Last week I was locked in a room with my fiancé and six of his family members, where we were given 60 minutes to escape. As the door shut behind us, chaos erupted for the first five minutes. We were scouring the floors, ceilings and windows. We tried random combinations on locks and flipped through pages of books, all of us looking for clues about how to escape. About five minutes in we managed to find a clue which unlocked a small lock on a file cabinet, leading us to the next clue.
Being locked in this room was by choice- we were in an escape room, where players are locked in a room where they must seek clues and solve puzzles tied to a story to escape before time runs out.
With the clock still counting down to one hour and only a couple of clues solved, we started to find our rhythm. There were times that we each worked on something different and times that we all hovered over a lock as someone dialed in what we thought was the right combination. It was neat to see everyone’s strengths play a part in solving the puzzles. Occasionally, a controller from another room would send us a helpful hint when we had stalled out.
After 47 minutes and 13 seconds our group managed to make it out of the room before the clock ran out. We took a group photo and held a victorious signs exclaiming “Escaped!” and “Geniuses!”.
Escape rooms like the one that I visited can be a fun way to build relationships within a team or a family. While there are stressful moments of finding dead ends as the clock counts down, it also provides opportunities to cheer each other on and time to interact face to face as a group. There are moments for each player to have a turn being the hero, solving a clue or finding a combination for a lock. An escape room could be a fun activity for a group who is looking to take team building to a whole new level.