What makes the best escape room? There are two factors.
1. Game Play. This refers to the flow, timing, and intangible attributes of the game. This includes the plot and backstory as well as how the various physical elements (clues, ciphers, etc) fit together as part of the game as a whole. When an escape room has good game play you will feel involved, excited, connected and the hour will fly by. If the room has bad game play, you will feel overly-frustrated, confused, idle, and you start to lose the feeling of immersion.
2. Atmosphere/Aesthetics. This other half of the experience refers to how real does this all look and feel. Even escape rooms with basic themes can have good aesthetics. There are office-themed games that have real cubicles, working computers, phones etc. Then there are office-themed escape games that put you in a near-empty room with a couple of Ikea desks. Good aesthetics will look authentic, curated, match the theme, and will add a a new level to the participants experience that the game play cannot. Bad aesthetics are sterile, dull, sparse and make the whole design seem cheaply slapped together.
The escape room industry is still new. New escape rooms pop up all the time with what seems like low barriers to entry. While, yes, an individual can raid a thrift store and make an escape game in some office space over a weekend with a permanent marker and duct tape, the best escape rooms take months to design. Unfortunately, for many people who have tried just one or two escape games, they may have never experienced an escape room that has both good game play and good aesthetics.
As the industry grows, so will the standards and the baseline is for quality. What do you think makes the best escape room? If you're ready to experience the best escape room in San Diego, book now!