If you and your friends are anything like mine, you’ve done all of the Escape Rooms currently in your city, and can’t wait for a new one to open. Well, luckily, we don’t have to wait anymore: you can now host an Escape Room in your own home! There’s no advanced prep needed and you can even participate.
I have to admit, I was skeptical. Would the Escape Room in the box give the same experience as the actual rooms? Would it be challenging enough for me and my friends? Would it be fun? So when I was given the chance to try out the new game, I jumped at the chance. And spoilers: It was even better than we were all expecting. It was fun and challenging, and I truly think Escape Room noobs and veterans alike will have a good time.
For those who haven’t done an Escape Room before, the basic gist is this: You must solve various puzzles as a group to get information that will let you through a (figuratively) locked door. There is a time limit, and it’s a fast-paced, kinda-stressful-but-actually-fun group activity. It’s exhilarating and gets your mind working. I’d highly recommend them.
This game comes with four different escape “rooms”, and each one is a separate 60 minute adventure. The skill levels vary, and if you go in this order, you can work your way up:
- Prison Break (2/5)
- Virus (2/5)
- Nuclear Countdown (3/5)
- Temple of the Aztec (4/5)
I decided to have us start with Virus, since my friends have done escape rooms before. And plus, it was the easiest to plan a party around. (Come on, it’s me.)
I made some laboratory-inspired dishes, like cakes in beakers (don’t use cotton candy thinking it’ll look like smoke. It’ll end up hardening and just looking weird. Lessons learned.) and an awesome “virus punch”.
Put some green sherbet in the container of your choice, and slowly fill with lemon-lime soda. It’ll get all foamy and awesome looking! Easy and delicious.
Anyway, back to the game. We beat the “Virus” Escape Room in about 40 minutes, and we were all so jazzed by it, we wanted to do another right away. So we did Nuclear Countdown. (Luckily, if you end up going through a couple in a night, expansion packs will be coming out starting in 2017. And if you want to share the joy of the room with someone else, you can download anything you may have written on/folded/destroyed during the game from the Escape Room website.)
I unfortunately can’t tell you too much about the adventures themselves without spoiling them, but I can give you some peeks at what comes in the box and some tips for when you play:
The box comes with separate envelopes for each adventure, and a “Chrono Decoder” with a set of plastic keys. The Chrono Decoder acts as your timer, counting down the 60 minutes and letting you know when you can take a “hint” card. (Even if you think you don’t need it, it’s helpful to look at the hint. No one will judge you.) It’s also how you prove that you’ve solved the puzzle! You place plastic keys into the Chrono Decoder in a specific way based on the puzzles you’ve solved, and it will let you know if you can move onto the next level or if you were wrong.
The decoder also has actual decoders on the side if itself, which will come in handy throughout the adventure.
I would suggest having a couple of things on hand before you begin:
- A table or clear space to spread everything out and work.
- Blank paper and a pencil. You’ll need scratch paper and a way to take notes.
- A working phone. You may need to use it in various ways. Plus, you can use the Escape Room app on it, which has themed music for each adventure and a place to take and upload a picture once you’ve solved the adventure!
Basically, the Escape Room game is amazing, and should be on your holiday list. I’ll be bringing my copy to my family’s place and we’ll be trying the other two adventures down there! Pick up your copy from the Spin Master store. Have you done an Escape Room before? And which adventure in the Escape Room box are you most excited to try?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.