the people in the room with you – players have been cracking codes, deciphering enigmas, and unlocking hidden caches as quickly as they can. Each room has a secret plot, with players piecing it together as a fun, team-building experience. Since the dawn of the concept in 2010, escape rooms have popped up all over the world at an amazing rate by satisfying human nature’s hunger for fun and escape from reality.

When producer Ori Marmur tried out an escape room with his family, he saw the potential for a film – and because audiences worldwide have embraced the concept, it could be a film whose themes had global appeal. “I thought it was very immersive and incredibly fun, sort of a living boardgame,” he says. The project seemed to be a natural fit with a classic locked-room mystery setup, and with producer Neal H. Moritz, he began to shepherd the project. Quickly, they hit on a way to raise the stakes, making the ultimate escape room: one that is not only hyper slick and incredibly dangerous – when the clock runs out, it means death.

Our Take:

We’ve done a number of rooms where a serial killer or madman has us trapped in their lab or lair, and we have to figure our way out before he/she returns. Now, we’ve even done a few rooms that had a “Saw” feeling with them, so the overall theme of the movie isn’t that far a stretch. What is interesting is that the room turns deadly AFTER the characters begin playing. From the looks of the trailer and the press packet we received, it simply looks like the six strangers have agreed to do a room together that is billed as the most immersive room yet, and has a $1 million prize for escaping. Let’s just hope none of them show up drunk or stoned (this has happened to us).

As the experience progresses, they have to make their way through and figure out their own role in the game and how the rooms were specifically created for each of them… and not die in the process.

We were pretty psyched to see that Adam Robitel, who directed Insidious: The Last Key also directed this one, so that brings some legitimacy to the movie being a true thriller.

Stay tuned for our review of the movie. Check out and follow our social media channels below to be notified when new postings and interviews are published.

Check out the trailer below (from Columbia/Sony Pictures YouTube channel):

Planning on seeing this movie? What are you most excited about?

Comment on the post below and let us know!

Logistics:

Rated PG-13 for Terror/Perilous Action & Violence, Some Suggestive Material and Language.

Columbia Pictures presents an Original Film production, Escape Room. Starring Taylor Russell, Logan Miller, Deborah Ann Woll, Jay Ellis, Tyler Labine, Nik Dodani, with Yorick van Wageningen. Directed by Adam Robitel. Produced by Neal H. Moritz and Ori Marmur. Screenplay by Bragi Schut and Maria Melnik. Story by Bragi Schut. Executive Producer is Rebecca Rivo. Director of Photography is Marc Spicer. Production Designer is Edward Thomas. Editor is Steven Mirkovich, ACE. Music by Brian Tyler & John Carey.

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Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 2 – Game Review – May 15, 2018

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 2

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

So, this review is based on Box 2 of a series that explores the continuing saga of your childhood friend, James, who is on the run after being accused of the murder of his wife, the heiress of a powerful family, during their honeymoon. James has been reaching out to you through a series of boxes sent to your address, which evolves the mystery. This is a pretty cool premise because while this isn’t an actual escape room, the mere method of tying in the delivery of the boxes to you starts the immersive experience.

We liked the second box as much as the first one. It required a lot of reading (like the first) and solving a lot of different clues using items in the box as well as your phones.

This one took us about 35-40 minutes, and was done by the same group of us (Mike, Jason, and our Escaptern Mark)

Watch our video review and comment on this post.

Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

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Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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Dispatch by Breakout Games: On the Run, Box 1 – Game Review – May 8, 2018

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW:

Dispatch by Breakout Games – Game Subscription

On the Run – Box 1 (see promo video below)

Cost: Varies. Monthly payment options and box sets available on the website.

So, we are expanding our reviews to include games, and we decided to do a video overview of our experience playing box 1 of the On the Run series from Dispatch at Breakout Games.

Watch our video review and comment on this post. Are you playing this subscription? What do you think?

Also, do you like the video review, or do you prefer our standard format with the different sections rated by both Jason and Mike?

Let us know!

Are there games, locations or rooms you’d like us to scout out?

Email us at theescaperoomguys@gmail.com and let us know!

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Who Knew Zombies Liked Pizza? – Game: Escape Room Z – April 2, 2018

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you need a new and unique activity for Board Game Night.

Avoid if… you aren’t good with arts and crafts.


THE BASICS

Lock Paper Scissors:

Website: www.lockpaperscissors.co

The Game: Escape Room Z

Description (from the company website): Zombies are everywhere! And they’re hungry … hungry for … PIZZA!

Trapped in an apartment on the 28th floor, can you rescue the pizza, get the gun, unlock the door, and defeat the zombies?

But how? By solving lots and lots of interesting, fun puzzles!

Welcome to Escape Room Z, an hour-long puzzling adventure for you and your crew.

Difficulty (1-10)none given

Time Limit: 60 minutes

Cost: $19.99 + supplies (if you download and print yourself)

Party Size: no more than 8 recommended

Staging Area: Your room should be a comfortable size for however many people are in your party to get up and move around.


OUR EXPERIENCE

This is the video we took before we played the game:

This is the video we took just after we completed the game:

Note: The ERG were given the opportunity to try out this game for free, with the understanding that we would continue to provide an honest review and follow the same process we’ve used on all of our other ratings.

Logistics:

Description of the room: We used our Community Room in our condo building (Jason and I live in the same building, but you’d know that already if you watched the pre-room video). We had 6 people, and that was a good size (although maybe our room was a bit too large for the number of pieces of the game).

Understanding of the Mission: Essentially, save the pizza that is baking in an oven on the 28th floor from a horde of hungry zombies.

Did We Escape: Yes (we saved the pizza LOL)

Time Remaining: about 19:30

Our Suggested Party Size: 6 is probably good if people have done games like this before or are regular “escapees” (escape room enthusiasts/addicts).

Did the room challenge the entire team? Yes

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Eric, Heather, Corey, Brittany and Katheryn (who served as our Game Master)

The ERG and their Disturbed Friends (Eric, Mike, Heather, Corey, Brittany, Katheryn, and Jason) turned their ordinary game night into an “escape the zombies” night!

Worth the time and money? Yes, even though it’s a once-and-done game (but all of them are anyway)

Where to Eat/Drink Before/After:

  • It’s your own location. Serve whatever snacks and drinks you want… maybe go with pizza to fit the theme?

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