If you’ve read one or more of our reviews and want to know more about the meaning behind the locks awarded at the end of each review, you’ve come to the right place. Each ranking considers numerous aspects including puzzle and set design, story and thematic elements, interactions with owners and staff, and overall experience. These rankings can also help determine which rooms are appropriate for your group’s goals or skill level.
5/5 Locks: The cream of the crop…the alpha and the omega…other complimentary groupings of adjectives and nouns. A 5-Lock room is a shining example of what we hope for in an escape room. This type of room typically features a combination of a thoughtful puzzle design, professional looking sets and props, and a compelling story. While not a requirement, a 5-Lock experience is usually accompanied by an engaging and enthusiastic escape room staff and a clean waiting area that doesn’t remind us of a doctor’s office.
4/5 Locks: A truly enjoyable escape room. A 4-Lock room excels in most of the critical areas of puzzle design, setting, story, and overall experience but left us wanting just a little more. Expect a friendly staff and comfortable waiting area. This type of room is great for everyone, but is an especially good choice for a first time escapee. The high quality introduces the joys of escape rooms, but doesn’t set the bar at a level where anything less than a 5-Lock room is a disappointment.
3/5 Locks: An average escape experience. A 3-Lock rating usually means that while we enjoyed aspects of the room, there were areas in need of improvement. These rooms are still a good opportunity to expand your group’s escape room knowledge. The more rooms you do, the more situations and solutions you become familiar with. This can set your team up for future success. While a 3-Lock room can result in a fun outing, this is not the type of room you want to be someone’s first exposure to an escape room.
2/5 Locks: A disappointing experience. A 2-Lock room is typically underwhelming in many ways. Characteristics of these rooms include one or many of the following: poor or tedious puzzle design, amateur looking or rundown sets and decor, technical issues, and uninspired or nonsensical story lines. We suggest you bypass any rooms with a rating of 2-Locks or worse. In other words, we’ve suffered so you don’t have to!
1/5 Locks: A waste of time and money. The Escape Junkie’s have never had a true 1-Lock escape and we hope we never do (knocks on wood while tossing salt over left shoulder). However, we have experienced 1-Lock elements in various rooms: game masters forgetting to reset puzzles, puzzles that break or fail to operate, unresponsive game masters, and collections of IKEA-bought props with the price tags still visible. Simply put, a 1-Lock room is the type of dumpster fire you simply wouldn’t want anyone to experience.