C Magazine

C Mag Tries: Escape Room

Nicole Li and Rima Parekh

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In this physical adventure game, players are locked into a room and must use elements of their surroundings to solve puzzles and find the key to escape within a set time limit. The first escape room, Real Escape Game, was created in Japan in 2008, and in 2012, it was brought to San Francisco. The concept has become increasingly popular throughout Silicon Valley since, so we decided to see what the hype was all about.

If you like crime shows, if you like logic puzzles, or if you grew up with A-Z Mysteries like we did — and want to be Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose all at the same time — go to an escape room! We had the time of our lives geeking out about the clues we found all over the room — under boxes and inside books and drawers — and were  completly focused on how all the pieces could fit together. One clue led to another — search this book, decode these letters, open this box — in such fast sequence that we were held captivated by the task.

The five of us dedicated ourselves wholly to unearthing bits of the puzzle, bouncing ideas off each other and making sure that no piece of information went unnoticed or unused. We listened to each other and worked together to move forward in the game. There were moments of suspense and discovery; each time one of us found the number combination for a lock, we would gather around and hurriedly throw the lock open to get to the next step. There were moments when we jumped out of our skin, and moments when we felt our hearts race with excitement and shock. Being locked in that room and racing against the clock was exhilarating.

So the next time you decide to go out on a Friday night, forget the standard, boozy party. Grab some friends and go escaping!

magnifying-glassTips to Improve Your Escape Room Experience:

Try everything. Think from multiple angles and search under every object.

Listen to your peers and communicate. Every idea is valid and it will take teamwork to escape. You must constantly communicate with your group members. Different people will find different clues, and collaboration is necessary in order to figure out the puzzles.

Bring a mid-sized group of people. Five is a magic number. Having two people in the room is not as fun and is insufficient in terms of brain power or vantage points to solve the puzzle quickly. However, bring too many people, and the result is chaos. Ideas will conflict, and time will be wasted on bickering.

Relax. Try to think rationally and consider all the clues. Remember that you get three hints from the monitor, so use them.

Be on time. You need to hear the instructions and the information that will make your experience truly great.

Engage. Throw yourself into the puzzle!

Our Escape Room venue:

Beat the Lock

1171 Homestead Rd #280

Santa Clara, CA 95050