The Roosevelt Escape Room – Palace Escape Games

The Roosevelt Room poster from Palace Games


Palace Escape Games is located at the Palace of Fine Art in San Francisco. Our pre-trip research revealed that this was THE escape destination that absolutely could not be missed. To come right to the point, the research was absolutely right. As I’m sure you’ll hear from the other Junkies, Palace Games embraces this essence. Obviously, not every escape destination is located at the heart of a major world attraction! We were so pleased that this heritage was not ignored.

All of the rooms at Palace Games are tied into the history of the Palace of Fine Arts.

Your hosts will give you some history of the building and of the famous people that are associated with it. Those people include Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison, and of course… Teddy Roosevelt!

Being somewhat of a history buff, this was SO cool.

Please take it from me that when escape establishments spend extra time on their themes and narratives it really affects your overall experience for the better. My excitement level was at full 10 as the Junkies were being briefed for this room as our host took us through some history of the building and of Teddy Roosevelt himself and it’s all because of Palace Escape Game’s payment of due honor to their unique venue. I loved it.

The Good

Setting aside the absolute one-of-a-kind venue, this room was awesome! The premise of the room is that Teddy Roosevelt is looking for the next batch of exemplary individuals to lead the nation into the War to End All Wars. Those who can pass his tests can count themselves among the honored few.

Immediately upon entering the room, you’ll be greeted by a fantastic setting. I don’t want to spoil it for it, but just know that, again, Palace Games is leveraging the nature of their venue for the benefit of YOUR experience.

As we moved through the room we found that the “themes” of the spaces were in keeping with each other, but they still seemed unique. What do I mean by this? Well, each new space in the room fit the overall concept and it wasn’t like we were walking through portals into totally different worlds (which can tend to be the case in some rooms). At the same time though, there was a noticeable change from space to space. Again, no spoilers, but imagine yourself in the dining room of Wayne Manor (a la Batman)… but, what’s that? A nearby statue hides a secret passage to the bat cave!? See the analogy here? A fancy dining room and the gloom of the bat cave are totally different environments but in keeping with the overall theme.

Puzzles! The puzzles in this room were fantastic. I always give mad props to places that can create puzzles we’ve never seen before. We generally found that ALL the rooms at Palace Games were able to achieve this which is no small feat. I am 100% confident that you and your team will be delighted by the absolute freshness of the puzzles you’ll encounter in this room. I also really want you to know that a lot of puzzles in the Roosevelt Room required a high degree of teamwork. My pro tip to YOU is to make sure to be organized, communicate constantly, and don’t be afraid to divide and conquer, but at the same time, don’t delay getting the whole team back together again to work through certain stages.

The Roosevelt Room was also a 90-minute room. The Junkies did a LOT of longer duration rooms during our California trip and I bet if you polled us… we’d all say that the longer duration (anything longer than the traditional 60 minutes) is a fan-favorite feature. What’s not to like? An extra 30 minutes of escaping? YES PLEASE!

The Not So Good

The 90 minutes duration of the room leads me to my first “not so good” observation. 90 minutes was almost too short!

Full disclosure (with slight bitterness of soul): we did not escape the Roosevelt Room.

But we were very close! There’s just a TON of stuff to do in this room (which is awesome). I think I can actually recall a 2-hour room that had less to do than the Roosevelt Room. But hey… your mileage may vary because you could, you know, be smarter than us.

A lot of rooms now-a-days are using some of their spaces in order to create an element of physicality for the players. The Roosevelt Room can be counted amount their number. Some of the Junkies (including yours truly) found this to be tiny bit MORE physicality than we were up for. There’s especially one puzzle sequence that had a lot of transitioning from space to space many times over and we were constantly engaging with that physical element. Again, your mileage may vary… especially if you do the smart thing and use that aforementioned TEAMWORK you may not have to do as much leg work as we did.


I’m very happy to report that all of our research on Palace Games was spot-on accurate. It really is a can’t miss destination for escape enthusiasts and newcomers alike. The Roosevelt Room is excellently done with unique puzzles, a rich back story, and an amazing overall experience! 5/5

5 out of 5 locks
  • Location: Palace Games
  • Time Limit: 90 minutes
  • Number of Players: 6-10
  • Recommended Skill Level: Intermediate/Advanced

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