Everyone’s childhood dream of becoming a detective is possible. Now, you can put down your Agatha Christie or Nancy Drew book and see if you have what it takes to solve a mystery in 60 minutes or less.
Escape room experiences are cropping up all over South Florida. Locked in a room with no way out, teams have 60 minutes to find a way to escape, often through multiple adjoining rooms. Rooms are designed to resemble realistic spaces like libraries, banks, laboratories, prisons, ship holds and cabins. In order to get out, players search the room for clues, often discovering hidden doors, deciphering codes, cracking lock combinations, and investigating mysterious objects.
While the cost is high at about $27-$30 per room, the experience is worth the money. Escape rooms challenge your brain to think in new and different ways. They offer you a sense of accomplishment and victory when you solve a puzzle or make a new discovery. It’s the perfect diversion for individuals who enjoy problem-solving and high-adrenaline experiences.
Few other forms of entertainment are as immersive as an escape room. Each room is usually accompanied by a story: you’re trapped in a cabin deep in the woods and have 60 minutes to escape before the murderer arrives with his chainsaw, or you’ve been shanghaied and have 60 minutes to escape a Chinese junk before it sets sail. The rooms are movie sets, and players have become the main characters. Escape rooms are video games, minus the screens. While some might balk at the stress they might experience during the game, the stress is part of what makes escape rooms so deeply engaging. It feels somewhat real, even though you know that you can contact a staff member at any moment to let you out.
The highly social nature of escape rooms is also a major draw. Typically, teams consist of 2-10 players. When the number of players is high, each team member has less to do, but more brains are at work on the puzzles; a small number of players means that each team member does more without as much collective brainpower. Despite the number of players, escape rooms allow you to bond with your team members and extend insight into their cognitive differences and unique skills. You don’t always escape together, but you always have fun. And you talk about your game for weeks afterward.
Escape rooms bring a whole new level of meaning to the term “escapist entertainment,” and what a fun level it is.
Local Escape Room Games
Think Escape Games: $30 per game
2653 E Oakland Park Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33306
Miami Quest Escape Rooms: $27 per game
828 SW 24th Court
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
The Great Escape Room Miami: $23-$28 per game
2315 SW 42 Avenue #200
Miami, FL 33134
The Escape Zone: $28 per game
540 N Miami Avenue
Miami, FL 333136
QQuest Escape Games: $27 per game
717 E Atlantic Boulevard
Pompano Beach, FL 33060
Photo Credit: G. Ducanis
Caption: The consequence of failing to escape? Photo documentation of your failure.