So, it was my oldest nibling’s, Ry, 16th birthday on Saturday…and as part of the celebration, my sister, Christy, booked an escape room experience for four of us (Christy, me, Ry and Kate, our close friend/Ry’s surrogate aunt).
I’ve never actually done an escape room in person before, though I have done various different online experiences and interactive experiences. A physical escape room was something that was entirely new to me, so I was really looking forward to it.
The storyline was fairly straightforward. Our (the players) car had broken down, and the owner of the nearby hotel had kindly offered the use of one of their hotel rooms for the night: room 12. The only stipulation was that, if we were able to get out of room 12 (which was the initial escape), we were to stay away from room 13.
So. Room 12 was small and only had one bed. After an initial discussion about who would get the bed (we decided on Ry, since it was their birthday), we got to work on finding the key…since we were locked into room 12 overnight, as the key had been lost in the room somewhere. (I know, I know. Terrible service).
The main puzzle in room 12 involved figuring out the codes to unlock a piece of luggage that had carelessly been left behind by the previous occupant of the room. The puzzles were pretty interesting and easy to figure out; though as Christy pointed out, we had Kate and Ry with us…both of whom are very competitive…so we had a fairly good chance of completing the escape room, even with the 50% success rate.
It was after we got out of room 12 that things got especially interesting. At this point, we were no longer looking for a way out of the room. We were trying to solve the mystery of the hotel. What happened in room 13?
There was obviously a huge amount of effort that had gone into creating the escape room, to the point that I was beginning to feel bad about the mess we’d made in the lobby of the hotel. There was also a lot of scary, supernatural stuff going on in the hotel! For instance, the lights went off a few times (which made us scream and at one point, Kate just held her arms out so we could all hudde together) and some of the doors randomly opened. Clearly, there was something very sinister going on in the hotel that was centred around room 13.
In the end, we did manage to solve the mystery of room 13…in just under 40 minutes and only using one hint. Our GM had a lot of complimentary things to say about that! Speaking of which, Freya did an awesome job at playing her role; wonderful experience all around and giving us the hint we needed to figure out the last puzzle, while knowing when we weren’t actually asking for hints and had just accidentally hit the front desk bell (though the lights went off right after I knocked a box onto the bell, so we did think maybe that was meant to be a hint…but apparently not).
As I mentioned, this was a really great experience and definitely one that I want to repeat. I wouldn’t play the same game again, since there’s no challenge in finishing a room you’ve already beaten once, but there are plenty of other escape rooms available at the location.