10 Best Escape Rooms in Los Angeles of 2017

We’re California natives that did 30+ LA escape rooms in 2016 alone, and overall have done 100+ escape rooms across the United States and Europe. We choose which escape rooms to play based on recommendations from other enthusiasts, and are happy to compile our list of top recommendations for our readers.

These 10 escape rooms are some of the best examples of escape rooms not only in Los Angeles but also in the whole United States – they both offer stellar overall experiences and push the standards of the escape room industry in ways that we’re really excited about. Huge shoutout to Dan Egnor (of escaperoomdirectory.com) for nuanced and detailed recommendations for our LA escape room trips!

If you book any of these rooms, let your host your know that “EscapeRoomTips.com” sent you!

#1. Hex Room – Cross Roads Escape Games

Cross Roads Escape Games is located in Anaheim, CA but is absolutely worth a special trip from anywhere around SoCal. Their rooms are “designed by enthusiasts for enthusiasts” which is absolutely true; the rooms feature both the best set design and most novel concepts we’ve seen in escape rooms anywhere.

The Hex Room in particular is a special treat that should especially appeal to escape room enthusiasts – this room offers a one-of-a-kind split team experience where your team is split up into 6 different rooms and assigned a different “role” based on an archetype from a horror movie: Detective, Nerd, Virgin, Jock, Prom Queen, and Rebel.

Each of the rooms has their own set of themed puzzles, and may get to interact with each other at points that are clever and amusing. The sets are incredibly detailed and well-themed, and our team spent some time just admiring each of the rooms after we finished the game. The general production value is stellar and Hex Room is must-do for teams of escape room enthusiasts in the area. Play the Fun House too while you’re here!

The excellent overall experience and set design of Hex Room earns our recommendation as the #1 Escape Room in Los Angeles of 2017. If you loved it too, you can come back and replay the game up to 3 times total (as a different character).

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Horror movie archetypes
  • Atmosphere: Dimly lit and scary. Not for the squeamish or claustrophobic.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: January 2016
  • Good for Beginners: No, this game is best with a full group of experienced room escapers. A newbie may struggle in a room by themselves.
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Hint Availability: Moderate, delivered in intervals via in-game device
  • Play with Strangers: No, all games are private.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 5-10 (we recommend exactly 6, but 7 is ok too)
  • Price: $32 per person
  • Address: (Anaheim) 4245 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807
  • Make a Booking: https://www.crossroadsescapegames.com/the-hex-room.html

#2. Alchemist – Escape Room LA

 

Escape Room LA features 4 rooms and is centrally located in Downtown LA. They’ve very successfully adopted a public booking model – expect almost all of the spots each day to be booked solid. If you aren’t buying out all of the tickets in a slot, expect to play with at least a few strangers.

The Alchemist is the latest of their games and generally agreed upon by escape room enthusiasts to be their best work. In the Alchemist, you and your friends stumble upon the lab of an alchemist, and must work together to put together the four elements before you can escape.

The highlight of the room was the puzzle-rich alchemist’s lab. The room itself is an overwhelming densely-packed assortment of puzzles. These puzzles are all delightfully physical and themed appropriately. While the number of puzzles was staggering, the room is structured cleanly so that teams won’t get too confused. The presence of two parallel tracks in the Alchemist’s Lab helps make sure that most people will have something to do and won’t get too left out. If you only have time for one game here, go straight for The Alchemist. We recommend this as a must-do for large groups.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Alchemy
  • Atmosphere: Normally lit and not scary. Puzzle-focused.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: December 2015
  • Good for Beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Hint Availability: Moderate, delivered via in-game game master when he/she feels like you need help
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, very likely unless you book the full room.
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-10 (we recommend exactly 8, but 6-7 is ok too)
  • Price: $32-37 per person (depending on day of week)
  • Address: (Downtown) 120 E. 8th Street 3rd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90014
  • Make a Booking: http://escaperoomla.com

#3. Titanic – 60out Escape Rooms

60out (formerly Escape Key Entertainment) offers high-tech Russian-designed escape rooms with extremely player-friendly booking policies. The games are private and priced on a sliding scale, which makes privates games reasonably priced for tiny groups of 2-3 . The payment is also only done onsite, which means that players are able to cancel and reschedule freely (although please give sufficient notice).

