Escape rooms are a great way to bond with friends, meet new people, and exercise your brain. Once you start doing escape rooms you start to recognize different patterns, puzzles, and storylines that will help you succeed and finish a room faster. But for those that have less experience, this list serves as a guide to help you and your friends get started, and Los Angeles is a great place to do it.
Let’s check out the best escape rooms for beginners in Los Angeles!
The Best Escape Rooms for Beginners in Los Angeles
What to Know Before You Go
First, there are some basic things to know and expect. When booking an escape room, you’ll find that there are different capacity options. It’ll say 2-10 people or 2-6, etc. Some rooms don’t have enough puzzles to cater to a group of 10 people, but some do.
Secondly, be mindful that some rooms are public and some are private. If they’re private that means once you book for your group, no other parties can join you. However, some rooms are public and so it’s possible that you’ll make some new friends along the way.
Thirdly, some escape rooms have a sliding scale for pricing, which means that the more people you bring, the cheaper your individual tickets are. Some of them have set prices per head, meaning you all pay a flat rate.
After a few escape rooms you’ll begin to realize your optimal group size. For me, it’s usually around four people, that way we can all work on different puzzles or split into groups of two for the particularly tricky stuff.
Lastly, escape rooms usually swing two different ways and people tend to have preferences one way or another. The first is prop-based. These are escape rooms that usually require interaction with props to solve puzzles, like finding and placing an object on another object to open a door, waving a prop wand in a specific sequence, etc.
There are also escape rooms that are puzzle-based. This means that they use logic puzzles, number patterns, and sometimes math to guide you to find a specific code or sequence that reveals a key or opens a lock. Personally, I like rooms that provide a completely immersive experience but also the stimulation of tough puzzles.
Pro Tip: Call the escape room beforehand and ask the person working which room is best for your experience level and group size. If you’re a beginner, mention that you want something fun and immersive. As employees of the escape room they all beta test and try the different escape rooms and will definitely know them well. After you finish your room, ask for recommendations for other rooms in the city. Maybe you’ll find a hidden gem you never expected!
This specific Maze Rooms in Koreatown boasts great escape rooms for beginners. The first is Magic Kingdom, a highly immersive prop-based experience. For fans of Harry Potter or fantasy, this is a recommended experience.
There are several Maze Rooms spread across LA, but this one, in particular, has props for you to wear (capes, astronaut suits, etc.) while you’re gaming. I think that adds a little flair to the whole experience. This escape room is very manageable for even a group of two, and there’s plenty of opportunities for hints along the way.
Another great room for those seeking a prop-based experience, The Perfumer has one of the most impressive sets I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for total immersion and a spooky feeling (this room is based on a murder), this experience is just scary enough without any actual jump scares.
We completed this room under the hour with three people, but you could easily bring four. QuestRoom boasts some pretty impressive rooms but their location on Santa Monica Blvd is hard to find. Make sure you go around the back of the building, to what looks like an alleyway, to find their entrance, and don’t forget to check out some of their other rooms- QuestRoom is notorious for rooms that will make your skin crawl.
3. Jack the Ripper (Maze Rooms Culver City)
For those looking for a scare, this room fits the bill. The owner of this Maze Rooms location is very hands-on and personally has developed each of the rooms. The attention to detail here is what makes this room one of my favorites. For those that are familiar with Jack the Ripper, you’ll still have a good time solving puzzles and enjoying the set. It’s a little more complex than a prop-based room, so be prepared to stew over puzzles and look for patterns.
After you complete a couple of rooms, you’ll notice that a lot of themes are overdone. Ancient Egypt, magicians, the 1920s, Wild West, and zombies are common across escape rooms and you’ll often find yourself craving more.
Cartel, a prop-based room in Echo Park, has a theme I’ve never seen anywhere else. We completed this with a group of five but finished with 20 minutes to spare, so I would definitely go with a smaller group of around three. If you’re peckish for food (although after this one I doubt you’ll want to eat meat), it’s just a ten-minute walk to Guisados for cheap tacos, lights, and vibes.
Note: I don’t want to give too much away, but for those who are vegetarians and perhaps more sensitive this room contains graphic props.
Okay, I know that I was just talking about how the magician thing can be overdone, but if you’re going to do circus/magician-based escape room, do this one. The World of Illusions room is definitely more prop-based, with challenging puzzles and a pretty big space.
I’d recommend bringing at least five people for this room. We brought four and it just didn’t feel like enough. This is on the more experienced end of a beginner escape room, but regardless it’s fun for any group. Just make sure to ask for clues!
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