Local Lowdown: Welcome to The House of Clues

Scene from the “Pirate Ghost Ship” at Santa Barbara's House of Clues escape room, courtesy photo.

Scene from the “Pirate Ghost Ship” at Santa Barbara’s House of Clues escape room, courtesy photo.

Escape room games are super-popular, and Santa Barbara finally has its own one-of-a-kind venue: The House of Clues.

Co-owners Assel Abdrakhmanova and Oscar Zevalos (the third partner is Whitman Heining) were designing props and sets for themed events and escape rooms for outside clients when they decided to create their own custom one-of-a-kind attraction. “We knew we could do a better job and make it even better and more challenging,” says Zevalos.

Their goal is eventually to franchise their concepts—Santa Barbara is the first location—and I think they’ve got a winner. Not only was our “Pirate Ghost Ship” game well designed and challenging, it truly was exciting and fun for our all-ages group. Escape rooms combine mental puzzles with physical challenges, and a beat-the-clock element keeps things moving along quickly. With 45 minutes to escape from a given room (which is actually a series of rooms), you are under constant video and audio surveillance and can communicate with the game master at any time, as well as receive clues when needed. Every move counts, and nothing is as it seems.

In addition to the “Pirate Ghost Ship,” The House of Clues also has “Psycho Dentist” and “Alien Spacecraft Invasion” themes on the menu.

For more information, visit TheHouseofClues.net, 629 N. Salsipuedes St., 805/229-9179

Leslie Dinaberg

This story was originally published in the Winter 2017-18 issue of Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine.