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Play Detective for a Day at the 7 Best Escape Rooms in Phoenix

Escape room accoutrements
Escape room accoutrements | © Clockedindk / Pixabay
Photo of Nick Spake
13 January 2020
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Across Arizona, escape rooms are combining intricate puzzles, video games, and life-like mazes to push the boundaries of imagination.

You and your teammates are trapped in a room that feels like another realm. There are 60 minutes on the clock, and the race is on to escape back to reality. Thus begins a puzzling journey to unravel a mystery that’ll have you feeling like a master detective one minute and completely clueless the next. This is a typical experience at one of Phoenix’s many escape rooms—the most recent trend in weekend, evening, or midday activities that appeal to all ages. Here are the seven best escape room experiences in the greater Phoenix area where you can get your detective on.

Escape The Room AZ

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Escape The Room AZ puts a strong emphasis on not only challenging the players but also delivering a thrilling experience. Each unique room allows the player to take on another persona, be it a secret agent, a daring digger, a western bank robber, or a sailor 20,000 leagues under the sea. “Jurassic Escape,” in particular, is like stepping into a certain Steven Spielberg blockbuster, as your team flees from Scottsdale with cloned dinosaurs running amuck. If only for 60 minutes, you can live out an adventure fit for the silver screen.
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  • Escape Room 101

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    Escape Room 101 features three equally engaging courses with varying levels of difficulty. The saloon-themed “Cowboy Mobster” has the highest success rate, making it an ideal room for newbies. After conquering the Wild West, you can take things to the next level with the “Hangover” room, which borrows from the 2009 hit comedy as your best friend’s engagement ring is misplaced. “The Baker Street” is by far the most challenging room, encouraging players to channel their inner Sherlock Holmes to locate a painter’s lost will. Each room consists of two to eight players with a 60-minute time limit.

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    Eludesions Escape Rooms

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    Eludesions is an escape room experience as clever as its own name. While primarily aimed at ages 14 and up, it’ll appeal to anyone who’s eternally youthful at heart. The most challenging rooms include the “Wicked Witch’s Castle,” which is directly based on The Wizard of Oz, and “Mad Hatter’s Tea Party,” which naturally takes you down the rabbit hole. On the milder side are the Area 51-inspired “Case File X” and the fantasy-oriented “Runestone” experiences. Every room encompasses a sense of childlike enchantment with creative puzzles and even more creative designs, letting players feel as if they are on a movie set.

    Mindspark Escape Games Tempe

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    Mindspark is one of Arizona’s most intense escape game venues, complete with two rooms intended for large groups. “Spellbound” is the most spine-tingling challenge, taking place at a cabin in the woods where a vampire king will soon rise again. If horror isn’t up your alley, the “Terminal” room is thrilling in a different way, centering on a train crash, a hidden subway station, and a shocking conspiracy. Those flying solo can try out a virtual reality escape room for 10 minutes. Outside of escape rooms, Mindspark also offers an axe-throwing class that’s every bit as wild as it sounds.

    Puzzle Effect Phoenix

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    With a diverse set of inventive rooms to choose from, Puzzle Effect Phoenix makes players feel as if they’re part of a story. Whether escaping from a treacherous pirate ship, finding an heirloom your grandfather left behind or raiding an abandoned warehouse to rescue a young girl, each room plays out like a page-turning novel. As a matter of fact, one of the rooms actually takes place in a mystical bookshop where a fantastic beast has been caged up. You can immediately tell that these rooms were all crafted by gifted storytellers, engrossing players in more ways than one.

    These recommendations were updated on January 13, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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