This is a quick list of the best escape rooms in Jacksonville and surrounding cities. As a bonus, I will list the specific games at each facility that I liked in ascending order from favorite to least favorite. I hope this list helps you out if you’re visiting Jacksonville!:
Prototype Escape Games is located on Saint Johns Bluff Rd S, and Beach Blvd in Jacksonville, FL. It is nestled in the corner of a shopping center next to Si Senor and Johnny Angels Diner. The owner, Joseph W. Brazfield, builds all of his own games and writes the storylines. Everything from game design, framing, woodwork, circuitry, and coding is all done by Joseph and his team.
Whenever you have an escape room with unique themes, you know that the owner built them himself. Any entrepreneur can go out and purchase jailbreak, western, pandemic (I think we’re all sick of that one), or Eqypt room, but if you are going to build a dog room, you have to build it yourself. Nobody makes props for a dog-themed room.
Prototype is a solid choice for escape rooms in Jacksonville. You will see puzzles that you’ve never seen before, and you’ll get the attention that only a small business can give to their clientele. As an added bonus, all of their games are private, so you never have to worry about playing with strangers.
Here are my favorite games at Prototype Escape Games in order from most to least favorite:
Dog Days– Dog Days is a four-person minimum escape room where you play as a pack of orphaned puppies. This game has a 5-act narrative with a fun twist at the end. Some children may find this game too scary.
Blackout – Blackout is a PG-13 game due to references to alcohol and covert sexual content. The sexual content would likely just go over young kids’ heads, so it’s up to the parents to decide if they want to bring their children with them to this game.
Locker Room – The locker room is a football-themed escape room. This room is full of puzzles that novice players may find too difficult. If you are new to escape rooms or have a small group of people, I wouldn’t recommend this game. However, suppose you are escape room enthusiasts. In that case, you may like this game above all the other rooms at Prototype Escape Games.
The Escape Game is a giant escape room corporation. Their flagship store is located in Tennessee, and they have escape room facilities from California to Florida. Their success is warranted, as they have some of the best games you’re ever going to play. The Escape Game has worked out all the bugs in this business and knows what it takes to build a great room.
Nestled in the Town Center next to Panera Bread lies this Jacksonville location. The admission prices are reasonable, but their games are public (with the option of private at an extra cost), so you may be playing with strangers.
Here are my favorite games at The Escape Game in order from most to least favorite:
Playground– Playground is a big game and is honestly one of the best rooms I’ve ever played. I would recommend large groups with this game.
The Heist– The Heist is a museum-themed escape game. You and your team will be placed in a well-decorated art museum.
Gold Rush– Gold Rush is high up on this list for reasons I can’t omit in this post. You should know that if you play Gold Rush, you will do some really extraordinary things that don’t exist in other escape rooms.
Special Ops: Mysterious Market– This game is well-decorated and has some interesting puzzles. I actually think I would have liked it more if the games were private.
Prison Break – This was my least favorite game at this facility. It was just a little unintuitive, and I didn’t feel it flowed as well as the other games at this facility.
Across the Buckman Bridge and across the way is Locked In. Locked in is a small family business owned by John and Marcia Nicholls. The duo builds all of their own games, and the craftsmanship is top-notch. Locked In is one of those escape rooms that takes your breath away the moment you walk inside. Everything from their waiting room to their bathroom is decorated from floor to ceiling, and it has a way of getting you hyped to play a room.
John and Marcia are two of the best people you’ll ever meet. Their personalities are perfect for this industry, and they will do everything possible to ensure your visit is perfect.
Here are my favorite games at Locked In in order from most to least favorite:
Flight 220 – This game is expertly designed. It is set on an aircraft, and the room couldn’t have been done any better. This was a home run game, in my opinion.
Pharaoh’s Revenge– (temporarily a Christmas room at the time of this writing) – The Egyptian-themed room at Locked in was entertaining and had a great soundtrack.
Swallowed – This game really puts the punctuation on the designs of John and Marcia. It’s set in the belly of a whale (enough said). This game was so cool looking; I really enjoyed it.
Amelia Island Escape Rooms is owned and operated by Cari, an enthusiastic trivia-loving individual with a knack for creativity. Her rooms are all DIY and some of the best I’ve played.
Amelia Island Escape Rooms is the only escape room in Fernandina at the time of this writing. Being a major tourist destination, her facility is always packed. The fun that can be had here can’t be understated. If you’re visiting Amelia Island, stop by Amelia Island Escape Rooms and let them know we sent you!
Here is my favorite games at Amelia Island Escape Rooms in order from most to least favorite:
Dread – This game is played entirely in the dark. You cannot see your hand in front of your face for 60-minutes. I enjoyed this game because it was really unlike any other game I’ve ever done.
Unlock The 80’s– Does this game need an introduction? Bring your ankle warmers to this one!
Escape U is run by a trio of owners, Brandon, Mitch, & Grif. They have built all of their own games, and they never cut corners. This facility used to have a popular game called “The Asylum” that was recently changed to “The Old Jail.” Every game at Escape U is centered around St. Augustine, FL, with hallmarks such as the Old Jail, Castillo de Matanzas, and the famous lighthouse even appearing in Save The Fleet.
From the moment you walk into Escape U, you’re surrounded by St. Augustine landmarks. The waiting area features a massive lighthouse and a large chalkboard full of long-standing record times for the games. Escape U is a must-visit for any escape room enthusiasts visiting the area.
The Old Jail– This room is the old “Asylum.” If you enjoy theatrics when you play escape rooms, as I do, then this is the hands-down choice. You must play the Old Jail.
Save The Fleet– I played this game during Halloween, so I didn’t get the original version of it. The Halloween version had some scare actors and was dressed up to look creepy for the holiday. It was an enjoyable room.
Castillo De Matanzas– This was the last game I tried at this location. The set design was excellent, as is expected from these folks. The gameplay went from linear to non-linear and was really fun. More people will always work out better in non-linear rooms, so I would suggest this room for groups of 4-6.
This concludes my list of recommendations for Jacksonville, Florida. I’m always trying out new games, and whenever I come across a new one that is really memorable, I’ll be sure to make another post. Until then, enjoy your time in Duval, and we hope to see you at Prototype Escape Games.