A common question I hear rather often: “How do I find the best escape room near me?”
Sometimes, people who ask this question are totally new to the experience and they are looking for information. Other times they ask because they are overwhelmed with options and need some help narrowing things down. In either case, it can be difficult to sift through all the different games out there and find the escape room you really want to play. To that end, we’ve assembled a short guide to help you narrow down your options and find the game that is right for you.
Starting Your Escape Room Search
Let’s begin with the most obvious resource at your disposal: the Internet. If you live in a densely populated area with a booming escape room scene, you’ll likely come up with a lot of promising results. Narrowing them down quickly becomes a bigger task than finding them.
Search engines display TONS of data: operating hours, business descriptions, and loads of reviews & ratings from players who’ve tried these games before. Whether you’re searching via Google, Facebook, or TripAdvisor, aggregate sites pull in the thoughts and experiences of hundreds of excited guests. Of course, everyone’s opinion is personal, but it’s a great way to get a general feel for the kind of quality and experience you can expect from the escape game you’re considering.
Check Professional Escape Game Reviews
But what if you want a more in-depth, technical analysis of an escape game? What if the average review is just not convincing enough? Look no further than the myriad of escape room enthusiast review sites. These sites bring together professional or semi-professional escape game players to review games in organized, easy to digest articles that outline the best parts of each escape room. Of course, even professional reviewers are individuals with unique tastes and preferences, so it’s important to understand what parts of the game they liked, and which elements of the escape room experience appeal to you. Once you find a reviewer with taste that matches your own you can turn to them again and again for reliable accounts of the latest escape rooms as they debut.
Escape Room Enthusiasts Are Everywhere!
This doesn’t mean all your search options are web-based. If you’re looking to find great games near you, you can always start by simply asking people you know! Ask friends and family, or bring up escape room games at social gatherings, and before you know it you’ll find someone that has either played a local game themselves or knows someone who has. Ask them to describe the experience without revealing any of the gameplay— things like the sets, environment, props or storyline can all help you make your decision, along with any amenities or perks like free parking or special deals on tickets. I bet they’ve got a pretty good story to tell, and who better to trust than the people who know you best!
Once you’ve found an escape game to try, you don’t need to stop there! Ask your Gamemaster about rooms they have played and enjoyed, which to avoid, and what their favorites are. Odds are good that they’ve seen a few and can give you an honest, professional, insider opinion without revealing any spoilers that might change your experience.
Find Your Escape Game Style
There are a lot of options to choose from with different styles and sizes, levels of production, and balance between gameplay and story development. You may need to experiment by trying a few different types of games to figure out which is best for you. Will you be drawn to mind-bendingly difficult puzzles? Or are you just trying to get swept away in an immersive story for an hour or so? These tips can help you narrow down what kinds of escape games are in your area, and how other people feel about them. But in the end, the best way to find out what escape room or style of game will be your favorite is to get out there and start playing!
Nicholas Tonelli is the General Manager and Gamemaster of Spellbound Escapes. When he’s not locking people in rooms to subject them to traps and challenges, Nick enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons with his friends, so he can imprison them in dungeons and subject them to traps and challenges.
He can occasionally be spotted in full pirate regalia attending one of the many events where it is appropriate to do so, and occasionally the not-so-appropriate events, too.
You can catch Nick and his outrageous moustache at Spellbound Escapes in Tanger Outlets, Foxwoods Resort and Casino.