The Escape Room Thread

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Post Post #0  (ISO)  » Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:24 pm

Hey everyone! I'm probably not the person who should be making this thread, but I'll make it so people hopefully have a place to converge on this topic. This is a thread about escape rooms!

I've actually only done one escape room, and that was at Chicago Meet with fellow scummers: BipolarChemist: Faraday, Gammagooey, and KittyMo! It was as fun as I imagined it would be. There aren't too many in Nebraska, mostly in Lincoln and Omaha, so I've been urging my friends to plan a day around doing one over in those cities. Nevertheless, it's an interesting topic to me!

Currently I'm listening to the Room Escape Divas podcast, which (at least in early episodes) bills itself as one of two escape room podcasts. It's very chill and funny, and they do a great job of being informative and insightful without spoiling any rooms still in existence. Many of their podcasts are actually interviews with fellow enthusiasts, so there are a lot of different viewpoints and it makes for very well-rounded listening!

But what I'm most excited about is currently I'm working on an escape event for my library's teen group to be held in December. You could call it an escape room but it spans pretty much the available space of our Carnegie Library so it's pretty big! I'm working out the puzzles and flow, so I might share some puzzles in-thread so people can have a crack at them and help me edit, I guess!

So yeah! I guess people can use this thread to talk about what they've done or do mini-reviews on escape rooms they've done! Remember to be pretty sparing in spoilers; even if the room has closed, puzzles could be used in other rooms or stuff so you have to be careful! I guess the scope of this thread could be expanded to other puzzling events, too.
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Post Post #1  (ISO)  » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:07 pm

Oh hey I've been meaning to post here for forever

So I've done three now I think? The bank/vault heist with Chevre and the other chicago crew, a christmas themed one where we had to steal santa's naughty list in Williamsburg, Virginia, and one in Cary (Cipher Escape) during one of the Reckonings that I vaguely remember being pretty awesome at the time but it's been pretty much completely lost in the garbage pile of my memory aside from us beating the record and it having a really cool trick to enter a hidden room.

The Williamsburg one would have been pretty good except we figured out all the puzzles and then the locks were just too finicky to open for 3-4 of the 8 locks until we came back to them several minutes later despite having the right answers. Did that one with my little sister, one of her college friends, dad, and stepmom, and it was a pretty good intro escape room aside from that, and we did win I guess? But it didn't feel like anything special and having the right answer *not work* was infuriating when it happened multiple times. The one good thing is that Devon (the college friend) was apparently the only one who could open the locks despite the rest of us knowing the answer so him being called a master locksmith for the rest of the trip was pretty funny.

The Chicago one was great, it was a Pink Panther themed heist, office with an enormous vault door in the wall that we had to get into. They told us that there was a guard that would come in at some point, and the pink panther music playing while all of us got behind coatrocks and under desks was still amazing even though we knew it would happen ahead of time. It also definitely had better puzzles than the Williamsburg one, with one of them involving going back and forth between the two rooms (or having someone call out) *something* that had to do with the paintings on the wall in the other room that was really cool. TEN OUTTA TEN

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Post Post #2  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:27 am

Did one with some mates in Staffordshire. The location had 6 different themes to choose from and we went for a homicide investigation one - great fun, we barely finished within the hour timer (literally seconds left) and the puzzles were (mostly) creative and unique. Only issue was the pacing - the first three rooms had around 4-6 puzzles in each, so we had only ten minutes left and thought we couldn't make it, but then the last two (or three? Can't remember) rooms only had a single puzzle each which felt rather odd. However, it was undeniably great fun, and I haven't felt adrenaline like that in a while.

Definitely planning on returning in the near future.
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Post Post #3  (ISO)  » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:17 pm

Did the one with the Brits and other Commune people (Cipher Escape). The room had a really cool track involving feeding the cat the people had left behind and once you figured out that trick it unlocked a hidden door in the wall that lead to another room.

