Escape Room Prizes

Many escape room businesses offer some kind of prize for winning.  Whether it be a small prize like a sticker or a big prize like a T-shirt, or even proof of victory like a digital leaderboard or a stamp on a “passport,” there are a lot of prizes out there right now.  So what makes a good prize? I’ll break down my thoughts on a few of the prizes I’ve encountered:

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Marietta, GA: ZEscape – The Cells

June 9, 2019 – We visited ZEscape as a last minute stop on the way back to Atlanta after visiting family in North Carolina.  Though I didn’t have much time to read up on the place, their website showed a few clever details that suggested the overall quality of the business.  ZEscape had both a 75 minute room and an asymmetrical versus room in which a British room and a Pirates room compete against each other to be the first out, with different but complementary puzzles in both rooms.  Both of these details suggested ZEscape didn’t follow a typical formula, and I was excited to see what they had to offer.

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Aquatic Atlanta Adventure

Christina and I had a brutal time getting to Atlanta and arrived late on Friday, June 7.  We left straight from work and came dangerously close to missing our plane due to an already-late Uber driver stopping for Starbucks on the way.  So of course our reaction was to seek out an escape room immediately upon landing.

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The Advent of VR (No Escape)

Originally conceived as video games, escape rooms only came into mainstream awareness when designers started making real-life versions.  Now the activity is coming full circle, with advances in virtual reality opening the door to new types of video games that work to combine the best of what both real world and video games do best.  It’s a really interesting space to explore, and the people at No Escape in Buffalo Grove & Aurora IL are at the forefront of testing these new digital frontiers. I visited both locations and tried multiple experiences with their different VR rigs, and I was very impressed.

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Missoula, MT: Big Sky Breakout – Through the Looking Glass

November 3, 2018 – Whenever Christina and I talk about unique room designs that are immediately eye-catching and memorable, Big Sky Breakout’s Through the Looking Glass room is one of the first that comes into the discussion.  The experience takes players through the disorienting world of Wonderland, and from the very start players are thrown into an otherworldly space and have to find their bearings.

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Game Masters Make a Huge Difference

Here’s a potentially controversial statement – an average escape room with a great game master provides a better experience than a remarkable escape room with an average game master.  Christina posed this to me as a hypothesis, and thinking back to the most memorably bad experiences I’ve had, I have to agree. The top four or five experiences that came to mind all had issues with the game master.

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