Room Escape Artist

Room Escape Artist

Escape Room Creator & Player Resources

Select a membership level

Flashlight Holder!

per month
We don’t have enough hands to solve this alone.

Receive a handwritten, wax-sealed thank-you note and an invitation to an exclusive REA Patreon Supporters channel in the RECON Discord Server.
Includes Discord benefits
Most popular

Bringer of Blacklight!

per month
You’ve illuminated the entire room and now we can see the messages!

Read one piece a month before it publishes. We’ll choose a really intriguing one! And we'll welcome your edits. You'll also receive all the Flashlight Holder benefits. 

New for 2021: You'll get access to the bonus after-show episode for each episode of The Reality Escape Pod.
Includes Discord benefits

Search Win!

per month
We’d never have found this most important well-hidden item without you!

Read three pieces a month before they publish. We’ll choose three of the most interesting pieces! And we'll welcome your edits. You'll also receive all the Flashlight Holder benefits. 

New for 2021: You've invited to a monthly game club where The Reality Escape Pod co-hosts discuss the game of the month (spoilers included!)
Includes Discord benefits




per month

About Room Escape Artist

What is Room Escape Artist?

Room Escape Artist began in 2014 with our musings about escape rooms. Seven years and more than 2,000 blog posts later, it's grown into so much more than a daily publication.

Daily Publication
  • Reviews - We review real-life escape rooms as well as online and tabletop escape games. Our reviews commend ingenuity and provide constructive feedback. In 2021, we expanded our writers and added hivemind reviews where we share multiple perspectives within a single review.
  • Commentary - These thought pieces unpack and analyze issues in the escape room community
  • Interviews - We share the stories of the extraordinary players and creators we meet through interviews.
Beyond Writing
  • REPOD - On The Reality Escape Pod, hosts David Spira & Peih-Gee Law explore immersive gaming from all angles, alongside guests with incredible experience in this realm. After a successful first season in early 2021, we welcomed Neil Patrick Harris on Season 2 Episode 1.
  • Directory - We maintain a directory of escape room facilities in the United States.
  • Industry Reports - We release annual data-driven industry reports, based on trends from our directory and more detailed reports based on survey data of industry professionals and players.
  • Awards - Each year, our Golden Lock Award highlights some finest escape rooms in the world.
  • RECON - The Reality Escape Convention is our annual convention that brings escape room professionals and players together for 2 days of connection, learning, and sharing. RECON will be back digitally (accessible globally!) in August 2021 after a successful 2020 event.
  • Escape Immerse Explore - Since 2017, we’ve hosted escape room tours to escape room destination cities where you can play some of the most impressive escape rooms in the world with teammates who will truly appreciate these experiences.
  • Meetups - In our local New York City and whenever we travel, we bring the community together to share ideas, trade stories, and find teammates.
  • Speaking Engagements - We speak at conferences and other industry events about different facets of the escape room industry.
  • Journalists - We help journalists get the insights and connections they need to cover this industry. These publications include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and CBS Sunday Morning.

All of the content at is available for FREE. The Patreon doesn't change that.

However, the support we’ve received since we launched this Patreon in 2018 has led directly to the creation of RECON and REPOD, and to many specific pieces we’ve researched and written over the years, among other projects. We wouldn’t be where we are today with our community of Patreon backers and the incredible team of people who write for REA, produce the podcast, manage the directory, create the insane undertaking that is RECON, and advise us at every turn.

Please join our Patreon community and support us in providing resources to enable a sustainable escape room industry for many years to come.

Future Growth

  • Upgrade the website infrastructure so that you can more easily find the content you seek.
  • Launch a new directory with a mobile-friendly UI for you, less work on the backend for us, and new features for everyone.
  • Write more commentary pieces... the type that takes many hours of research, interviews, and data analysis.
  • Highlight games in the other parts of the United States. Our travels thus far have been primarily coastal, and occasionally international. We know that there are many more incredible games in other parts of this country just waiting to be discovered, written about, and shared. 
  • Develop new types of events – like the Escape Immerse Explore tours & RECON – that bring like-minded folks together.
  • Launch a whole bunch of super-secret projects that we aren’t sharing yet! 

You will support our mission to provide well-researched, rational, and reasonably humorous pieces that push the industry forward. You will support our efforts to build a community of players and creators that will sustain the escape room industry for the future.

