You’re invited to the next Escape Room Enthusiasts Meet Up!
Hey everyone! Madison here. I am the CEO and Creative Director at Cross Roads Escape Games. I really appreciate you taking the time to read our blog! Thank you for your support!
Ever since my husband and I opened Cross Roads in early 2016, we have been big advocates for creating a community between escape rooms, not competition. We love escape rooms and are enthusiasts ourselves. We have played over 200 escape rooms together. We come from a theatre background and we have seen what wonderful things can be created through collaboration and teamwork, and try to promote that as much as we can with our business.
I run the SoCal Escape Room Enthusiasts Meetup group, which is a growing community of Escape Artists often posing about needing additional teammates for their games. I try to make events on this page as much as I can, but I was not as involved last year as I became more and more consumed with creating and building The Psych Ward.
Now that The Psych Ward is up and running, I am trying to get the Meetup group active again. If you are interested in helping me run this group and creating events, please send me an email and can make you an event host!
Back to what I was saying about collaboration, I reached out to a very cool place, Two Bit Circus in downtown LA, which is a micro amusement park with VR entertainment, arcade games, and escape rooms. I also reached out to a bunch of escape room owners in SoCal and have asked them to come to the event, and bring discount codes and flyers to their games! I am hoping the community comes together like for our last ‘Discount and Drinks’ events and we have a big turn out.
Games: Play in an ever-changing landscape of immersive entertainment; including multi- person virtual reality, narrative-based escape/story rooms, and indie arcades at Two Bit Circus in Downtown Los Angeles!
Discounts: Mingle with other escape room enthusiasts and enjoy a table full of discounts to great escape rooms in Southern California!
Drinks: Enjoy $6 happy hour in the bar at Two Bit Circus!
More info: Admission is FREE. To play games and attractions, stop by the main desk and buy a playing card. This event is open to all ages and there is free parking outside the venue.
I hope you can make it!
Join our meetup group and RSVP here:
Games, Discounts, and Drinks at Two Bit Circus
Wednesday, Jul 10, 2019, 6:00 PM
Two Bit Circus 634 Mateo St Los Angeles, CA
15 Enthusiasts Attending
Join us for our biggest Meet Up yet! Play in an ever-changing landscape of immersive entertainment; including multi- person virtual reality, narrative-based escape/story rooms, indie arcades, and $6 happy hour at Two Bit Circus in Downtown Los Angeles! Mingle with other escape room enthusiasts and enjoy a table full of discounts to great escape roo…
Want to make your escape room photos EPIC? Most groups, when it comes to picture time, tend to stand in a line shoulder to shoulder. Make your pictures instantly better by creating layers and having some people couched in the front and others standing in the back. Or create some action and interesting composition by using some of these great poses below!
2 Person Group
Escape Rooms are great date night ideas! Spice up your picture with this lovely heart pose to show your Instagram followers how hip and in love you are. Or maybe try this Xtreme pose to show how in sync the two of you are.
3 Person Group
Out with the girls and decided to add a little excitement to the night with an escape room? The Charlie’s Angeles pose is perfect to show the world just how dangerous the 3 of you are together. Or maybe you and the guys went out for a night of laughs, what better pose then the classic 3 stooges!
4 Person Group
Got the core four squad together for a night out? Add some sass to your photo with these great 4 person poses.
5 Person Group
Escape with flying colors? Show the world that your team is a STAR with these great group poses! Or maybe you feel like you just saved the world? We have a few perfect super hero poses for that too!
6 Person Group
Is your team ready for some ’Morphin Time’? This iconic Power Ranger pose is perfect for your group of 6!
4 Or More…
Use your bodies to create giant numbers and pose as the amazing time you escaped with!
If you are an acrobat, you might find these number poisons helpful…. we found them mostly impossible.
Last, but not least, don’t forget the classic midair jump pose! Just make sure you communicate beforehand what the ‘go’ word is.
We hope this helps inspire some great after game photos! If you need help creating a great pose with your friends, please to ask one of our game masters because they would love to help. We will be collecting some of our favorite poses our players come up with, and we will share them all with you in a later blog post. Check back soon to see if your photo makes the list and make sure to share this post with your friends to inspire some great team photos!
