Try this: Escape Rooms

Michael Griffin Tied Up During A Rope Challenge

By Escapeguy (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

You are just taking a lovely stroll in the park, playing Pokémon Go, trying to catch a Pikachu when all of a sudden you feel a sharp pain in the back of your head and then blackness. You wake up to find yourself in a dimly lit room; it looks like a surgery room with an old bed, broken monitors, rusty scalpels and a camera on a tripod. You start to explore the room wondering what is going on when you find a phone. It’s open on a messaging app; you scroll through it, maybe you’ll get a clue as to what’s going on.

Did you find someone?

Yeah I did.

Some idiot playing that Pocketmon thing on their phone.

They didn’t even see me coming.

Ha idiots.

Anyway we’re out of drips

We need to buy more.

Don’t want this one dying too quickly when the red room starts.

Plus we need a new saw. I’m gonna need you to help.

Seriously! Ugh! Fine.

How long will it take?

About an hour.

Make sure you give them enough anaesthetic.

I don’t want to come back to a screamer again.

Yeah yeah whatever.

I MEAN IT.

Alright already, calm down.

Red room? Aren’t those the things in the deep web where people get tortured and others watch? Looks like you’re in one of those. You need to get out of here and you better hurry, you only have an hour.

This is the type of weird scenario you get when you play an Escape Room (maybe not as dark as this but still close enough). So for those of you who don’t know or haven’t figured it out, Escape Rooms are real life adventure games where players are given a weird scenario, are locked in a room and have to figure how to get out, within a time limit, by solving a series of puzzles. Escape rooms usually need a minimum of two players and can have a maximum of eight (at least that’s the max limit for the Escape Rooms I have played).

So why am I talking about Escape Rooms? For three reasons:

  1. Because they are fun, and one of the best ways to help someone get rid of stress is go have fun, don’t even try to deny it.
  2. You really have to use all your brain power and then some to solve the puzzles. This means, more often than not, you have to put all of your focus into escaping the room. Which means you won’t be thinking about stuff which stresses you out. Can you see the logic in it? I think it makes sense.
  3. It’s a good excuse to get some friends together and hang out. When I played the escape room I had a lot of fun with friends. The scenario was that we were policemen chasing a thief who was also a master magician. We followed him into his apartment but then we get trapped and if we don’t get out within the time limit we would be trapped forever. We got out but the guy told us that the thief was hiding somewhere in the room the whole time, and if we had found him we would have gotten a prize. Oh well, maybe next time.

Now I should warn you, taking part in an escape room is a bit on the expensive side and you do need to reserve a spot ahead of time (they need the time to prepare) but if you ask me it’s well worth it.

Here’s a video of people playing a escape room just so you can get a better idea of what it’s like.

In case I have succeeded in making you curious enough to try out an escape room, let me give you some advice:

  • Look around. The escape rooms are littered with puzzles and clues so make sure you search everywhere, you never know what you might find.
  • You don’t always need a big group. A lot of the time your friends and you will need to move around the room to look for clues so you don’t want too many people around, otherwise you’ll just get in each other’s way.
  • Think laterally. A lot of the puzzles are not straightforward so you need to put yourself in puzzle mode.
  • Be ready for physical activity. Depending upon the room and the scenario there’ll be a lot of moving around, sometimes you might have to climb over things or crawl through small spaces, so be ready for that.
  • Work together. A lot of the puzzles will need more than one person so don’t think you can be a one man show where your friends just sit and watch you be cool. One time in one of the escape rooms I was in, I had to go back to where we came from and lift a panel and that allowed my friend in the other room to grab a key.
  • Make sure at least one of the people in your group is a genius/smarty pants. This isn’t strictly necessary but it should make solving the puzzles faster, and since time is of the essence this is very handy.
  • Make sure your friends actually want to do this. One time I made my parents try out an escape room with me but they weren’t really into it and they only came because I asked them to. Because of that we couldn’t solve the puzzles in time and we lost.
  • And finally, listen to the explanation at the beginning. Before you enter an escape room one of the employees will explain everything to you, the rules, the situation etc. LISTEN TO THEM. If you don’t you could miss something important and be stuck in the room FOREVER. Well no, you’ll just lose and they’ll let you out a side entrance, but you’ll feel bad for not winning, trust me.

Well that’s it for this post. I hope you liked it and are now considering trying an escape room. They usually set them up in malls so you go to a mall and ask if they have an escape room. I hope you have a good time and I hope you make it out in time, if not I’ll keep a look out for missing people in the newspapers.

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