The latest escape room to open in Oregon is not in Portland–it’s in Hood River. Hood River is better known for outdoor activities and excellent breweries. It’s exciting to see that there is now there is a new activity for people to try after a day of kitesurfing (and before getting a drink at pFriem, Full Sail, or Double Mountain).
We’ve updated the list of escape rooms in the Portland, Oregon area. Highlights of the past couple of months include:
- Hour to Midnight has opened their second room (Assassin’s Deadly Game).
- Combo and Key has opened their second room (Welcome to Psycho Pschool) and moved to a new location in Tigard.
- Escapism has opened their 6th room (The Alien Zoo) in NE Portland.
- Lombino’s Casino is re-opened under In Search of an Exit in NE Portland.
- Mythic Escapes has opened Escape from Wonderland in Vancouver.
- Northwest Escape Experience has opened their second room (Operation Norjak: The Hunt for D.B. Cooper).
- Escape the Hood has opened in Hood River with their first room: The Warehouse.
See the complete and updated list of all the escape rooms in the Portland, Oregon area, including neighboring Beaverton, Tigard, and Vancouver, WA. This includes individual rooms, cost, and other contact information. If you are looking for recommendations check out my individual reviews for Portland’s many escape rooms. See the Google Map of the escape rooms listed here. Please let me know about any updates or new rooms in the Portland area.
Portland area escape room fans have a number of great escape room options available, including rooms in Beaverton and Vancouver, WA. The Oregonian put out an article on “Portland area’s 7 escape room companies.” Unfortunately, they left out one of the originals, and still one of the best. 60 Minutes to Escape is now home to 2 rooms and two more upcoming rooms. (Update: 60 Minutes to Escape is currently closed to booking while they redevelop their space over the summer, looking to reopen later this year).
Presumably, The Oregonian was aware of 60 Minutes to Escape when Jamie Hale wrote an article about Spark of Resistance in 2014.
Also missing, two Vancouver, WA locations (depending on where you are, Vancouver is as “Portland-area” as Beaverton) and Pour Sports’ Speakeasy. For reference, here is the more complete list from earlier this year.
Fortunately for those of us living in Portland, Laura E. Hall was one of the first to bring escape rooms to town. The legendary Spark of Resistance at 60 Minutes to Escape remains one of the best escape room experiences on the West Coast. Hall is also behind the pop-up escape room that is currently making its way across the country, Resident Evil Escape Experience.
Hall got a write-up in this week’s Portland Mercury, where she hit on one of the most important aspects of a successful escape room experience. “I want people to feel transported when they’re entering into that space, and I don’t want anything they encounter to ever break that spell,” Hall said.
See the full article here.
An article from Fangoria.com explores why horror-themed escape rooms work so well. According to the article, “Confined & Afraid: Why Horror Escape Rooms Work,” by Lexi Harrington, “horror themed escape rooms take pride in putting you into nightmares, forcing you to escape unsettling, frightening situations.”
I have never experienced any frightening escape rooms, on any level really. Most of us have experienced some version of a horror escape room. Some that come to mind include Japanese Thriller in San Diego, Saw in Budapest, and Kidnapped! in Portland. However, often these horror-themed escape rooms are rather light on the horror. Some escape rooms even emphasize that their rooms are not frightening, and have “no jump scares!” Perhaps this is an effort to appeal to a wider audience, including families with children. However, I’d like to try a harder horror-themed room. Any recommendations?
Psychotic Janitor? Yes. Psychotic Janitor. Well, it certainly is a unique theme. The room was okay, but there were way too many people for this room. A few cool puzzles, but I’d recommend checking out some others before you try to escape the psychotic janitor.
“In our first game you are trapped in a mysterious basement were an old psychotic and bitter janitor used to work. Can you escape the room before time is up? Success requires teamwork, creativity and puzzle solving.”
A bunch of locks, multiple rooms, random tools, maps and a ‘love room in a weird have high space’. Still with me? A few cool puzzles but only about 3 out of all of them. 7 of us escaped in 48 minutes with 1 hint. 5 of the people were first-timers. 7 people were too many for this room. I’d recommend 2-4. One of the people in our group said she didn’t do anything the whole time. For first-time escape roomers, standing around doing nothing is not a good introduction to the activity.
Nørre Farimagsgade 7, kld., 1364 København, Denmark
(A short walk from Nørreport Station)
180 DKK (~$27) per person Sunday to Thursday, 250 DKK (~$37) Fridays, and 310 DKK (~$46) per person on Saturdays.
Perhaps now is the time to rant about mediocre escape rooms. Maybe it is because we have had the benefit of doing so many interesting, diverse, and exciting escape rooms that we are becoming jaded with these half-ass rooms.
As escape rooms get better and more high tech, it is nice to see at least a little bit of technology incorporated into the room. Or even if there is no tech, the room should at least be well-designed, or well decorated. Good eye candy can do a lot for a room with an interesting theme. This room could benefit from an overhaul.
As I’ve noted before, having an escape room teamed up with a bar makes for a fun, post-escape experience. You and your teammates can gather around, have a drink, and discuss how awesome you all are. There are a number of these escape rooms in Europe, including Exit Point in Budapest, and Wrong Room’s Party at Jamaika in Vilnius. Of the escape room’s in the U.S., the only bar/escape room I’ve tried is Pour Sports’ Escape the Speakeasy in Portland, Oregon.
Now, Minnesota will see a brewery and escape room share the same space at a location in downtown Duluth. According to a news article from WDIO, the old tenant was the head shop, Last Place on Earth. The new tenants will include Blacklist Brewery , with a first-floor taproom, and upstairs will be an escape room operated by SolveEnt.
SolveEnt’s co-owner, Matthew Wagner called it the first of its kind in Duluth. The mayor also appears to be excited by the prospect. “It’s a great pairing,” said Mayor Emily Larson, “not just with Blacklist, but for this district, which is the entertainment district now.”
Not only is an escape room a fun way for people to decompress after their escape, it is also a great way to get a number of people introduced to escape rooms. I hope more escape rooms can team up with other companies, to combine forces and create a more unique escape room experience.
Have you escaped only to end up in a bar? How was it?
Alcatrapped. Not alcotrapped, that would be a different experience altogether. With Alcatrapped, Norwegian Airlines is getting in on this escape room thing. They’ve opened an escape room in London to announce their new route from Gatwick to Oakland, California, starting at £179 one way. It appears to be a limited run event, from June 24th to June 26th.
The escape room experience only lasted 15 minutes, in an attempt to escape an Alcatraz-themed room. Random escapers even got a free flight! (Although they probably ended up a few hundred pounds in the hole after paying for a cup of water, carrying on a backpack, the right to print a ticket, and for use of the airplane bathroom).
According to Nicole Richards, Marketing Manager, Norwegian UK, “Escapism is a key motivator for people to travel.”