CEO and Co- Owner
Cross Roads Escape Games
Created by game enthusiasts, for game enthusiasts. Owners Luke and Madison Rhoades come from a theatre and haunt background and found escape rooms to be the perfect backbone for their #1 rated company- Cross Roads Escape Games. Celebrating their 2nd year in business, here is the story of the creators and designers of Cross Roads and how it all came to be.
I graduated the University of Southern California with a B.A. in Fine Art and a Theatre minor. I designed and painted sets all around Los Angeles and was the lead scenic painter for The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor for 3 wonderful years. Luke, my husband, graduated Vanguard University of Southern California with a B.A. in Theatre. He was working as the Master Carpenter at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. I would often get set design jobs and hire Luke as my technical director and carpenter for almost all of my sets. We were a great tag team duo. I would design it, he would build it, and then I would paint it.
THE FIRST ESCAPE ROOM
On Oct. 31st 2014, we played our first escape room. We had no idea what we were getting into. I thought I bought tickets for a haunted house, so we were completely shocked when we found out that they were going to put us in a room with 8 other strangers and lock the door. Our group did absolutely terrible. It was chaos trying to get 10 people on the same page, but that was part of the fun. I remember the time being about half way up when I realized we have not opened a single key lock. I yelled at the group, “How have we not found a single key?!?!” The girl right next to me goes, “Oh! I found a few keys!” and starts to remove about 5-10 keys from her pocket that she decided to put there for safe keeping (and not use?).
Afterwards our game master comes in with a look of disappointment and tells us that we only made it about 60% of the way. It didn’t matter to us if we won or lost or how far we got, the experience was unlike anything we have ever done and we were hooked. The idea for The Hex Room came later that same night.
We decided to take a chance. We quit our jobs and used all the savings we have worked 10 years to save up for our future house. It was one of those scenarios where we would always live a life of ‘what if’ if we didn’t give it a shot. And what better time to try and fail then when you are young? So we did. We found a location in Anaheim, California, battled the city for permits, and put ourselves in a hole of loans and credit card dept (we found out quickly the savings we had was not enough). With the help of some amazing family and friends, Cross Roads Escape Games opened one year later.
Cross Roads… get it? Luke and Madison Rhoades… ok good.
We wanted to create something that felt so real, you forgot it was a game. Imagine being transported to a new world where you can go anywhere and touch anything you want? To desperately try to find clues to help unlock the secrets to your escape? All our games are designed by us and built from the ground up. Not only is the production value outstanding, even the game design is different. As huge horror fans, we would always watch movies and say something along the lines of, “If that was me, I would have never run up the stairs!” or, “If I was in that situation, I would have totally survived.” Now with this new immersive theatre at our fingertips, we decided to create just that: a real-life horror movie scenario where people can find out if they would actually live or die in a horror film.
CREATING THE HEX ROOM
We love games. Board games, card games, video games, and now escape games. Once we were hooked on escape games we played every one that was available to us. Playing escape rooms was a great learning experience. We saw what we liked, and what we didn’t like. Our biggest issue was that no matter where we went, no matter what the “mission” was, the game was the same. We knew we had to change that up with ours.
Unlike traditional escape rooms, The Hex Room takes immersion to the next step and makes players live out a real-life horror movie. Before your game begins, each player takes a quiz to determine which stereotypical horror movie victim they are. You can be cast as the Jock, Rebel, Prom Queen, Virgin, Nerd, or Detective. Once in costume, players are place in a room by themselves. It is their goal to overcome their individual challenges and still work together as a team, although physically divided. If they are successful, they can rejoin their friends and work on escaping. If not, they can be left behind to die.
CREATING THE FUN HOUSE
The Hex Room became a revolutionary game, but maybe a bit too advanced for its time. When we opened, Escape Rooms were still such a new concept, only a handful of people knew what they were, even fewer played one before. People loved The Hex Room, but we were aware that it was a bit overwhelming to a new player, so we also created The Fun House.
