San Diego Escape Room asks, ‘Are You Unlockable?’

It’s no secret that we enjoy escape rooms. In fact, we’ve gone through quite a few in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. We decided we needed a change of scenery, and so we headed down to San Diego to see how challenging their escape rooms were.

Unlockables Escape Room is based in San Diego and owned by Edwin Tactay (Who himself has tried over 140 escape rooms). Tactay personally invited us to try out one of their escape rooms, so we knew we were in for a treat. We tried out their room called The Escape, an escape room where the story surrounds our group attending a high-end, swanky party. The booze is flowing, the vibe is pumping, and the party is exhilarating. As our euphoria is reaching an all time high, our group suddenly gets kidnapped and, moments later, we find ourselves locked away in a room, tasked to escape.

The first thing I’ll mention is that Unlockables does a great job in introducing their escape room. Most escape rooms I’ve encountered in Los Angeles will usually have the game master explain the story of the room, which can be a little bit boring, but at Unlockables, they decided to forego a human being, and go with a fully produced introduction video. Some might not see that as a big thing but It’s that small that can go a long way for an escape room. It gives the player a higher sense of excitement before going in, which then in turns makes escaping even sweeter.

The Escape is also creatively designed. Hidden all over the room are these secret easter-eggs that pay homage to all the things we “nerds” enjoy ( I won’t say what or where they are, just in case you decide to try out the room). As you progress, you see that the design truly helps the story of the room unravel, and you begin to understand why you were captured in the first place. Having a room that is creatively designed gives your players a sense of immersion. It has the ability to take away the idea that you’re just simply playing a game for an hour, to now thinking that you were really captured and this is your only chance to escape.

The core of escape rooms will, of course, be the puzzles, and inside Unlockables, the puzzles were not as difficult as I had imagined. A majority of the puzzles we encountered were of medium difficulty, although there were some harder puzzles that really stumped our team. What I do like about The Escape is that it didn’t rely heavily on actually having to unlock different kind of locks, which is a pet peeve of mine. When it comes to most escape rooms, I can’t stand the fact that you spend most of your time unlocking a plethora of locks. You go from a pad-lock that requires a key, then over to a lock that has a combination. The Escape manages to balance out their puzzles with a nice blend of physical locks to puzzles that require a more interactive approach.

When I heard about the San Diego escape room scene, I knew we had a make a trip out of it, even if I wasn’t sure what to expect. Being from Los Angeles and doing escape rooms there, I am definitely spoiled by the countless amounts of high-production rooms. I will have to admit, however, that Unlockables did not disappoint. Their room reminded me of one of my favorite rooms in the Los Angeles area, which is Basement LA. For experiencing San Diego’s escape rooms for the very first time, I’m glad to say that Unlockables was first on the list.

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