I know you’ve been asking… here’s what to know about escape rooms

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Escape rooms can be a ton of fun while you are traveling- or for a night out! They are excellent group activities that are for almost any age group (I’d say 14+, but check to see if there is an age requirement at the place you are booking). If you haven’t heard about escape rooms, or you are still scratching your head, here is everything you need to know:

What are they?

Think of an escape room as a real-life video game. You are escorted into a room or set of rooms and given a scenario. You are also given a set amount of time to achieve a goal or mission that relates to the scenario. Sometimes that goal or mission is to escape, which is why they are known as “escape rooms”. Other times the goal or mission may be to find something (like a jewel or a cure). You will work in a team to do things like find clues, open locks, and solve puzzles. Escape games are excellent team building actives for friends, family, and even colleagues!

IMG_0220.JPGThey are fun group activities

You will work with your group to complete the mission. Depending on which escape game you are at, there is typically room for up to 10 people. So if you and 3 others come, you may be put with another group to work together with. Usually you have to have at least 2 people to play (there are some rooms that require 2+ people to be able to complete activities). Anyway, I’m not sure why you would want to do it by yourself. You can book your own room for your group (for a fee, obvi), just ask. You would do this if you don’t want to be paired up with other people outside of the team you are arriving with.

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They last an hour

Although some escape rooms will allow you extra time to finish (few will), you are almost always only given an hour. The objective is to complete the goal before the hour is over. Thus, you are timed. There will be a visible countdown somewhere in your room- on the wall, on a supplied iPad, etc., so you will know how much time you have left to complete your mission.

The doors aren’t really locked

Hello, fire hazard? Although you may be “escaping a prison” or “part of a diamond heist” or “locked in a time capsule” in your game, the doors aren’t actually locked. Even though part of the game may be that you are “locked or trapped” somewhere, you are never actually locked in or put in harm’s way. There are always doors and exits, and you will always be safe.IMG_9650

You are being watched while you play

This is made clear from the beginning. There are cameras and speakers in your room and you and your teammates will be watched. This is actually a good thing, as they are there if you have questions or are moving in the wrong direction. Maybe you have the right code for a lock but you aren’t twisting it right- they are there to help.

You can get clues to help

The people watching you through video cameras are also watching to see if you need a clue (you usually get up to 3 clues). They will ask you to tell them when you need a clue, or to signal with your hands up in the air. Some escape games will give you clues to unlock on an iPad, if you need them.

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There are different levels of difficulty

Make sure to ask what level of difficulty an escape room is before you book it. If you and your group are first timers, go to a beginner or intermediate room. Once you get the hang of the type of activities you will be doing and what to look for in your first escape room experience, you will be ready for a moderate or difficult room.

Each “room” is different

Each escape room (besides ones owned and operated by the same company in different locations) is different. The décor in your room will change, depending on what your “theme” and “mission” is. I’ve seen everything from “prison break” (pretty popular, but really cool) themes to “museum themes” to “scary escapes” and more. Thus, you can go to multiple escape rooms at the same place and get a completely different experience.EscapeRoom2

Smart doesn’t mean master escaper. Sorry.

Being smart doesn’t really have much to do with if you and your team will escape or complete your mission. It comes down to how well your team works together and how intuitive you are. Generally, a tip for first timers is to know that everything you see in your room means something. So check out what is under the chair or what is in the drawer or trash can. You will find clues everywhere!IMG_0221

They are international

Escape rooms are perfect to do while you travel because there are different ones in most major cities- even cities abroad! If you go to touristy cities, you will find a ton. We have over 10 locations (each with different escape rooms) just in Orlando.

You should do it!

If you like to have a good time and are looking for something different, hit up an escape room during your next vacation. Make sure you plan dinner or drinks afterward, because you will absolutely want to debrief with your team! #whatjusthappened

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