One of my fondest birthday memories involves contorting my shapely (round is a shape) body in order to squeeze through laser beams without touching them, lest I set off an alarm. No, this is not a part of my recurring dream in which I’m Agent 007 on a thrilling mission in Prague but a real-life incident. Now, my ideal way of celebrating turning older and wiser is to drink endless mimosas and eat my weight in cake, but I decided to embrace change and allowed my friends to sign me up for an escape room game instead.
“How hard can it be,” I told myself. Famous last words. Let it be noted here that there’ a reason hindsight is 20/20. So there we were, me and three of my friends, ready to experience something new. The basic premise of an escape room, in case the name isn’t suggestive enough, is that you pick a theme of room ranging from prison escape to casino heist, art gallery theft to escaping bewitching vampires (thanks Twilight). Then, you’re locked inside with your crew and have to solve a bunch of clues before the timer runs out in order to unlock your way to safety. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, here’s my pro tip: make sure your friends are smarter and more proactive than you. Also, there’s no shame in admitting that you’re not the smartest one in the group.
My friends and I picked art gallery heist, pretended we were Ocean’s Eleven, except really, more Ocean’s Four and robbing a fictional art gallery instead of Vegas casinos. We managed to solve the first clue pretty quickly, and just as high fives were exchanged, the first unlocked door opened to reveal another locked room. Oh, so that’s how it was going to be. Each level really tested our ability to think outside the box, and I was so glad that my friends were the kind of people who put in 100% on group projects while I was the brat who did 10% (but still got the same marks). The only time I had to pull my weight, literally, was during the laser show. And I’d like to say this story has a happy ending and we managed to completely kill our challenge and blast our way through the final door except we didn’t. In our defense, the final puzzle was super tricky (in other words, rigged). In the words of one of my favourite drag queens, Alyssa Edwards, it was “Rigga Morris, girl”.
In case you’re wondering if there’s a point to this personal ramble, it is this: escape room games are a blast. They help you exercise your grey cells, bond with your friends, are the perfect sojourn from being stuck at home, and let you live out your action/spy movie fantasies.
Check out an array of escape room games here and plan your next adventure.
Image courtesy Andy Li, Unsplash