Titanic is one of their newer games (opened September 2016). In this game, the Titanic is malfunctioning, so you and your friends must make your way into the engine room and fix the cause of the problem.

This room has quite a few highlights. First, the set and decor is spot-on, and you feel like you are actually trapped in the Titanic. Second, some of the set pieces are LARGE and you’ll get to interact with them, which is quite satisfying. Lastly, this game has a few ways of completely rethinking some common escape room elements. While you’re at 60out, consider playing some of the other games at the location as well.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: The Titanic
  • Atmosphere: Dimly lit but not scary.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: September 2016
  • Good for Beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hint Availability: Generous, delivered via speaker upon request
  • Play with Strangers: No, all games are private.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Price: $80-180 per game (depending on time of day and team size)
  • Address: (Marina del Rey) 13336 Beach Avenue, Marina del Rey, CA 90292
  • Make a Booking: https://www.60out.com/rooms/titanic

#4. The Study – The Basement LA

The Study is the third installation of The Basement LA’s trilogy of escape rooms. While you don’t have to play them in order, The Study follows the events of The Basement and the Boiler Room, where you become trapped in the house of cannibalistic serial killer Edward Tandy.

The Study has a bunch of non-traditional puzzles. It excels in creating an atmosphere that’s just the right level of scary to create a theatrical environment to escape. The game is almost guaranteed to produce some of the most memorable experiences in any escape room – we’ll of course refrain from spoiling any of them here!

We recommend The Study as the best room offered by the Basement LA. Do the Boiler Room as well if you have time while visiting. The original Basement is great too, although it will appeal more to fans of the atmosphere than people who are looking for a good variety of puzzles.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Horror
  • Atmosphere: Dimly lit and scary.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: October 2015
  • Good for beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hint Availability: Scarce, you’re mostly on your own, but pay attention to any in-game actors…
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, potentially if you don’t book the full room.
  • Duration: 55 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-10 (we recommend 5-6)
  • Price: $34-38 (depending on day of week)
  • Address: (Sylmar) 12909 Foothill Blvd., Sylmar, CA 91342
  • Make a Booking: https://thebasementla.com/study.php

#5. Hangover – 60out Escape Rooms

At the time of writing, Hangover is the newest of 60out’s Escape Room offerings. You enter in a bar with a crippling hangover and have to re-discover what happened last night as you search for your boss’s missing money.

This room is spacious and and the set design is great, with your team starting off in a bar environment. The highlights were the variety of the puzzles and how they interacted with the set pieces in the room. The puzzle flow was very clean and the buildup and resolution of the story was immensely satisfying. Check out the other games at this location too, including Grandma’s Masterplan and Ghost Ship.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Bar / Crime
  • Atmosphere: Normally lit and mostly not scary. Mostly puzzle-focused.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: December 2016
  • Good for Beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hint Availability: Generous, delivered via speaker upon request
  • Play with Strangers: No, all games are private.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Price: $80-180 per game (depending on time of day and team size)
  • Address: (Fairfax) 7270 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90046
  • Make a Booking: https://www.60out.com/rooms/hangover-game

#6. Occam’s Apartment – Evil Genius Escape Rooms

Evil Genius Escape Rooms is one of the newest escape room companies in Los Angeles at the time of writing, opening up their first game in September 2016. Occam’s apartment is the first (and currently only) of their rooms, and they’re promising an episodic structure, with each room’s story feeding into the next.

