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What is an Escape Room?

When you hear the phrase “escape room”, what comes to mind? Wait – is that one of those special rooms in your house you run to to avoid bad guys? (nope, that’s a Panic Room…) Isn’t that a room with a big tank of water where you hang out in the quiet and… float?  (nope, that’s a sensory deprivation tank – but after a few minutes I can see how I might want to escape…)  Ah, I know – it is some game featured on Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and even in a recent movie (or two)?  Ah, getting warmer!  The reality is escape rooms are fun, exciting, challenging and confidence-building!  Here we explain what an escape room is and why it is one of the most exciting hours you can have!

Who and What?

An escape room is a team-based challenge where players interact with physical elements and props to “solve” the room.  Solving may mean escaping from the room, determining the answer to a “whodunnit?”, or preventing a “bad ending” to a storyline.  Adding to the challenge is that your team is up against the clock – typically having 60 minutes to complete all the puzzles and beat the room.

Escape rooms often include physical, analytical, perspective, and language puzzles and challenges that are solved using observation, creativity, communication and strategy.  Players win the game by solving all the puzzles!  Logic, critical thinking, and teamwork are often the key to completing a puzzle. It could be as simple as noticing an element in the room that may contain a code for a lock, or something more difficult such as deciphering something to learn a secret instruction or a code. Some puzzles even involve deduction, mathematical, and analytical skills. Don’t let this intimidate you though – well designed rooms are a fun way to keep your brain stimulated!

Where and When?

Other aspects of an escape room include the theme, setting, and storyline. Most rooms revolve around a central theme, such as escaping from a bad guy, preventing a disease outbreak, or finding a missing artifact.  These themes can be set in familiar places. They can also be set in a historical or future time or in locations that can create immersion and excitement.  The setting might be a space station, art museum, or the planet Fungo. These fictional locations add to the excitement of playing a room, letting you travel to another world of adventure.

Storylines unfold as you play the game.  Some are tense, such as a surviving a zombie apocalypse or escaping a serial killer’s lair. Many are family-friendly, such as becoming a magical wizard or the intrigue of a modern-day spy mystery.  As you play through the room, you learn more and more about the story and its characters. In fact, you often become a character as the narrative unfolds.

Why?

While escape rooms are still fairly new to the entertainment business, they have gained a lot of popularity.  The reasons are simple. They are tremendous fun and provide an outstanding opportunity for groups to make a memory and build cohesion.  Now families, couples, and even work pals go play these games as an alternative to going to the movies or bowling. In virtually any city, you can find and play an escape room.

So what are you waiting for? Go find a great escape room near you and see first hand why everyone is talking about the world of escape games!