Interview with Wild Hare Escapes – December 17, 2020

ESCAPE ROOM INTERVIEW:

Having played one of their online rooms, a Comedy of Terrors (get it?), we did a video interview with Wild Hare Escapes (J.R., Aaron, and Todd) to learn about their approach in creating fully digital online escape room experiences. Check it out below:

You can also check out their website for recurring promotions. They normally promote a discount with a puzzle that you have to solve, so check it out before you book.

Have you done any of the “rooms” with Wild Hare Escapes? What was your experience like? You can add your comments to this post.

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

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

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

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Sleuths Rise to Watson’s Puzzle Challenge – December 2, 2020

Hello, everyone!

Thank you for participating in our puzzle contest for a chance to win a free copy of our book: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book!

Did you enjoy this puzzle challenge? If you did, there are many other puzzles like this in our book. Links on where to get it are below (and these links will be updated on our main book page as more information becomes available).

THE PUZZLE:

While traveling in London, you are suddenly approached by a dirty little street urchin. He walks up to you and mumbles that his name is Wiggins. He hands you a crumpled cream-colored scrap of paper and mumbles that “Premierword smiths have rightfully won this challenge.” Wiggins scampers off into the crowd.

You glance down at the dirty scrap of paper:

THE SOLUTION:

 

Many participants recognized that the puzzle required a keyboard to solve the above cipher. However, a fewer number of super sleuths realized that the standard computer keyboard wouldn’t have been appropriate since they didn’t exist in the late 1800s.

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The Game is Afoot… Book: Sherlocked the Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

ESCAPE ROOM BOOK PROMO:

So… many people ask “what have you done while being quarantined/socially distanced due to COVID-19?”

Well, we co-wrote a book and created puzzles for a Sherlock-themed escape room puzzle book! So, give us a little bit of love and click one of those “share on social media” buttons. We’d appreciate it.

Watch the video we made about how this project came to be:

We present to you: Sherlocked!: The Official Escape Room Puzzle Book

Last October, Sophie, an editor from Studio Press (an imprint of Bonnier Books UK), contacted us to see if we had any interest in creating a series of puzzles for a Sherlock Holmes-themed puzzle book. We were nervous at first because Sherlock is such a literary icon. However, when she assured us that the Conan Doyle Estate sanctioned this project and was on board, we couldn’t wait to get started, which we did starting in January 2020.

This is a pick your own path book (so it’s not something you read straight through from cover to cover). You assist Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they investigate a mystery (well, a couple of mysteries) and find yourself solving puzzles that you might normally find in an escape room. There are points where you decide how the story moves along and can encounter different endings (so you can read the book more than once!).

So, check it out. We think it would make a great present for the holidays, or for someone who likes puzzles and is bored at home.

WHERE CAN I BUY THIS:

(The links below will be updated as we get them along with dates the book will be made available)

(*Note: The Escape Room Guys LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com… in other words, we earn a small fee by providing direct links to products on Amazon in return for promoting them.)

UPCOMING CONTEST:

Next week you can enter a contest we’re conducting through our social media channels and this blog. Readers from the United Kingdom (where our publisher is located) and the United States (where we are located) can solve a puzzle to be entered into a drawing to win a free copy of the book. We’ll send a copy to 5 randomly drawn winners each from the U.S. and U.K. who solved the puzzle correctly.

So, follow us now on one of our social media channels (links below) or follow this blog to be notified when the contest starts. Full rules will be outlined when the contest starts next week.

Follow us on our social media channels:

Thanks to everyone (our families, friends, followers, escape room friends, and enthusiasts) and we really hope you enjoy this book.

Lots of love,

Mike and Jason

Uncovering the Family Jewels – Game: Legacy Episode 2: Hellas – July 19, 2020

ESCAPE GAME REVIEW – THE QUICK AND DIRTY

Play if… you’ve always wondered if your family had a secret stash.

Avoid if… you don’t take advantage of local pamphlets and brochures while on vacation.


THE BASICS

Argyx Games

Developer Website: https://www.argyxgames.com/

The Game: Legacy: Quest for a Family Treasure – Episode 2: Hellas

Description (from the company website): Marseille, Fall 2019. You receive the letter of a notary that comes with a mysterious black box. In his last will, your estranged father reveals the existence of a family treasure, hidden somewhere in Europe. To find it, he leaves you objects and documents that belonged to him as well as to your ancestor. You have to shed light on the past in order to be able to claim your inheritance… (see their video below)

Difficulty (1-10)N/A

Time Limit: None, but typically completed in 60-90 minutes on average

Cost: $56 to $119, depending on which package you back on Kickstarter

Identifier: R1

Party Size: 2-4 people


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: We’re not going to go into detail here as it’s basically a surprise for you. Our promotional game, however, came in a blue paper envelope from Argyx in Paris. Your game will come in the black box shown on the KickStarter page.

Understanding of the Mission: First, keep in mind that Hellas is game 2 in this set. Its story continues the one you complete in Eiffel 1889 (which is also a slightly longer game than Hellas). In Eiffel 1889, you were trying to find the identity of a lost ancestor. In Hellas, you need to take what you learned and discover the location of said ancestors buried fortune. There are 5 distinct tasks for you to complete to do so.

How Much Space is Needed: 4-6 sq.ft. is sufficient for the materials, plus space for a laptop or tablet.

Age Appropriate: It’s rated 14+. There’s nothing inappropriate in Hellas.

Did We “Escape”: Yep!

Time Remaining: We finished in about 1:15 (it should take you 60-90 minute on average). Yay, we’re average!

Our Suggested Party Size: 2-4 for sure

Did the room challenge the entire team? Mostly

Members of our team (other than the ERG): Steph D, Heather

Worth the time and money? This is a loaded question. The price is pretty steep for a take home game ($57/€47), BUT that gets you 2 games (Eiffel 1889 and Hellas (this one)) and all the stretch goals of the campaign (which includes, at the time of this writing, 1 additional document for Eiffel 1889 and one for Hellas (which is another puzzle)). That comes out to roughly 2-3 hours of total game time.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

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!

Follow us on our social media channels:

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!

Follow us on our social media channels:

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!

Follow us on our social media channels:

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.