The story follows the death of Bill Occam (as an apparent suicide). You are asked to help clean up his apartment and his belongings, but things are not what they seem…

Occam’s apartment is set in a 1-bedroom apartment (no bathroom, though), and we were pleasantly surprised by how well the apartment theme was executed. The true highlight of the game was the story that bookended both the beginning and end of the escape room – the story was engaging and gave us purpose and agency throughout the entire game. The ending is a blast, but we will say no more. We’re looking forward to Evil Genius’s next games!

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Apartment
  • Atmosphere: Dimly lit but not really scary. Ending sequence can be thrilling.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: September 2016
  • Good for Beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hint Availability: Generous, delivered via in-game device upon request
  • Play with Strangers: No, all games are private.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-6 (we recommend 2-3)
  • Price: $38 per person for 2 players, $32 per person for 3+ players
  • Address: (Mid City) 2525 W. Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90018
  • Make a Booking: http://www.evilgeniusescaperooms.com/

#7. Pandorus – Countdown LA

This is Countdown LA’s newest offering, opening in September 2016. They continue their tradition of atmospheric rooms in their best so far, assembling together a high-tech alien spaceship. In Pandorus, you and your team must use the tools of the alien spaceship in order to create a bioweapon capable of extinguishing species that are threatening the universe.

Countdown LA was bold in creating this escape room and their efforts paid off. This is an impressively decorated alien spaceship complete with all sorts of symbols, interactions, and elements that feel foreign yet fit perfectly into this escape room. The game is linear but you’ll have to spend quite some time just figuring out the right thing to do.

One particular notable element of this room is the sheer difficulty. There is a lot of stuff packed into this room and even the most experienced of teams can easily run out of time as they figure out what they should be doing. We recommend that you take hints liberally so you can see this game to the very end.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Alien Spaceship
  • Atmosphere: Dimly lit and pretty alien, but not really scary.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: September 2016
  • Good for beginners: No, this game is too difficult for beginners. Come back after you’ve done some other high-tech rooms.
  • Difficulty: Very Challenging (most challenging escape room in LA!)
  • Hint Availability: Generous, delivered via walkie talkie upon request. Ask for lots of hints as this game is hard!
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, potentially if you don’t book the full room.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-6 (we recommend 3-4)
  • Price: $30 per person
  • Address: (Near USC) 2284 S Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90007
  • Make a Booking: https://www.countdownescape.com/la/games/the-pandorus-mission

#8. Virus – Get the F Out

The Virus is currently the feature (and only) game of the company “Get the F Out”. You and your team of research scientists must enter an underground research lab in order to discover a cure for a deadly global pandemic. In order to do so, you must synthesize together the right components that you will discover throughout the game. However, you only have 60 minutes because of a certain something that happened…

The game has two very interesting elements. The first is the VR intro that you get to experience at the beginning, which is a neat bonus that sets up the story before your time begins. The second is a neat mechanic that has to do with the physical space of the lab itself (we’ll refrain from saying any more to avoid potential spoilers).

Beyond those two interesting elements, there are neat lab-themed puzzles, some of which let you play around with some cool lab equipment. Some of the theatrics that help advance the storyline are quite thrilling and fun as well.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Bio Lab
  • Atmosphere: Normally lit and not scary. Puzzle-focused. Can get frantic.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: January 2016
  • Good for beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Hint Availability: Moderate, delivered via in-game game master but you only get 3.
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, potentially if you don’t book the full room.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-8 (we recommend 5-6)
  • Price: $36 per person
  • Address: (Burbank) 630 S. Flower St., Burbank, CA 91502
  • Make a Booking: www.getthefoutroom.com

#9. Real Zero Escape: Trust on Trial – SCRAP

SCRAP / Real Escape Game is a Japanese company that has the special distinction of bringing the first ever escape room to North America (Escape from the Mysterious Room) in December 2012. The LA branch of SCRAP runs two escape rooms (currently Real Zero Escape and Castle Under Siege) and occasional puzzle events in Los Angeles.