The Fun House is the necessary introductory that people needed to escape rooms. People were together for the experience instead of divided at the start. If someone felt uncomfortable doing something “scary”, then we had The Fun House to offer instead. Although the game play is more of a traditional escape room, we still had a lot of new ideas to offer. The game became self aware with lots of fun tricks and jokes along the way, not to mention the amazing Zoltar. Have you met him yet?
We are determined to always bring the next level of interactive entertainment and have many more ideas up our sleeves. We are very excited for our 3rd full-length game, The Psych Ward, coming this year. It has been a long time in the making, but will be well worth it. The experience really shows our theatrical background with a lot of board game influence. The Psych Ward is not an escape room, it’s the future of immersive entertainment.
CEO and Co-owner
Cross Roads Escape Games
UPDATE: All passport sales have been discontinued as of 7/1/18. All discount codes valid until 7/1/19.
In February 2017 Escape Room owners came together and created an interactive Escape Room Passport for enthusiasts! These passports were full of puzzles, discount codes, and contained a grand prize! Have you picked yours up yet?
Only 1,000 passports were printed making them extremely popular and rare, and sold out within a few months. But we have some good news, we now have them back in stock!
Each passport cost $10 and contains discount codes for 8 SoCal Escape Rooms!
Each escape room has their own page in the passport and on that page, is a puzzle. Players must solve the puzzle on each of the pages to receive the exclusive discount code for that company! There is well over $10 worth of discounts in the passport.
The SoCal Escape Room passport is like an interactive discount book. Once you play a game in the book you can have it stamped with specialty-designed logo of each of the games. If you successfully escape the game you get the stamp in green, if you are unable to make it out in time, you receive the stamp in red.
Once players get 10 green ‘escaped’ stamps in their passport, they win a free “Escape Room Master” t-shirt! There are 8 participating escape room companies in the passport but over 25 games to choose from!
These passports flew off the shelves for us and we sold out within a month. Luckily for you, we just got more in! Make sure to pick one up at any of the following participating locations:
Most SoCal Escape Room owners do not see one another as competition, in fact there is a great community of Escape Room staff that gets together about once a month and we talk about our favorite thing- Escape Rooms!
Brian Corbitt, from Countdown LA, has been very influential in the escape room community and was the first person to extend an olive branch to other escape room owners and got us working together. I’ve always been a big fan of teamwork (I mean, isn’t this what escape rooms are all about?), so I decided to contribute and take over the Escape Room Enthusiasts of SoCal Meetup group.
Have you joined Meetup.com yet? It’s a great site and app that allows you to connect and meet up with people who have similar interests as you. Since you are reading this blog, I assume that you might be interested in Escape Rooms, and I encourage you to join our group!
Every other month I host the very popular event, Discounts and Drinks, for the SoCal Escape Room community. This is something I created to try and gather enthusiasts to meet one another and to meet the owners and creators of some of their favorite games. At the events, we reserve a private room where you can mingle with people who have similar interests, get exclusive discounts to over 20 escape rooms, and meet new people that could become great teammates if you are ever trying to find more people to play with! I know a lot of people go specifically looking to find people to play The Hex Room with to make the 5-person minimum.
This event usually takes place in a reserved space in restaurant/ bar that is hosting a great Happy Hour for Escape Room Enthusiasts to enjoy. Escape Room Owners are contacted and encouraged to come and bring exclusive discounts to their games! I’ve seen these discounts can range from anything between $5 off to 50% off. It’s really a fun night of meeting people and hearing about what are everyone’s favorite and adding more to your ‘must do’ list. I try to bounce from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego to get as many people involved as I can, and try to turn everyone into an escape room enthusiast!
Whether you are an enthusiast, or first time player, you are invited to join us for any or all our events! Please RSVP on the Meetup page for the next one in Los Angeles on Sunday, August 20th! If you can’t make it, I hope you can join the group to be notified when more are scheduled near you!
I look forward to meeting you at the next one,
CEO, Co-Owner, Creative Director
Cross Roads Escape Games
I also wanted to share with you the Facebook group: Escape Room Artists (ERA SoCal), which has been a great source to hear from enthusiasts about their favorite games and to get recommendations. Also, if you are reading this and the Aug. 20th Meetup has passed, don’t worry, there are more! Make sure to check out our Meetup page to see when the next one is scheduled!