Now that 2019 is in full swing we wanted to take look at some of the most intriguing new escape rooms expected to open this year. Stay tuned for updates to our list as additional room information comes available throughout the year.
1. Sixth Wave – Escape Thrill
Why We’re Excited
Escape Thrill will always hold a special place in the collective hearts of the Escape Junkies family. The Diamond Heist room was the introduction to the escape drug for 3 members of the Junkies… and the Skinned Alive room was the site of our most humbling defeat (would it have killed us to ask for 1 hint?). Escape Thrill was 1 of the first local escape companies to fully embrace the use of technology in their room designs and puzzles, but more importantly than that, each time we visited we had a blast! The journey towards Sixth Wave has been a long 1 for the Clearwater based company. If you have been stalking their website like me, you may remember seeing a teaser for a room called Deadline in 2017. The Deadline placeholder was recently changed to Sixth Wave which was both surprising and concerning, and my thought was would we have to wait even longer for a new Escape Thrill room? Amber Rogers, owner of Escape Thrill, responded to our inquires by estimating that Sixth Wave should be done by this summer and promising that “it is going to be our most technologically advanced room to date!” You had me sold at summer.
2. Encounter – America’s Escape Game Tampa
Why We’re Excited
The Escape Junkies have completed at total of 5 rooms between the Orlando and Tampa AEG locations and the Pandemic room in Tampa might be the best of the bunch. Although they got a late start in the competitive Bay Area market, AEG has provided the blueprint on how to stand out by investing in better game tech and providing a more immersive experience. I confirmed with the owners of America’s Escape Game that they are hoping to open additional rooms in 2019 (no exact dates yet) with one of them being a brand new game to the franchise – Encounter. No details were provided about the room (although we can make an educated guess about the theme) but none were needed to place this near the top of our list.
3. Alice’s Tee Time – Rabbit Hole Escape Games
Why I’m Excited
So full disclosure here, the inclusion of Alice’s Tee Time is based on my interests and my interests only. There’s no information about this room on Rabbit Hole’s website other than this blurb, “Escape Room elements + Mini-Golf in an Alice theme”…. sounds good to me! As an escape game enthusiast and an avid golfer (or whatever you call someone that really likes golf but really sucks at it) this mashup has potential to be very amusing. The Rabbit Hole has made a reputation of creating very detailed, engaging, and sometimes buggy set pieces that are worth checking out if you want to try something other than your run-of-the-mill escape rooms. I for one am looking forward to what the Rabbit Hole dreamed up with this hybrid entertainment experience.
The last 2 rooms on our list both opened at the very end of 2018 but since we have yet to attempt them we felt it was appropriate to include them on this list.
4. Dream Weaver – Imagine Escape Games
Why We’re Excited
Imagine Escape Room has quite the reputation. I was doing an escape room while on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida where the game master highly recommend that I check out Imagine when I returned home. It’s always reassuring when you get suggestions for new rooms from rival establishments. It’s extra impressive when it comes from a town nearly 5 hours away. The Escape Junkies have already sang praises for Imagine Escape Game’s in our Jungle Gem review, so it should come as no surprise that we have been patiently waiting for the next chapter in their epic persistent story to released.
5. Escape The Colosseum – The Great Escape Room
Why We’re Excited
The Great Escape Room is one of the most popular escape game companies in the country in terms of the number of people that have visited one of their establishments. They were one of the first companies to market and one of the earliest to brand themselves as industry top dogs with multiple locations in 7 states (and 1 in D.C.) and a ton of positive Yelp reviews that boost the company to the top of Google searches. The Great Escape Room’s reputation with enthusiasts, however, has not been nearly as stellar as it is with the casual escapers. For much of their existence TGER has been content with providing bare-boned, unimaginative experiences to their customers while the escape room industry around it continued to push the envelope and setting the bar higher for what a truly great escape game could be. I was intrigued when TGER announced Escape The Colosseum in late-2018, not because they were opening yet another room (TGER Tampa has a total of 6 active rooms) but because they directly addressed many of the complaints logged by the growing number of fans who have been around the block and experienced better escape rooms. Escape The Colosseum is a 100 minute (more on that in a sec) multiple room adventure based in ancient Rome, but more importantly it appears to be a complete 180 from any other option TGER provides. Based on my past experiences here I was worried about the extra long time limit, but the owners have promised that this will not be an hour and 40 minute scavenger hunt. Also NO IN-ROOM GAME MASTER – probably the best news yet. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little skeptical about this room, but considering TGER has steadily improved with recent rooms (see my review of The President’s Bunker), I am excited to find out if TGER can rightfully claim the title of Best Escape Room in Tampa Bay.
So that’s our list. Which room are you most excited for? Are there other rooms on the horizon that you are looking forward to? Please share in the comments below or Tweet @Escape_Junkies.