Your heart pounds and your palms sweat. You check the clock. Time is running out. By now, you’re wondering, “Can we solve the clues, open the locks and complete our mission on time?!” You’re “trapped” in an escape room…and having the time of your life!
If you haven’t heard of escape rooms, Wikipedia provides a pretty good definition: “…a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand.” Believed to have originated in Japan, escape rooms started popping up in North America, Europe and East Asia in the 2010s. Since then, the popularity of this entertainment phenomenon has soared. According to roomescapeartist.com, in the US alone, between 2014 and 2017, the number of escape room companies grew from 22 to a staggering 1800, with many of these hosting multiple locations and multiple rooms per site.
Not surprising, the success of the escape room industry has opened the door to other escape-type experiences. So now, anyone can create an escape challenge in their home, office, school and so on.
Here are just a few of the many alternative escape rooms you might want to consider for your next family get-together, group meetup or office event.
- Lock Paper Scissors offers printable escape room kits designed for various age groups. For example, “The Lost Mummy,” which transfers the participants back in time to ancient Egypt, is geared for 10-12 year olds.
- Players who enjoy a more traditional online gaming experience should check out AGame.com. For instance, in “Family House Escape,” players move digitally from room to room in hopes of collecting clues to escape the hidden danger within this seemingly normal house.
- “Escape Room in a Box: The Werewolf Experiment” bills itself as a game with “19 puzzles, three locks and an hour to save your life!” Unique to this game is the option to integrate Amazon’s Alexa. Along with keeping time, Alexa can give hints, play suspenseful music and more.
- Die-hard escape room fans might want to consider a monthly subscription. One example is Dispatch, which sends a package of clues each month that when combined help you solve a mystery!
- Another subscription service, Escape the Crate delivers time traveling adventures every other month, such as, “Escape: The Heist of Bonnie and Clyde” and “Escape: The Trials of Houdini.”
DBRL has also started hosting escape rooms. Check out these free upcoming programs.
Escape Room: Break Out of Narnia
Wednesday, April 18 › 3-4 p.m. · 5-6 p.m.
Southern Boone County Public Library
Lucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan traveled through the wardrobe to Narnia and together defeated the White Witch. However, before she met her demise, the witch hid a bit of treasure. Now it’s up to you to help find it and then escape from Narnia. Ages 8-12. Please register at (573) 657-7378.
Escape Room: Break Out BB-8
Friday, May 4 › 3-4 p.m. · 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Oh, no! While BB-8 was on a secret mission for the Resistance, the First Order found and abducted him. Luckily, he was able to send a distress signal the moment he was captured. You must crack the codes to locate our beloved droid, and help him break out before it’s too late! Ages 12 and older. Registration begins Tuesday, April 17. Please call (573) 443-3161.
Escape Room: Attack of the Locks
Monday, May 7 › 4:30-5:30 p.m. · 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Columbia Public Library, Studio
Maybe you thought clones were bad, but, trust us, locks are worse! To help R5-D4 save the galaxy as we know it and defeat the Dark Side, you must solve a series of intricate and interconnected puzzles. Ages 8-12. Registration begins Tuesday, April 24. Please call (573) 443-3161.