We both work day jobs. All of the content you read is created on weekends and in the evenings… and late into the night. We are at capacity. We have more ideas than we can possibly create in off hours. With your support, we will give more time to Room Escape Artist.

Curious where the names for the support levels come from?

Our Not-So-Secret Origin Story

We met in a bar on a snowy evening, only a few days after David had visited Escape the Room NYC, the first escape room to open on the east coast of the US.

"David was describing this room filled with interactive puzzles and the excitement of solving them in the nick of time. I was intrigued."

"I asked for her number... and now we're married and writing this blog together." 

As we played escape rooms together in 2014, we encouraged our friends to join in. David wrote a blog post called Real Life Escape the Room 101 (on his personal blog) to give folks a sense of what to expect going in. That calmed fears of the unknown and created more functional team dynamics.

Then we brought some friends to a really terrible room. That happened in the early days because the Internet couldn’t tell us which games would be good. David decided to give the Internet some knowledge. He wrote a review warning people away from this escape room… and promising that it didn’t represent all escape rooms.

In August of 2014, we spent an afternoon with the Internet, searching for all escape rooms in the US. The first step to playing them was finding them. Lisa made a Google map and its companion Google sheet.

We launched Room Escape Artist with these few blog posts and a directory of 2 dozen escape rooms. We wanted to share our love of letting strangers lock us inside giant puzzles, and to push the makers of those giant puzzles to create the best experiences they can.

Since that snowy evening in a bar, David proposed (with a puzzle box!), we got married (with a wedding puzzle!), and we started a life together. David thinks up new ideas. Lisa keeps the ideas going. Together, we built a thing much bigger than each of us.

Words from the Community

“You put the fuzzy ideas I had about escape rooms into words much better than I could!” – Joanna 

“I read Room Escape Artist every day. I have no idea how you two do it, and I am personally in debt to you as an escape room owner. You're bringing up the escape room industry into a mature art form.” – Haley E. R. Cooper, Strange Bird Immersive, Houston, TX, USA

“Your blog has been an invaluable resource as I have designed and am now building my first Escape Room(s). You critiques encourage and frighten me. My decisions are influenced by this question: What would David & Lisa think? The answer compels me to reach a litter higher... Thanks.” – Jim, Paradox Squared, Woodstock, IL, USA

“Room Escape Artist is a gem in the vast desert of the escape room/puzzle scene. With their daily coverage and detailed reviews, David and Lisa Spira are doing something extraordinary.”
– Ben Rosner, New York, NY, USA

“Your description about 'The Question of Best' is why REA is so valuable to the rest of us. 'Best' is a flawed term for escape rooms, but without question, is not going away. There is no 'Best' ice cream flavor though there are definitely favorites. What makes an ice cream flavor good? That requires a more nuanced exploration, depends on personal preferences, and so much more. That is what REA gives us readers. Thank You!” – David Longley, Arizona, USA

"Room Escape Artist is the wittiest, most resourceful escape room guide out there. Lisa and David allow enthusiasts to live vicariously through their adventures, giving readers a sneak peek into a wide variety of rooms while somehow not spoiling any of the mystery behind what makes the room so fun to solve on your own. Best of all, in an industry where recommendations are hard to trust, Room Escape Artist gives you the tools you need to decide for yourself what room to experience next. – Kate Wastl, Buffalo, NY, USA

“I have nothing but genuine respect and admiration for Lisa and David. I am in constant awe of their endless passion and tireless dedication to the interactive/immersive game industry.” – Tommy Honton, Stash House, Los Angeles, CA, USA

"When I first thought of opening an escape room in July 2015, I did tons of research. At some point I came across your web-site and subscribed. As I looked through your posts I came across some words you wrote and pinned them to my wall. After what can only seem like an eternity, we will open our doors this month (February, 2016). Although I haven’t had time to read everything you have written, I wanted to say thank you. Every time I’m in my shop I read through the words and make sure I am following them." – Jason Richard, Steal and Escape, San Diego, CA, USA
$1,664.51 of $2,000 per month
When we reach $2,000 per month, we'll start sending giveaways. If we review a non-destructible puzzle game, we'll raffle it off to a Supporters at $5 or more. You don't have to do anything to enter!
4 of 4

Become a patron to

Unlock 123 exclusive posts
Be part of the community
Listen anywhere
Connect via private message

Recent posts by Room Escape Artist