Countdown Live Los Angeles: Tiki Palace



Difficulty: Medium
Date Played: 2/21/2016
Escaped: Yes
Cost: $30 Per Person
Parking: Free Lot In Back
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Puzzle Logic




Total Score



Really fun atmosphere and very logical puzzles.


It's easy to get a little lost and not be sure what to do next.

Bottom Line

An island getaway gone wrong. Race against the clock to appease the volcano goddess before she blows!

Posted February 26, 2016 by

Full Article
It’s worth noting that I’ve actually done rooms at this location before back when it was known as CAPTVT. I liked the rooms I did back then, and the Spaceship room I’ve previously played is still there. New owners have come in and this place is now known as Countdown Live.
With the rebranding I was really excited to try out one of the new rooms they’ve installed and after much painstaking deliberation between playing the Krampus Room or the Tiki Palace we all decided that we needed a vacation. It was time to embark on a tropical adventure:
Welcome to the island’s newest resort. Your weekend of fun and relaxation will have to be put on hold. You will have to frantically find a way to appease the goddess of volcanoes so that she might let you flee the resort before she covers the island in burning hot lava. Do you have what it takes to overcome her test of fire?
Even before we walked into the room the scene was set for us. The hilarious and adorable staff member (whose name I forgot, sorry I’m awful with names) had donned a Hawaiian shirt and a tour guide attitude as she gave us the rundown of how our vacation was going to work. She got us pumped up and ready for some fun and what she assured us would be topnotch relaxation. I don’t harbor any ill will for the misinformation. I mean how was she to know that the goddess of volcanoes was going to throw a hissy fit?
We walked into a nighttime scene at a classic island Tiki bar complete with rock façade along one wall and more island bric-a-brac than you could shake a stick at. After a brief “welcome to the islands, oh crap something is actually wrong” video we got to work.
The puzzles in this room are not inherently obvious on first glance. They’re far more woven into the scenery then I’ve seen in others. Apart from a really obvious treasure chest and a giant wall maze installation it’s going to take some keen observation to figure out where to get started. There’s also some cool tech weaved into this island adventure scene so be prepared for fun surprises as you go.
The logic on all of the puzzles was really sound. There were definitely things that took awhile to reason out but once you got to the answer it all made sense. Also while there was a ton of stuff in the room none of it was really too distracting and I didn’t feel mislead by any red herrings really. I do know they have plans to weave more puzzles into the experience and I think that could really make this room shine.
We escaped with precisely 11 minutes and 11 seconds to go, which wasn’t quite fast enough to get on the leader board in the lobby. However there is an extra puzzle in the room that if you solve you get a key you can take out of the room with you. This key lets you unlock a locker in the lobby where you win a mystery prize for every member of your team. We got our choice between a wooden Jenga set and a Labyrinth marble game. This was a really cool little bonus I haven’t seen any other rooms do and it was exciting to get to bring home a souvenir. Pro-Tip: If you solve the bonus puzzle but DON’T escape the room, it doesn’t count. So manage your time wisely!
It’s hard to pinpoint one exact thing that has brought this place to the next level. It could be the new rooms that blend tech and atmosphere together expertly. It could be the lobby re-do and new signage. Or maybe it’s the incredibly friendly and enthusiastic staff? Or possibly the energy and efforts they’re putting into promoting an actual escape room culture by forming meetup groups. It’s really not any one thing. It’s all of these things.
Countdown Live should definitely make your list for escape rooms to visit and it’s one to watch in the future. I have a feeling they’ve got big plans to keep growing not only their rooms but to grow the escape room community on a whole. I’m excited to see what’s next.
Book a room and learn more about Countdown Live in Los Angeles at their website:
Puzzle Types: WARNING POTENTIAL SPOILERS highlight the text in the black box below to view.
Lock and Key, Combination Locks, Hidden Objects, Pattern Recognition