Also did one for work, Trapped in a Room with a Zombie, where there's a zombie chained to the wall and every 5 minutes the chain the zombie is on gets longer. And if you get tagged by the zombie you are put in a quarantine room behind a gate/glass where you can no longer help out. The goal was to sort out the code to the door, which was a series of five directional inputs (N, S, E, W, NW, SW, etc) and each one was in a different set of puzzles in the room that were on opposite sides of the room. The zombie was in the center of the room so you had to use tricks to get around her.
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Post Post #4  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:50 pm

The one I've planned for the teen library group is tomorrow night and I am so horrified as to how well it's gonna go :/
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Post Post #5  (ISO)  » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:51 pm

Just found out we have two of these in the mall in Syracuse. Sounded interesting. Might do it some day.
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Post Post #6  (ISO)  » Sun Dec 25, 2016 8:41 am

https://www.buzzfeed.com/mikehayes/the- ... game-on-va

I forgot to share how my teen library escape went! It was actually VERY GOOD. They had a little bit of a struggle at the beginning which was admittedly my fault for creating a fairly unclear puzzle, but afterward they really began to get on the right track with everything and put stuff together. They were really impressed and wanted to go on a field trip to an actual one, which might be out of our budget and capabilities. :P
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Post Post #7  (ISO)  » Thu Dec 29, 2016 9:29 pm

Did something like this with my folks and brother yesterday, sort of a competitive type deal. loads of rooms worth varying points,and to have a set time to complete as many as possible. We were competing against two other families, friends of ors. Good craic! Really enjoyed it.
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Post Post #8  (ISO)  » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:34 pm

This may belong in the board games thread, but it might as well go here.

We played the first Unlock! Escape Adventures game, "The Formula", which is a card-based escape room game where all of the objects and puzzles are represented in cards, and a mobile application handles timing, hints, and codes. The cards didn't make it feel any less like an escape room, which was surprising, but we had racked up about twelve minutes' worth of penalties for trying wild things that we may or may not have tried in a real escape room. Oh, well. It was a bit jarring for me going from the ten-minute tutorial that actually took two to the full 60-minute game that, uh, was not. I could have managed my expectations better, I guess. I'd try it again. That said, if anyone wants to swap for this volume, then I have it with all of the cards in good condition!

Other escape room adventures:

At Kingsmeet, a bunch of us went to Improbable Escapes, and they split us into two competing teams. The other team won, but it was my first escape room and it was a cool experience. After we were done, we asked what the strangest experience was, and apparently someone had spilled vinegar all over themselves while figuring out a puzzle? That's something you shouldn't do in an escape room.

At Calimeet, a bunch of us went to Limitless Escape Games, and their gimmick was unlimited hints. I didn't do much! We did get out, though, thanks to other people being cleverer. We'd spent several minutes trying to force a key out of a locked box with a window until the person giving the hints yelled at us to STOP! The same question as above was asked, and apparently someone had climbed over the wall to get into the second part of the game rather than try to solve the puzzles to get there. Don't climb walls.

Shortly before moving, I went to the Exit Game, since I had a code for a free visit from chatting with the owner at an escape room meetup. Their unique deal was their heavy emphasis on technology, and the room I did was designed to be similar to working with GLaDOS to get out. I was with a bunch of strangers who knew each other, but we were able to solve the game with enough time to try hard mode. Hard mode involved splitting the team into the two halves of the escape room, with one half at the console and the other half on the other side of the wall pressing buttons to control the console. Yelling at each other did not work. I don't know about everyone else, but I thought it was neat.
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Post Post #9  (ISO)  » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:46 am

done 4, 25% success rate so far :D
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Post Post #10  (ISO)  » Wed Feb 28, 2018 7:45 am

We did an escape room at one of the scummer meets in Sydney.

We got out, without help, within the timelimit, with the minimum number of people.
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Post Post #11  (ISO)  » Mon Mar 12, 2018 11:07 pm

I did a toy-room-themed one over the weekend, we made it out!

