Escape Chambers

Escape Chambers, Des Moines: Hours, Address, Escape Chambers Reviews: 4.5/5

Escape Chambers
Game & Entertainment Centers
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
5:00 PM - 11:00 PM
12:00 PM - 11:00 PM
12:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Escape Chambers DM is like nothing you have ever seen before. Located on the south side of downtown Des Moines, Escape Chambers DM is the real-life incarnation of movies like Saw, National Treasure, Sherlock Holmes, and The DaVinci Code. Puzzles, riddles, and coded messages are your only means of escape, as this is more a mental challenge than physical. EC Tactical Laser Tag C Tactical Lasertag offers a unique tactical combat experience like nothing else. We defy what one would normally think about when they hear the words "laser tag." We feature metal weapons, indoor multi-level buildings, and objective-based game play. We're far closer to a modern video game than traditional laser tag. We offer walk-in play, birthday parties, bachelor(ette) parties, corporate team building, and whatever type of event you can come up with! We have no bulky vests, no cheap feeling plastic guns, and no black lights.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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145 reviews
Very good

Amy B
Des Moines, IA4 contributions
Oct 2021 • Couples
We’ve never done this before so not sure what to expect - it was awesome! Went to dinner first as kitchen not open yet.
It was a pretty cool space inside with throwing “stalls” you could reserve in advance or walk in I’m guessing if not taken.
Lots of local brews on tap was nice.

They gave us some instructions then turned us loose. You can be as competitive or laid back as you want, up to you.

Wasn’t super crowded when we went which I liked. Scary how good my husband is!! Second throw of night was bullseye and we went crazy

Fun girls night idea for sure.
Escape rooms not open yet or kitchen, can’t review it.
Could use more lighting and signage outside when coming there at night. Street parking fills up

Will go again!
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Apr 2021
The last time I had been to Escape Chambers was when they still had the laser tag arena; converting it to axe throwing was an awesome idea! The axe throwing set up was ideal and the staff was very helpful and service-oriented. They have a poster with axe throwing games on it to keep it exciting and interesting for the whole time you're there. As an added bonus, their bar has the most extensive scotch/ whisky collection I've ever seen, and that's including establishments whose exclusive purpose is to sell scotch! (Literally like 6-7 pages w/ 50+ per page...) We had a phenomenal time and I couldn't more emphatically recommend!
Written April 25, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jerry S
4 contributions
Jun 2021 • Friends
What a great time!!! The manager was the absolute nicest, humble and entertaining guy I have ever met in an establishment. Being a business owner myself, I know how important customer service is! He made sure our experience was the best...and it was!! Highly recommend this place for social gatherings!!
Written June 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jamie E
1 contribution
Jun 2021 • Family
We did kiss of the dragon and it wasn’t very good. There wasn’t very many things to figure out and we were told not to press # to open the safe when in all actuality we did need to. Also one of the puzzles was missing a piece and made it difficult to figure out. We still finished it with 14 minutes left but it just wasn’t very good. We have been to many other escape rooms and have never run into this problem. Probably won’t come back here.
Written June 26, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dalton R
7 contributions
Jul 2021 • Friends
We did the movie party room. The experience could be really fun. I felt the room was pretty basic as far as set up and puzzles. The storyline was a little confusing, and there seemed to be some components that were broken, which became misleading. The manager was nice but he had to spread his time over the axe throwing and the escape room so we didn’t get the attention I would expect for the price. It’s a little too expensive for the room itself. When we escaped, no one was there to congratulate or take a picture so it felt so anticlimactic. Overall, I would say they could improve on the customer experience. Quite lack luster for a slow thursday. Wouldn’t recommend.
Written July 23, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jefferson, IA2 contributions
Feb 2017 • Friends
We did the scary room and knew the employees could touch us. They took it way to far. I reached out to them with no response received back. Very disappointed as our first visit was great. I believe this particular employee should not be working in this room. Told my family/friends about it and was excited to take them there. I was mortified when we left. Would not recommend to anyone.
Written September 10, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Altoona, IA21 contributions
Jul 2017 • Business
We hosted a small (12 person) corporate party, in their laser tag portion and had a great time! The corporate party was 2.5hrs of fun, for a small fee, and we were able to do it so it would be only us (as a private event). The employee was very patient and thorough with us, and made sure we all had a great time! This was definitely a workout, of both the mind and body! I highly recommend this place for future team building!!
Written July 4, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marc N
Des Moines, IA1 contribution
Jan 2017 • Business
Very fun experience. Soco did a great job keeping The Cellar exciting and keeping the thrills coming.
Written January 13, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Boulder, CO56 contributions
Nov 2016 • Family
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my brothers and I (all in our '40s) decided to take our wives and children to Escape Chambers. The normal Escape Chambers games were all booked out, so we reserved a slot in the laser tag arena. We reserved the 5:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. slot and were told to arrive at 5 p.m.

