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Escape rooms and what you can expect

June 18, 2019

Escape rooms have become a trend in recent years. You’ll be hard cut to visit a city that doesn’t have at least one. So, what are escape rooms, and how do they work?

An escape room will have a theme, like the wild west, ancient Egypt, a prison cell or a pirate ship. The cost is around twenty-five dollars per person. After getting a short list of instructions, you’re ‘locked’ in a room. Rooms vary in size and complexity. Some are single rooms, while others break into hallways, second, and even third rooms until you escape. There are even instances where your group will be split, and you have to work your way toward each other. Matt Cameron, manager at Underground Escape, says they even have a room that is team versus team, where each group is split by a fence and has to race to escape. “Sabotage is part of that room too,” he explains. “You can steal clues from the other players.”

If you have never tried an escape room before, you can expect the unexpected. Clues can range from word puzzles, hidden keys, maps with missing pieces, riddles, or crackling voices over an intercom. You are given between 45 minutes to an hour to complete all the clues and get out, but if you’re stuck on a clue for too long, they’ll give you a hint. The main goal of an escape room is for you to have fun, work as a team, tease your brain, and get your heart rate up. Matt says some claustrophobic people may have concerns, but explains, “you’re not necessarily locked in… if you need to, you can get out.”  

There are rooms for any level of difficulty, so whether you’re a first-timer, you want to bring the kids along, or you’re a bonafide expert, there are options for anyone. These rooms are great for staff team building, for youth who need a fun new challenge, and for families looking for a great bonding experience. You’ll be talking about your escape room experience for days after. “It’s an immersive adventure,” Matt says. “It doesn’t really have to do with your IQ [level]. It has to do with teamwork.” Matt’s favourite escape room currently in Underground Escape is the Alley Wars Turkish Market, one of many rooms he’s helped plan. “The owner and I sit around with our wives, have a popcorn night, and brainstorm.” They put a lot of creativity, dreaming and engineering into each room, and he encourages everyone to try an escape room, at least once.