Black Market Escape Rooms’ MurderCo will scare the life out of you! (review)

Black Market Escape Room Murderco

After doing eighty or so escape rooms, we’ve come across a plethora of variety. There are themes and different difficulty levels for almost every player and every age. Yes, we’ve played some rooms that share the same theme and storyline, yet they differ in the way they’re played. But after doing so many, where do we go from here? Well in Upland, CA, one escape room takes us for a serious ride. Black Market Escape Rooms’ MurderCo is a new, fully immersive room that’s alluded to being the first R-rated escape room. Birthed from the mind of Jon Cooke, a designer of some of Knott’s Scary Farm’s biggest attractions, he has used his knowledge and talents in the art of scare to deliver quite possibly the best escape room we’ve ever played.

Black Market’s MurderCo is an hour-long immersive experience. The first 15 minutes of our game treated us to a little show. It was at this moment where we learn the story and the reasoning as to why we’re in this “escape room.” In this world, you become a wealthy degenerate who has paid a membership to a business called MurderCo. What you get for the membership are front row seats to the theatrical murder of an innocent person by a killer of your choice. There are 5 killers that you can choose from, all who have a special weapon for killing. After you watch this poor soul get killed in the most brutal way, you find out that MurderCo’s real business is harvesting organs for sale on the “black market,” and they’ve set their eyes on your selection of fine organs.

The set design and art direction have some serious quality to it. When we stepped into our first room, you can instantly see the level of detail that Jon and his crew took to bring us the feeling of being in a slaughterhouse. It was dark, dingy, and dirty to the point where we really didn’t want to touch anything. The only thing that was missing was the smell of decaying bodies.

The puzzles in the room gave us some challenges. Some were cleverly hidden amongst other things, while some required a little bit more thinking. What made the puzzles difficult to solve was the amount of stress and intensity that you’re put under. Not only do you have 45 minutes to escape, but at the same time, you’re always watching your back and thinking that something is about to pop out and grab you. (45 minutes is less than the typical hour for other escape rooms, but the 15-minute introduction is executed flawlessly for a deeper immersion.)

Where Black Market Escape Room really shines is the immersive factor. I’ve been to escape rooms with live actors that have some scares, but they don’t do it in the same capacity that Black Market does. The level of immersion outreaches and outperforms other rooms. It’s almost as if Black Market is Usain Bolt that’s casually sprinting towards the finish line while others are sprinting with everything they got. There were times during the room where fellow teammates didn’t want to do certain things or go to certain places because we were just so frightened at the unknown.

In the end, our team escaped with our heads held high and our adrenaline pumping. Black Market approached the escape room genre, then kidnapped it and pumped it full of drugs to give us a room that had scares, excitement, danger, and pure enjoyment in just the span of 60 minutes. For a while, when people asked me what my favorite escape room was, I would always tell them it was “Zoe” in Fullerton. But after this experience, I can confidently say that Black Market Escape Rooms’ MurderCo is my new favorite escape room. And by the look of it, they might be up there for a while.

Book your experience now at

Facebook Comments