For the past several years the Tampa Bay escape room market has seemingly lagged behind Orlando in the number of quality escape games. It makes sense, Orlando escape rooms not only have to compete with each other but with an endless amount of diverse entertainment options. Today Tampa Bay has several
#1. Dream Weaver – Imagine Escape Games
So we finally got a chance to complete Dream Weaver, the latest chapter in Imagine Escape Games connected universe and it should come as no great surprise to anyone that it was phenomenal. Imagine seems to step their game up with every new experience. DreamWeaver is the best of the bunch.
#2. reSEArch – Imagine Escape Games
Imagine Escape Games’ reputation extends beyond the confines of Tampa Bay. When I try escape rooms in other cities game masters and room owners often ask me if I’ve played Imagine yet when they find out I live in Tampa. That high praise, coupled with rave reviews from prominent blogs is a lot to live up to. ReSEArch delivers on the hype and more.
#3.Jungle Gem – Imagine Escape Games
Jungle Gem starts you off in the fuselage of an airliner – and it only gets crazier from there! The adjustable difficulty and “environmental progression” make for a fun and unique escape game experience that is recommended for teams of all experience levels.
#4.Revenge of Anubis – Legends Escape Rooms
Legends Escape Rooms will appear on this list a few times. Legends opened at the end of 2017 in Brandon and came out swinging with 6 rooms available by the end of 2018. Revenge of Anubis was the last room to open and the hardest of the 6. Escape Junkie Kyle said it best when describing our experience in Anubis “… it’s a rare and pleasant thing when we come across a type of puzzle that we’ve never seen before. The uniqueness of the puzzles in this room will be sure to challenge even the most well seasoned of escape teams” Check out our full review to learn more.
#5.Pandemic – America’s Escape Game
The Escape Junkies had already completed most of America’s Escape Game’s (AEG) Orlando rooms by the time we learned that the would be opening a new location in Tampa. It was exciting to learn that a quality chain such as AEG was coming closer to home. The anticipation lessened when we learned that 2 or the 3 rooms that were launching at the new location were rooms we had already completed in Orlando. To make matters worse, the 3rd room was Pandemic, a theme that no one in our group was excited to try (stay tuned for 5 escape room themes we never want to see again).
After AEG Tampa opened, we decided to give Pandemic a shot and boy am I glad we did. The owners of AEG explained to us that even though each AEG franchise shares themes every franchisee can improve on the design, layout, and technology used in the rooms. The result was my favorite AEG escape room experience to date… I only wish we had waited to try Crisis
#6.DUNGEON VII – Legends Escape Rooms
Dungeon VII is Legends Escape Rooms creepiest theme, and my personal favorite room of the bunch. Early in the dungeon, you start in a pretty confined space but within minutes the space opens up in to a memorable multi-room odyssey. The entire space is beautifully decorated, but my favorite part was the new spins on familiar puzzle concepts.
#7. Cabin in the Woods – Tampa Bay Escape Room
Cabin in the Woods is an escape enthusiast’s dream. It is a very detailed, very challenging room that requires no more than 2 players to complete. Oh and I should also mention that this room is very good. You genuinely feel like you are trapped in a cabin for an hour, which may be bad if you’re claustrophobic, but for everyone else get ready to enjoy 1 of the best looking escape rooms in town. The footprint that Cabin in the Woods occupies is 1 of the smallest spaces that I’ve played, but Tampa Bay Escape Room cleverly layers puzzles to maximize the usable space.
#8. Split – Lakeland Escape Room
I’m not sure if the good people of Lakeland consider themselves to be part of the greater Tampa Bay area but considering they are just a 15 minute ride up I-4 I think it’s appropriate to include 1 of the better escape rooms around in our list. Out of the 2 rooms we’ve completed thus far, Split is definitely the stand out at Lakeland Escape Room. The tale of Nina and Gina is 1 of the coolest and memorable escape game stories that we’ve encountered, but the way the narrative is integrated into the room was our favorite part (click here for more details). Be careful while searching for clues hidden around Nina’s room, you wouldn’t want to get on Gina’s bad side MUHAHAHA … sorry.
#9. Wild West Heist – Legends Escape Rooms
The Wild West theme is nothing new to the escape room industry, but Legends delivers an authentic feeling fantasy adventure with an explosive finale. If you want an aesthetically pleasing, thoroughly entertaining, wild west romp then look no further partner.
#10.Shadows of the Skunk Ape – Rabbit Hole Escape Games
Rabbit Holes Escape Games is not your average escape room company. They have steadily improved their games since opening in 2015 in the heart of Seminole Heights and have gone all in on creating some of the most immersive set pieces in the state. Shadows of the Skunk Ape was the first of 2 Skunk Ape themed rooms that Rabbit Hole unveiled 2017, and our favorite of the pair. Every prop and puzzle in Shadows of the Skunk Ape helps transport you into the world that Rabbit Hole has created and were it not for some unfortunate technical issues, Shadows may have ranked higher on this list.
#11. Skinned Alive – Escape Thrill
It feels like it was just yesterday that the Escape Junkies completed our 2nd escape room together at Escape Thrill in Clearwater, but alas, Skinned Alive is the oldest escape room on our list. Time flies when escaping rooms. The best feature of Skinned Alive was the intuitive puzzles and perfect pacing. All puzzles have a logical solution if you pay attention to the clues (or can hear them clearly). At the time of our visit the speakers used in several of the puzzles made it difficult to understand our next move which ultimately lead to us being “skinned alive”, but to be fair we refused to ask for any hints in our younger more prideful days, so I feel like we kinda deserved it.
Wizard Challenge – Legends Escape Rooms
The Honky Tonk – Beach Escape Game
Moonshine Cabin – Legends Escape Rooms
Kidnapped – Tampa Bay Escape Room
Secrets of the Skunk Ape – Rabbit Hole Escape Games
Cold War Crisis – American Escape Rooms