I’m not sure about the rest of the country, but Escape Games have been taking over Indianapolis with a pretty strong force. Everyone seems to be into them: youth groups, work retreats, date nights, girls night out…you get the idea. I read that these games originated in Asia and are based off video games where you have to explore your surroundings in order to escape. They sound so odd, at first, until you realize that it’s just figuring out series of puzzles and codes within an hour. Oh, and there’s a theme.
Breakout Indianapolis is located on the north side of town, close to Castleton (not to be confused with The Escape Room Indianapolis downtown where we totally lost someone). For my first “breakout”, I went with a group of previous co-workers for The Museum Heist adventure. I wasn’t sure what to expect–I just knew there was a room and we had to escape from it. Without giving too much away, we figured it out. Well, mostly other people figured it out and I walked around giving looks of approval. There’s so much going on at one time that it’s hard to follow everything. Spoiler alert: we broke out.
I went a second time with my house church for the Casino Royale room. I was pleased that it was a completely different set of puzzles, so my previous experience didn’t really help me complete things any faster. There were so many different pieces and so many people involved that I, once again, wasn’t really sure what I was doing, but offered lots of verbal affirmation. We broke out again.
Basically, I rock at these.
My initial takeaway? Escape rooms are fun for something different, but they seem to be lacking something. We were done in 40-something minutes, which was shorter than my drive there and back. I think the challenges need to be longer or the building needs to have a pizzeria attached for everyone to hang out afterwards. We had a Groupon (it’s still there!) for 1/2 price, but the usual price is $25 a person per each game, which seems like a pretty expensive 40 minute date night.
My other takeaway? People must be bored. I really think our lives full of commutes and deadlines and emails and bedtime routines lack a sense of adventure that we were intended to experience. We don’t have to solve many puzzles or combat unique challenges on a regular basis. We watch action movies in droves as a sort of vicarious living instead of working out our own epic tale. Based on the popularity of these games, I infer that they are tapping into something deeper than just a creative night out: a longing for a fascinating life.
But I haven’t figured out how to market that into a marketable, hour-long experience yet, so I’ll keep you posted.
Anyone else tried the new Escape Room craze?