Community Voices
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Brain Games Escape Rooms (photo: Jennifer Marquez)

We ran up a hefty tab at the tiki bar while on vacation. Now my family has to find the clues and figure out how to earn coins to pay off our debt. 

For over an hour, we turned keys, pushed buttons, searched for clues, and listened as we received prompts from our helpful game master from a speaker. This all took place behind the library in San Pedro at Brain Games Escape Rooms. Who would have known there was buried treasure on 9th Street?

Brain Games Escape Rooms (photo: Jennifer Marquez)

Escape rooms are themed games that require participants to solve a series of puzzles within a certain amount of time. It is a race against the clock to escape the room as couples and groups work together. The door isn’t really locked, but you get the idea. 

Brain Games Escape Rooms opened in October 2021 in San Pedro with one room called The Laboratory. In this room, you find yourself in a strange laboratory belonging to a mad scientist, Dr. Crawl. My family had a great time figuring our way out before the bomb “exploded.” Of course, there is no real bomb, but part of the fun is transporting your group to an imaginary place in a room with props and sound effects.

“Escape rooms are built for fun. A lot of people are intimidated about trying their first escape room,” says Daniel Crowley, Brain Games Escape Rooms owner. “Some worry it will be scary, or they will feel dumb. We build our rooms to be a fun, exciting, family-friendly experience.”

The rooms at Brain Games Escape Rooms took over a year to build. Crowley enjoys pushing the limits of art and enjoys sharing it with the community. The newest room to open, Treasure Island, is much more elaborate than the original game, The Laboratory. It is an immersive experience with multiple surprises and much more than a tiki bar, which is front and center when you first enter the room. The game master can be accessed anytime for nudges or hints during the game. Often, the answers are in plain sight, and it is a good strategy not to overthink things. 

Brain Games, a highly-ranked escape room in the industry, is busy working on its next game, Twenty Ghosts, a mildly spooky game that will open in two months. Their ultimate goal is to offer six games at their current location, housed in a quirky, strange building on 9th Street perfect for escape rooms. According to Crowley, the building was initially designed in the 1970s by an architect to be his office. The 5,000-square-foot building has been used by a chiropractor, a lawyer, and a dentist before it became Brain Games. Each room is hexagon shaped, and the hallways zigzag. Brain Games embraces the funkiness of the building and uses it to enhance its games. 

With limited things to do at night in San Pedro besides dining and bars, Brain Games offers an alternative way to spend time for people of all ages, and they stay open until midnight. Groups range from escape room enthusiasts who travel from other countries and states to experience different escape rooms to people playing their first game on a fun night out with family and friends. 

With tropical music playing, my son took the ship’s steering wheel as we finished our game. There were pirates, hidden areas to explore, keys to be found, and even things to be dug up. We made it out, solving all the puzzles along the way, all on a Tuesday night in San Pedro. spt

Brain Games Escape Rooms is located at 757 W. 9th Street, San Pedro. For more information, visit, email, or call (747) 333-8886. Use code San Pedro Today for $15 off your group’s total price. 

photo of san pedro today author Jennifer Marquez

Jennifer Marquez

Jennifer Marquez can be reached at  and @jenntmqz on Twitter and Instagram.