Blind Tiger – EscapeSF (Review)

Blind Tiger by EscapeSF is one of the best small-group escape room in the San Francisco Bay Area. Great especially for small groups of friends, couples, and tourists!

escapesf

This is their marketing photo that shows off the inside of the room. Note the intricacies of the decoration! Image Credit – EscapeSF

Story and Background

Blind Tiger is the third and newest game by EscapeSF, an escape room company located on the edge of Chinatown. This game is in their basement and makes a good use of their space. The theme is a prohibition-era speakeasy, complete with very appropriate decorations that complement the illicit theme.

Story of the game (from their website)

It’s 1928, the prohibition era. Last week, the biggest bootlegging bosses of the country were arrested in a historic sweep as they were sitting in an underground speakeasy divvying up territories of influence and lucrative rum running routes.  Now there is nobody left to run the business – unless you can do it, of course. Your job is to obtain the names of the 7 arrested mafiosi and gain control of the biggest, baddest money making endeavor of the century.

Quick facts:

  • Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Players: 2-5 (we’d recommend 3-4)
  • Price: $139
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Overall Rating: 5/5

Puzzle Quality

Blind Tiger has a good mix of tangible, physical puzzles that excellently use the various objects around the room. Almost all of the key puzzle items in the room are re-used as real props around the room. The puzzles are meaningful and non-trivial, and were all related to the theme of the room.

Production Value

EscapeSF invested a lot in the decor for Blind Tiger, creating with a sequence of rooms that explore different parts of a speakeasy. It feels particularly realistic for an escape room, which adds a lot to the whole immersion.

I was particularly impressed by how they could re-wire normal-looking objects (that fit the theme well) and transform them into tools that are required for information input, and move along the whole story of the game.

The game is fully automated, with the game masters watching through a video camera. There are quite a few things that happen when you trigger the right sequence on various objects that initial look normal, which creates quite a few pleasant and thematic surprises.

There’s no over-reliance on padlocks, keys, or combination locks here, which is highly appreciated and helps make an authentic, immersive experience.

Shortcomings

5 people make the room a bit cramped. I would recommend you do this with 3-4 players instead. This is doable as a group of 2, but will be very difficult.

Overall Recommendation ★★★

EscapeSF excels at turning normal-looking objects into key input devices to move along the plot. Blind Tiger, their 3rd and newest game, is the best of their lot. This room has some of the most thematic puzzles I’ve seen, and excels at weaving in the puzzles with the theme and construction of the room. Blind Tiger is immersive, pleasantly surprising, and a whole lot of fun.

This is one of the few escape room games in the Bay Area that are made for small groups of 2-5. This makes this company’s game particularly easy to book for small groups, especially couples looking for a (pricey but fun) date, tourist groups visiting SF for a few days, or a group of friends that want to spend some quality fun together.

For experienced players, I would recommend them in this order:

  1. Blind Tiger
  2. Escape from Alcatraz
  3. Antique Room

For beginners, I would recommend them in this order:

  1. Escape from Alcatraz
  2. Antique Room
  3. Blind Tiger (while a great game, this one is more complex than the other two and teams of beginners will have more fun in the other two rooms.)

All of them are great though! Try to book a few days in advance, because it can be hard to secure same-day slots on popular times such as weekends. The storefront is a bit low-key so can be hard to find at first. The lobby has some lockers for you to store your stuff while the game is going on.

You can check out their website or make a booking at http://questroomsf.com/. Let them know that Escape Room Tips sent you!

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