We arrived at 5 p.m., filled out some forms, and then waited in a small, nondescript lounge until 5:20 p.m. At that point, an employee ambled into the room in and announced that the laser tag games would be starting. Our group of 12 then mingled with a lot of other people doing the laser tag, and we followed them into a large room that seemed to be barely heated.

There were 36 people in the overall group, which I believe is the maximum size. There were two employees present (or referees as they are called by EC). One of the two employees started to tell us the rules of the game. He didn't make any effort to be efficient, and sort of sleep-walked through the rules, layout, etc.

We then proceeded to learn more about the various games, and we were outfitted with the equipment. Again, the two employees made zero efforts to speed things along.

By the time all 36 people were geared up, and the rules had been explained, it was probably about 5:50 p.m. The rules and equipping time period, which should have taken maybe 15 minutes, had taken 30.

We played three games over the next 40 minutes. The games were decent, but some of the equipment didn't work well. The two employees seemed eager to assert their authority, and definitely were big fish in a small pond. At one point, my 12-year-old nephew (who was playing the game for the first time) was on the lower level when he was supposed to be on the upper level. One of the two employees publicly chastised him for this mistake. When my brother later told the employee that to do so was inappropriate, the employee's response was "I was just trying to be sarcastic". To say his attitude needed work would be a vast understatement.

After we had been told about the rules for game #4, the two employees suddenly decided that they were behind schedule, and that our night was over. It was probably about 6:30 at this point, and our time frame went up to 6:45. We expressed some displeasure about only playing three games. The response was essentially that it was our fault, that if we had hurried we could have played as many as eight games. Of course, the two employees made no mention that they were late in the starting the night, had never tried to help speed things along, we had problems with equipment, etc.

I asked to speak with a manager, but was told that no manager was on site. Looking around, it seemed to me that no one over the age of 20 worked there. I was given a phone number so that I could telephone the company's "call center".

I called their call center the following Monday, and was told to call a manager in Houston. I did so. I explained what had happened to us, and to her credit, she listened to my story and apologized. She said that one of the two employees had given them a lot of trouble, and that there was no way that we should have only played three games.

She offered to give our group a free credit to come back to Escape Chambers. However, all of our families live outside of Iowa, and we probably won't all be back for at least a year. So, I asked if we could simply get a 50% refund, which seemed reasonable. She said that she would have one of the owners of the company call me by Thursday, and that he would decide if we would receive a partial credit. The cost of the night for our family was about $360, so this wasn't an insignificant amount of money.

Well, the owner never called me. He still hasn't. I called the manager in Houston back, and she said that the matter was being investigated by them, and that she no longer even had the authority to issue me a free game. I couldn't believe it. What had originally been offered by her had been taken away.

I had this conversation with her a week ago, and I have yet to hear anything back from the management at Escape Chambers. It seems that they simply want us to disappear.
Fortunately, we all live in an age when terrible customer service has consequences for the company involved. And while I'm used to fairly bad customer service by large companies, I would think that a mid-sized company like Escape Chambers would be committed to great customer service. Alas, this was not the case with me. Not only did my family waste our precious time together on three laser tag games, but the company's management has made no effort to right a wrong. I think the behavior exhibited by the management is immoral, unethical, and foolish. Small to mid-sized companies don't survive with such awful customer service, and I certainly won't lose any sleep if this group goes under.

To conclude, it's my belief that the management at Escape Chambers is happy to cram as many customers as possible within their laser tag area, and to staff it with as few people as possible. Does anyone honestly think that a ratio of 36 customers, all wearing high-tech gear, to 2 employees is a good one? Obviously the management at EC wants to have as big of a profit margin as possible.

If you wish to try out one of their games, please proceed with care. Hope that nothing goes wrong, because if it does, you'll most likely need to call someone in Houston.
Written December 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

1 contribution
Nov 2016 • Family
Disappointing experience from beginning to end. Certain participants did not arrive on time and therefore the rest of us (i.e. our group of 11) were shorted 10 minutes from the 90. In all, we had time for 3 games (I believe you should have time for at least twice that). We thought we had a fourth but were advised after game instructions were given and after we had taken our positions that we had run out of time. One of the employees also felt compelled to single out a 12 year old for jumping the gun in one of the games. Where it got really frusterating is when we called corporate to complain. We were simply trying to get some money back or a free pass. Our calls (at least mine) have been ignored.

This place has potential but I would advise against a large group. The instructions are long (there should be a video you can watch while waiting), the process for handing out the guns is laborius and time consuming, and the staff were less than impressive.
Written December 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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