3 Years of Fun

I can’t believe Cross Roads has been open for 3 years already. We love brining our crazy ideas to life and it is so exciting to see you play and enjoy them. We often get asked about what brought us to this point or what inspires us, so I figure this is as good of a time as any to reflect on the last few years and share them with you.

How we got into this business

My husband, Luke, and I both have degrees in theatre. After college we became a tag team duo working in theatre, film, and haunts. We went to our first escape room in October 2014 and fell in love with this new form of entertainment and truly felt like it was just touching the surface of what it could be.

We began working on our own business model in January 2015. We looked at hundreds of locations, went through the rigorous city permitting and building departments, quite our full-time jobs, and finally, one year later, we opened in January 2016 with The Hex Room.

Before we opened, we played every escape room in Southern California, which was only 30 games at the time. We did our research and we saw what was missing from these experiences. Our main goal with our first game was to increase the production value, add special effects such as lighting and sound, and most of all make everyone feel like the star of their own adventure.

Our games

The Hex Room was revolutionary for its time, and still continues to get recognition for its unique game design. The Hex Room adds a new challenge to the traditional escape room by dividing the players physically, but still requiring them to work as a team to escape. After a few months, we realized that The Hex Room might be a bit too advanced for our current market. We were creating a game for enthusiasts like ourselves, but our main audience was playing for their very first time.

We then opened The Fun House in April 2016, which was a beginner room. Something more traditional in game design, but still fun an innovative in the puzzles, decor, and special effects. In March 2017 we opened The Fun House KIDS, which was an alternate version of the Fun House that allowed kids ages 8-13 to participate more inside the game. We saw a need for more family friendly games, so we wanted to have that option available for our guests with younger players.

The Asylum, our 10-minute mini game opened in June 2017 and premiered at Midsummer Scream, a local Halloween convention. This is where we tried to change things up once more. In the Asylum you were strapped in a straight jacket to your other teammate. Your goal was to escape your straight jacket and the room in under 10 minutes.  It was a huge success and we knew that from here on out, we had to continue pushing the boundaries.

In December 2018 The Psych Ward finally opened. It took much longer than we thought it would mostly because we continued to have more ideas, and more creative technology was becoming available to us. We wanted to make a game that had the escape room elements that everyone loved, but we also wanted to show people that there are many different games that could be made with this type of immersive entertainment. The Psych Ward is not an average escape room. It is an interactive game of deduction, trust, and betrayal with escape room, board game, and immersive theatre elements.  We hope this game helps revolutionize the escape room industry.

What is next

Now in 2019, it has grown from 30 escape rooms to hundreds in Southern California alone. Luke and I have played over 200 games ourselves, and can’t keep up with how many new companies are opening. Unfortunately, with how many escape rooms that are out there, our issue is that the new ones continue to copy what has already been done. We haven’t seen any innovative ideas in a very long time. If you are interested in opening your own escape room, please think outside the box and create something that has never been done before!

We hope you enjoy what we have created. Everything we do is for you. We take chances and risks with our new ideas and we are so happy that they are appreciated and recognized. We have big ideas for the future with Cross Roads and working on projects with others. One thing you can count on is that we will never make an average escape room, everything you get from us is going to be something you have never seen before. Stay tuned for future updates coming this year. You will always find out what we are working on right here!

Madison Rhoades
CEO and Co-Owner
Cross Roads Escape Games