10 Best Escape Rooms in New York City 2017

We’ve played 160+ escape rooms total and 18 in the NYC area. We make these “best” lists every time we play new games in a city, and are more than happy to provide our opinion on the best escape rooms in New York City.

Here’s our top-recommended escape rooms in New York City:

  1. Maze of Hakaina – Komnata Quest
  2. Clock Tower – Escape the Room NYC
  3. The Escape Test – Paradiso
  4. Submarine – Escape the Room NYC
  5. Nemesis – Mission Escape Games
  6. Heir to the Throne – Komnata Quest
  7. Shelter R – Brooklyn Escape Room
  8. Limitless – Komnata Quest
  9. The Experiment – Escape Games NYC
  10. (special mention) 5wits West Nyack

We owe a huge thanks to Room Escape Artist, another escape room blogging couple, for recommendations via their blog. The duo are local experts who have played and reviewed almost every game in the local market. We used their reviews to choose which games we would play.

If you book any of these, let your host know that you read about them on EscapeRoomTips.com!

Full disclosure – We received media-discounted tickets to some mentioned rooms. If you purchase via our Groupon links or use our TodayTix referral code, you support us since we get a small commission. All opinions are our own.

1. Maze of Hakaina – Komnata Quest

This was our favorite game in NYC. The private bookings allow for an intimate and cohesive experience (essential for this game), instead of an overly crowded game. The story of the game both develops and resolves. The room is an actual maze, which is far more unique than the usual rectangular rooms we see. The puzzles are clean and satisyfing, the interactions are novel and unique, and there are quite a few fun (and scary) surprises. We only wish that the maze was larger!

2. Clock Tower – Escape the Room NYC

We first played Escape the Room NYC back in January 2014, when they were one of the only escape rooms on the market. We can happily say that they’ve gone far and beyond with their newest game, the Clock Tower. This game packs a bunch of fun high-tech physical interactions in a small space. Their set decoration is professionally comissioned and goes far beyond some of their original games like Home or Agency. Our main issue is that due to the popularity of Escape the Room NYC (partially since they were the first in the market), the rooms may easily get overcrowded since strangers will probably join your slot.

3. The Escape Test – Paradiso

Paradiso is a special fusion between escape room and immersive theater. The multiple actors in this series of rooms will guide you through the room, with some unique interactions. Many parts of this experience are “urgent”, which will make this game both thrilling and stressful. This game always keeps you on its toes, as you never quite know what to expect next. The puzzles are fairly standard, but the delivery and the actors are what make this room special. We played Chapter 2 as well, while both games are unique and interesting, we found Chapter 1 more exciting.

4. Submarine – Escape the Room NYC

Just like Clock Tower, Submarine is a new game by Escape the Room NYC and raises the bar from their original games. This game features a fun digitally-augmented space, and the design of the room encourages teamwork as team members become familiar with various parts of the room that are used and re-used again. The set also looks great, and the digitally augmented portion of the game lends itself to some puzzles that you might not have seen before. This game incorporates both some video game elements and teamwork elements into a satisfying experience.

5. Nemesis – Mission Escape Games

This is a fairly old game by escape room industry standards, but still holds its quality through time. The puzzles all center around themes of decoding and entering in combos into the various electronic locking mechanisms throughout the room. This is a comfortably large space for big teams, and we would consider this a great classic-style escape room, elevated with a pretty set, great tech, and a fun theme. The escape room space has evolved a bit to go beyond puzzles that give combos, but Nemesis executes it well and keeps all the combo puzzles fresh.

6. Heir to the Throne – Komnata Quest

This is a large multi-room adventure with an excellent dungeon / castle vibe and quite a few clear nods to the Game of Thrones series. Komnata’s sets tend to be a lot more immersive than than the other top games in NYC, and Heir to the Throne is absolutely no exception. The space includes quite a few high-quality props, large set pieces, and even crawl spaces. While the puzzles were quite unique and many involved interacting with surroundings, the puzzles were not quite as strong as the other’s we’ve seen at Komnata quest. Play this game for the adventure and the exploration.

7. Shelter R – Brooklyn Escape Room

This game features quite a few novel interactions in a solid set that test the limits of what you’re allowed to do in an escape room. The game keeps introducing you to new items and set pieces to use, and some of the set pieces will interact with each other in delightful ways. We also played their Medieval Dungeon game. While it doesn’t make this list, it was a fun and immersive set. Note: Shelter R is very similar to the game Outbreak by 60out in LA.

8. Limitless – Komnata Quest

This is a fun experimental game for 2 that takes places in pitch dark. The game itself is not particularly complex, but of course the challenge comes from having to do the whole room without the use of sight. Cooperation and communication is also essential, since this game is mostly split-team. There’s a story in the game, but we did not find it particularly coherent, but it wasn’t really necessary to enjoy the game. This game is notable for the novelty, and we would especially recommend it for anyone looking for something a bit different.

9. The Experiment – Escape Games NYC

This is a classic-style escape room where the puzzles all involve extracting some sort of combination that can be input into a lock. This game is fairly low-tech and features a set that appears deceptively simple. However, as you explore the space, you’ll quickly find that the set is much more rich than you might have expected. We thought the puzzles were fun and very clean – the simplicity of the design makes for almost no red herrings, a clear sense of how much progress you’re making, and a good sense of what you’re supposed to do next.

Special Mention: 5wits West Nyack

This is a special mention instead of a ranked entry since they’re a 1 hour drive away from Manhattan. Despite the distance, this is worth a special trip since the technology and immersion are in a class of their own. 5wits West Nyack has 3 games, each about 30-45 minutes in length. You’ll be guided by an automated narrator in all three adventures (who will likely be too generous with unsolicited hints in order to push you along). The value is amazing ($35 per person for all three games), and like us, you might be itching to do it again. Our favorite game there was Deep Space, but Tomb and Drago’s Castle are lots of fun as well.

  • Price: $
  • Players: 2-12 (maybe strangers)
  • Location: West Nyack, NY
  • Booking: There’s no need to buy tickets online at http://5-wits.com/tickets-west-nyack/ since you can’t reserve a specific time slot anyway. Instead, we recommend buying your tickets when you arrive. They offer a BOGO promo until 9/30 if you spend $15 or more at any one of their partner restaurants in the mall.

If you have any questions or suggestions for games we should play when we’re next in the area, please feel free to contact us!

Liked this post? Check out our Top 23 Tips & Tricks to Win Escape Room Games post and follow us FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. You can also subscribe to our blog in the sidebar.

Leave a Reply