Thursday, May 25, 2017

Now that you've heard of Live Escape Rooms, go do one.

It's still surprising to me that there are people who haven't heard of Live Escape Rooms. I know they are sweeping the planet, available in most cities.

So far we've done these...

Istanbul (I&M, with friends): MazeUp - Ottoman
London (all of us, 2 teams): HintHunt - Zen Room ^
Paris (I&M): HintHunt - JM's office
Amman (5 of us plus an extra, 2 teams): Escape the Room - Secret Storeroom
Amman (Ian, team building): Escape the Room - Detective Office
Berlin (I&M): House of Tales - Kowloon (adult) (May 2017)
Prague (all of us, 2 teams): Mind Maze - Alchemist's Chamber
Belfast (all of us): Escap3d - Heroin Den
Frankfurt (all of us): Escape Events - BioHazard
Frankfurt (all of us): Secret Escape - The Secret of the Dolls (added June 2017)
Dublin (all of us): Adventure Rooms Dublin - Classic Black Queen (added July 2017)
Dublin (all of us, 2 teams): Escape Dublin - EMCU Trials (added July 2017)
Copenhagen (I&M): TimeQuest - Prison Break (Oct 2017)
Copenhagen (I&M): TimeQuest - The White Room (Oct 2017) ^
Trier (I&M and boys): It's a Trap - Mechanic Shop (Nov 2017) *
Trier (I&M and boys): It's a Trap - Photography Lab (Nov 2017) *
London (all of us, 2 teams): ClueQuest - Plan 52 (Mar 2018)
London (I&M and girls): ClueQuest - Operation Blacksheep (Mar 2018)
London (I&M and girls): ClueQuest - Revenge of the Sheep (Mar 2018) ^
Budapest (I & N): E-Exit - 1984 (Aug 2018)
Copenhagen (I & N): Escape Room by Midgaard: Sherlock (Oct 2018)
Malmo (I & N): The Alley: The Control Room (Oct 2018)
Wraclow (I&M): Let Me Out: Wonderland (Nov 2018)
Wraclow (I&M): Exit19: Identity (Nov 2018)
Wraclow (I&M): Let Me Out: Hexit (Nov 2018) (In a deviation from the norm, we will comment on this room: we do NOT recommend Hexit.  Every room has its challenges, but this one is designed FOR PROGRAMMERS.  And perhaps people who take programming as a serious hobby who can manage binary, hexadecimal, python, a weird form of computer Sudoku, a data/program flowchart, a server room with all sorts of stuff we couldn't figure out....)
Geneva (the fam): Lost'n'Scape, teams split between Alcatraz and Van Gogh, one group escaped (Becca, Amanda, Nicholas and me) and the other didn't (Ian, Katherine, Jonathon) (Dec 2018)
Geneva (the fam): TripTrap - Brotherhood of Stone (identical rooms, 3 in one room (M, K, J) beat the 4 in the other (I, B, N, A)) (Dec 2018)
Copenhagen (I&M): ClockedIn:  Vlad D Hanson's Cocktail Party (March 2019) *
Malmo (I&M): The Alley Escape Room: The Last Hand (March 2019) ^^
Krakow (I, M, J and friends): Combinator ExitGame: Pirate Room (April 2019)
Krakow (I, M, J and friends): Combinator ExitGame: Krakow Beast (April 2019) ^
London (M, J): Escapeland: Right to the Throne (Sept 2019)
London (M, J): Escapeland: DaVinci's Exploration (Sept 2019)

U.S.:
DC (Ian, team building): Insomnia Escape Room - Alchemist
Orlando (all of us): The Escape Game - Prison Break (2016)
Orlando (all of us):  The Escape Game - Heist (2016)
Savannah, GA: Encryption - Shanghai Savannah (April 2019) - be aware, this place will group you with strangers unless you book a private room
Jacksonville, NC: Cracked It! - Defcon 1 Red Alert  (April 2019) - be aware, this place will group you with strangers unless you book a private room
Fairfax, VA (Ian and J for 4 rooms, I, M, J for Mansion Murder): all 5 rooms - Escapology (June 2019) ^
Virginia Beach, VA (I, M, J): Breakout Games - Island Escape (June 2019) *
Surf City/Topsail Beach, NC (the whole fam!): Topsail Escape Room - Movie Theater (June 2019) *
Herndon, VA (I, M, J):  Escape Room Herndon/RavenChase Adventures - 8-Bit Escape - this place will book you with strangers unless you have 50%+ in your group for the room, then you can request for them to block the rest of the room without charge (June 2019) ^
Atlanta, GA (R, N, J, M and a friend): Room Escape Atlanta - The Rescue (Sept 2019)
Atlanta, GA (R, N, J, M and a friend): Ultimate Escape Game Atlanta - Enigma (Sept 2019)

^ A Favorite
* Not Recommended

The general idea is the same for all escape rooms. You are "locked" in a room, given 60 minutes to unravel the clues and puzzles, and escape. Some rooms are decidedly easier than others, most rooms need 3-4 brains to get out in time. If you have a 2-person team it's easy to miss simple things, especially if the room(s) is particularly dark.  If there are more than 4 players you run the risk of tripping over each other as spaces also tend to be small, especially if you have multiple rooms to work through.

You'll also have an eye-in-the-sky in the form of an employee who tosses you clues if you're plain stuck. That help can come in different ways.

The best rooms are non-linear, meaning that everyone on your team has a puzzle to focus on and enough items in the room to investigate.  We enjoy rooms with hidden doors, use of tech, and clever puzzles. Our favorite was probably HintHunt in London, and least was Escap3d in Belfast (though Belfast still gets talked about, not necessarily for good reasons).

Obviously, all this is very general, for good reason. Never give away any information as it ruins it for others.  Really best to go in blind and just enjoy your time. We encourage you to give them a go, and let us know which ones you recommend.

Find one near you. Not all, but quite a few to get your started: Escape Room Directory

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