Escape Games in San Francisco
BackgroundThis is an overview of the number of formats and companies that produce "escape games" in the San Francisco, Bay Area. These games are a form of entertainment that originated in Japan. Participants are "locked" in a room (or an auditorium, more on that below) and given clues they must solve within a time limit (normally 1 hour) to "escape", or win the game.
SCRAP Entertainment $29-$33 link
This company makes the highest quality games, and have produced games in all of the formats. They brand most of their games with the name "Real Escape", however other companies have copied and now include these words in the name of their games too, causing confusion. They are originally from Japan.
PanIQ Entertainment $20-$32 link
This company produces "darker" format games - some of them specifying 18 years and older. I played one of their games named "Geek" and found the quality a bit lower than the other companies.
Omescape $28 link
Based in Richmond, CA slightly outside of SF this company has a slightly lower production value than other companies but their games are still a lot of fun.
Room Escape Adventures $31 link
This company produces a game with a creative twist - a "zombie" in the room whose chain gets longer throughout the duration of the game.
EscapeSF $26 link
This is a newer company I have not tried myself, but they feature an SF-themed room related to Alcatraz. They're located in between the Financial District and Chinatown in the city.
Palace Games $45 link
This company is located at the Palace of Fine Arts. Its games are quite high quality but they also charge more per person.
This is the original format where a team of roughly 10 people are "locked" in a room and given puzzles to find the key to unlock the door.
In this format, a large ballroom is arranged to hold several dozen tables that each seat a team of about 6 people. Clues hang around the room and in side-rooms and the total ~150 people complete the game simultaneously. It's not a competition, as each team acts independently to complete the puzzles.
Sometimes the same companies that produce these games try out other formats, like 1) a scavenger hunt around a neighborhood or 2) a large format auditorium-style game in a sports stadium. These are often one-off events, rather than reoccurring productions like the room and auditorium formats.