Friday, November 17, 2017

REVIEW: Escape Room L.A.'s The Pyramid

Photo by Benjamin Jet
It's been my experience that haunt fans usually love escape rooms. Whenever I meet someone new and they learn that I love haunts and Halloween, their next question is usually, "Do you like escape rooms too?" The truth is, I'd never been particularly intrigued by escape rooms. For some reason, I'd always imagined that I would find myself in a boring, sterile room where I would be forced to work out arcane logic puzzles - or, even worse, MATH PROBLEMS - until I either failed to escape or straight up died of boredom. It sounded like a worst case scenario corporate team-building exercise, and why would I put myself through that willingly? Yet when the invitation came to check out The Pyramid, the newest room at Escape Room L.A. downtown, I surprised myself by asking Mr. Spooky if he wanted to check it out with me. Maybe it was the fact that haunt season is officially over and I was hungry for a new immersive experience; maybe it's the fact that 2017 has felt borderline apocalyptic and has led me to take the leap into many new experiences (cutting bangs! my first tattoo! political activism!). In any case, I decided I was up to the challenge of finding the elusive Mask of the Jade Warrior.

Photo by Benjamin Jet
When we arrived, we were organized into a small group of a half-dozen people and ushered into the first room. As soon as we stepped inside, I knew that I had made a terrible mistake - not in accepting this invitation, but in avoiding escape rooms for so long. Spoiler alert: I LOVED IT. The theming, which evokes an ancient Mayan temple hidden deep in the jungle, was impeccable, giving me a chance to indulge all of the Indiana Jones fantasies I didn't even know I had. The puzzles were challenging but not impossible, and certainly not anything that involved sitting down with a piece of paper to work out equations (LOL, what was I thinking?). After we finished the first room, I was shocked - shocked! - and delighted when the wall slid aside, revealing a mysterious passageway. That's when I realized that this wasn't just an escape room, it was actually the first in a series of rooms. We weren't just solving puzzles, we were on an adventure.

From the official press release:

The epic adventure takes participants on a journey into an undiscovered Mayan pyramid, where players solve puzzles involving cryptic Aztec calendars, battling the elements, and fighting indigenous creatures—to name a few. The mysteries deepen as players advance to the ultimate challenges in the final tomb. 

Photo by Benjamin Jet

I enjoyed everything about this experience, from the atmosphere (which is certainly not horror-based, but frequently veers into creepiness) to getting to know my fellow teammates to the satisfaction of reaching a goal. Our journey involved a mysterious vial of blood-like liquid, a room full of skeletons, levers hidden in crawl spaces, secret scrolls, constellations, distant drumbeats, and more. Ultimately, we were able to successfully escape before our time was up - with two minutes to spare! (Okay, we had a little help along the way. STILL.)

Was this better than your average escape room? I'm inclined to say yes, but I also have absolutely no frame of reference. But I will say this: I went into The Pyramid an escape room skeptic, and I emerged as a devout believer. Whether you're brand new to the scene like I was or you're already a committed escape room devotee, I highly recommend a visit to this newest offering at Escape Room L.A.

THE PYRAMID begins November 24! Get $5 off tickets to this all-new escape game when you book by Nov. 30 and use promo code JADEMASK. 

Room capacity: 8 people 
Length: 60 minutes 
Difficulty: 8/10 

Escape Room L.A. is open Tuesday through Friday evenings (every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.), and weekend afternoons and evenings (every 30 minutes from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.). Tickets range from $32 to $37, depending on the date and time. For bookings and additional information, visit, or call 213.689.3229. No one under age 14 admitted. 

Disclosure: I was provided with complimentary passes to review this event.

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