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In-Depth Escape Room Reviews

USA TODAY’s 10Best Escape Rooms 2017

The annual USA TODAY 10Best Readers Choice Awards are upon us, and yet again they treat us with an Escape Room specific award for 2017! A fantastic difference from last year is that USA TODAY has reached out personally to four industry experts to pick this year’s nominees – guaranteeing that every option is a huge fan favorite and in turn making it very difficult to pick one single winner to support!

I am incredibly excited to share that among those very select few industry experts is yours truly, proudly representing Escape Authority, its Core Team and all of our loyal, amazing readers.

Escape Authority made twenty nominations for venues that we feel best exhibit the key values we look for in an escape game: Story, Scenic and Puzzles. To qualify, it was our requirement that the venue must have received a 5 Key or 6 Key rating for at least one of their games.

Of that list, USA TODAY has selected a mix of seven of our picks to make the final cut:

* * * 5 Wits * * *

With locations in Foxborough, MA, West Nyack, NY, Syracuse, NY, Buffalo, NY and Albany, NY featuring:

ESPIONAGE

DRAGO’S CASTLE

20,000 LEAGUES

DEEP SPACE 

THE TOMB

 * * * 60out * * *

With four locations around Los Angeles, CA featuring:

TITANIC

GRANDMA’S MASTERPLAN

GHOST SHIP 

WIZARDS WORKSHOP

P.U.T.I.N. BUNKER

60out is also home to another 5 Key rated game, Doctor Psycho, though we  have not posted its finished review on Escape Authority quite yet.

 

* * * Cross Roads Escape Games * * *

Located in Anaheim, CA featuring:

The Hex Room

The Fun House

* * * Komnata Quest * * *

With three locations around New York, NY featuring

Maze of Hakaina

Chinese Jewelry Box

The Robbery that Changed the World

Komnata Quest is home to several other 5 Key rated games – Suicide Hotel, The Impossible Murder Mystery and Doctor Frankenstein – though we have not posted their finished reviews on Escape Authority quite yet.

* * * Palace Games * * *

Located in San Francisco, CA featuring:

THE ROOSEVELT ESCAPE ROOM

THE GREAT HOUDINI ESCAPE ROOM

* * * Roomescape Los Angeles * * *

Located in Los Angeles, CA with franchised venues in Chicago, IL, Miami, FL, and Tucson, AZ featuring:

PRISON BREAK

COLD WAR BUNKER

ZOMBIE LAB

Roomescape Los Angeles is home to another 5 Key rated game – Central Bank – though we have not posted its finished review on Escape Authority quite yet.

* * * Enchambered * * *

Located in Sacramento, CA featuring:

The Whispering Halls

 

Just in case you missed it – all venue names above link back to the venue’s official websites, while all game names link to the official Escape Authority reviews.

 

This year’s 10Best poll proves a much tighter race for us to pick only one venue to endorse. With so many of our favorites on the list, the one that stands at the top is the one so immersive, and so scenically spectacular that as a fan, it reminds me as much of a day in Disneyland as an hour in an escape room. As a designer, this venue has proven a constant source of never-ending inspiration for how to raise the bar and completely redefine what the industry could – and should – be.

Escape Authority officially endorses 5 Wits as the best eligible venue in the United States, and the most deserving of your vote.

You can show your support by casting a vote daily from this link! USA TODAY’s 10Best Escape Rooms voting ends at noon EST on Monday, September 25, 2017.

Escape Authority would also like to recognize and congratulate our other nominees who, unfortunately, didn’t quite make USA TODAY’s list this time around:

*The Basement (Sylmar, CA and Las Vegas, NV)

*Backstage Escape Games (Myrtle Beach, SC)
 [with full disclosure that I was the Creative Director of these games]

*Gatlin’s Escape Games (Gatlinburg, TN)
 [with full disclosure that I was the Creative Director of these games]

*Paradiso (New York, NY)

*The Escape Game (Orlando, FL, Nashville, TN, Pigeon Forge, TN, Austin, TX, Dallas, TX, Minneapolis, MN and Chicago, IL)

*Escape Artists (Sanford, FL)

*Dare 2 Escape (Kissimmee, FL)

*Digital Escape Velocity (Orlando, FL)

*Imagine Escape Games (Tampa, FL)

*Escape Hotel (Los Angeles, CA)

*Escape Thrill (Clearwater, FL)

*Brooklyn Escape Games (Brooklyn, NY)

*Lockbusters (Orlando, FL)

*Escape Room Entertainment (Melbourne, FL)

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