SCRAP’s two core strengths are its novel game mechanics and ability to bring branded (e.g. Legend of Zelda) escape game experiences to North America. Real Zero Escape features both of these core strengths with an excellent split-team experience based on the Zero Escape video game series (this link is an affiliate link, which means we may get a small commission if you purchase through it).

You don’t need any prior knowledge of the video game series to enjoy this game, although it will definitely help you understand the context a bit more. They offer an “Extended Cut” version of the game – we’ve heard that this version just introduces more SCRAP-style puzzles to the game, so if this is your first time we’d recommend skipping the Extended Cut and just focusing on the novel mechanics. If you liked your first time a lot, you can always come back and do the Extended Cut version!

When you put together a team, we recommend not playing with strangers and instead gathering together a full team of nine. This game is actually best at maximum capacity, as you get to experience the awesome split-team experience at its fullest.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Zero Escape video game series
  • Atmosphere: Normally lit and not scary. Can get somewhat frantic.
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: April 2016
  • Good for beginners: Somewhat. This game is better approached when a majority of the team has played some other escape rooms before, especially SCRAP games
  • Difficulty: Challenging
  • Hint Availability: Scarce. You’re mostly on your own.
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, potentially if you don’t book the full room. We highly recommend booking the full room with exactly 9 people.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 6-9 Players (we recommend exactly 9)
  • Price: $35 per person
  • Address: (Japantown) 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, #200, Los Angeles, CA 90012
  • Make a Bookinghttp://realescapegame.com/zero_la/

#10. Fun House – Cross Roads Escape Games

Fun House is Cross Roads Escape Games’ second and latest game. Just like The Hex Room, Fun House should be an absolute delight for enthusiasts. Unlike the Hex Room however, Fun House is particularly well suited for beginners (although enthusiasts will have a fun time here as well).

True to Cross Road’s strengths, the Fun House has absolutely stellar set design and we found ourselves just sitting there marveling at it at multiple points during the game. This game is absolutely packed with fun surprises and some even funnier moments, Despite the clown guarding the entrance, Fun House is not scary at all. The differences in theme make Fun House and Hex Room perfect complements to each other. We definitely recommend you play both back-to-back when you’re visiting Cross Roads.

Quick Facts

  • Theme: Fun House / Circus
  • Atmosphere: Normally lit and not scary. Lighthearted and very fun!
  • Our Rating: ★★★★★
  • Opened: April 2016
  • Good for beginners: Yes
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Hint Availability: Generous, delivered via in-game device upon request. Ask for hints occasionally, it’s fun!
  • Play with Strangers: Yes, potentially if you don’t book at least 6 out of the 8 tickets in an empty slot.
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Team Size: 2-8 (we recommend 4-6)
  • Price: $32 per person
  • Address: (Anaheim) 4245 E La Palma Ave, Anaheim, CA 92807
  • Make a Bookinghttps://www.crossroadsescapegames.com/the-fun-house.html

More Rooms

These are games that just missed our list of Top 10, but are still high-quality games that we’d recommend to our readers.

  • All other games by 60out – 60out has consistently high-tech, high-quality games that span a wide variety of different themes and scenarios. If you prefer horror-themed games, check out Dr. Psycho, Senator PayneGhost Ship, and Outbreak. If you want something more whimsical check out their Zen Room or Wizard’s Workshop. But really you can’t go wrong with any of them.
  • All other games by The Basement – The Basement is the original and is light on puzzles but excellent in theming and immersion. Boiler Room is a neat experimental game that’s worth playing when you’re around for either Study or The Basement.
  • All games by Room Escape Los Angeles – These rooms are all consistently good as well. Our favorite is Zombie Lab for the fun theming and sense of urgency. Tesla’s Mystery is their newest game.

More Resources

Before you go, check out our Top 23 Tips & Tricks to Win Escape Room Games. If you’re travelling to San Diego in the future, also check out our recs for the best escape rooms in San Diego!

Urban Light image credit Yuan Jiang.

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