What the hell is an escape room anyway?
An escape room is more like a set of locked, themed rooms, one leading to the other. You and your friends are locked into the first room. Together, you have to figure out how to make your way through all the rooms and eventually escape, using hidden clues and codes. All within a time limit. Ok maybe that is all a bit weird. But it’s so much fun!
(By the way, if you’ve ever seen The Crystal Maze, that brilliant, strange British TV show from the 1990s, you’ll know what I’m talking about. That was one crazy show.)
Anyway, after some drunk decisionmaking (the best kind, right?) a bunch of us went to E-EXIT on West Broadway, which has four different themed escape rooms – Illusions (easiest), Transylvania, Circus and Butcher’s Shop (hardest).
We chose Transylvania, where our goal was to get the crystal and escape Dracula, in 45 minutes. We were told E-Exit has a one per cent success rate. Eek.
I’m not going to give too much away about the Transylvania rooms – that would be cheating! But here’s the general gist…
You’re locked in a room, fully furnished with creepy decorations, musty furniture and a big countdown clock on the wall. Everything looks suspicious. Transylvania is set in the pitch black darkness – and not everybody gets a lamp.
To escape each room you have to enter a number code on the door keypad so you can pass onto the next room.
Start by searching every nook and cranny. You might find a locked black box. This box will get you closer to escaping, but you’ll need to figure out how to unlock it first, by searching the rest of the room for clues.
Clues might be hiding on the spooky props filling the room, only to be revealed by clever gadgets hiding in plain sight. There’s no way of knowing what is a clue and what is just for show.
It’s not a simple process. There are multiple flaming hoops to jump through (metaphorically…although I can’t speak for the Circus themed rooms) before you get those crucial digits that will let you pass on to the next room and get one step closer to escape.
Search everything. Observe everything.
Good teamwork is crucial, but so is taking the time to think about what you’re doing. This is a game of intelligence. And unfortunate talking over each other. And failing to notice really obvious clues.
So how did we do?
Well, we made it to the final room…
…but ran out of time to escape Dracula.
We came so close though! I actually couldn’t sleep afterwards feeling tortured by the fact we didn’t make it. Must try harder next time. And there WILL be a next time.
Complete escapism – if only you can completely escape.
I want your feedback. Any thoughts, reaction, advice… Let me know in the comments below!