Was pretty linear, but it had some cool puzzles.
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but sometimes if you play the game at 6:66 p.m., a phone will appear and ring and if you answer, it'll be BRINE HERO

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Post Post #12  (ISO)  » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:32 pm

You know how there is usually someone behind every rule?

Well, at Calypso's Escape Room, people are told not to touch or lick the wire because someone on a drunken night had decided to lick an electric wire for good measure. In other news, though, the haunted cabin is done completely in the dark and is 100% not creepy at all.*

* YMMV
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Post Post #13  (ISO)  » Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:35 pm

I've gone to two escape rooms both in phoenix. One is downtown phoenix (Escape this live!), it's set up in an old house with 5 rooms set up. Was challenging and fun, just me and a friend. We did not succeed, think if we had more people we might have. Second one was with same friend and had other people placed in our group to fill the time slot, was a groupon and don't recall name. Was in an office like space and had 2 rooms, the one we did had a Pirate theme. Was a little chaotic with all the people but could see it being a good ice breaker. I found a few hidden clues/extra clues while a large group focused on the main clues. Was very fun and we won that one.

Have an urge to do more but have yet to be able to do so. Liked the old house set up personally cause it had a little extra to it. I prefer the puzzles vs just figuring out locks.
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Post Post #14  (ISO)  » Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:21 pm

In post 9, randomidget wrote:done 4, 25% success rate so far :D

up to 50% over 6 now!
did some with a group of friends and got out in like 40minutes both times
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Post Post #15  (ISO)  » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:21 pm

In post 3, xRECKONERx wrote:Did the one with the Brits and other Commune people (Cipher Escape). The room had a really cool track involving feeding the cat the people had left behind and once you figured out that trick it unlocked a hidden door in the wall that lead to another room.


I think this was my favourite one I've done. We all had something to do. I remember doing puzzles with singer, and reck managed to get the last digit in the end.
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Post Post #16  (ISO)  » Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:37 pm

We tend to do one for meets, the last one I did in York was a lot of fun, I can't remember if it had a theme. (Diamond heist?) I've done a few with those folks though, we did one in some shipping containers in Blackpool, which set us in a secret lab, where we had to find 3 key cards - I think thats the only one I didn't particularly enjoy, there was a puzzle that didn't work, I seem to remember, and a challenge that required us to get magnets out of two pipes attached to the ceiling. But we were left debating whether there was actually anything in the pipes it took that long to do. Also the third key card to get out was an ID badge which didn't look like the first 2 cards, so we spent the last few minutes searching for something we already had, and thus failed.

The London one we did though was a lot of fun as well, it was the first one I ever did, and I remember Nexus unlocking the door as the timer hit 0, the woman watching us was screaming at the end. I don't think that was themed at all. It had a lot of hide-y holes and extra bits and pieces.

Im doing one with my friends shortly, so Ill post here and review.
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Post Post #17  (ISO)  » Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:49 am

Me/Flameaxe/Grimm/Deathnote did one yesterday where you were locked in the Study of a billionaire and had to find out where he went.

Highlights:
- This was the first time I saw a dexterity puzzle and not just a regular mind puzzle. Had to take two sticks, put them through these holes in a table, and use them to maneuver a lock-box through the inside of the table to the hole where someone else could grab it.
- In the second room, there was a pretty sweet challenge where we had to activate these wall lights, and they would flash in a pattern, and we had to all spread out around the room to hit them in the right order.
- Chess puzzle where we had to play out a game of chess and the pieces that were left had numbers on the bottom to tell us the combination.

Dislikes:
- Can we stop putting a shitload of books in Escape Rooms and having a moment where you have to find the right author and find some piece of paper hidden in the book? It makes me just want to metagame and immediately shake out every book at the start of the game.
- The design of this one was weird... there was no real "progression" in the first room, because every puzzle just lead to one of five locks on a wardrobe, and once we opened all five we got to go to the second room. I like it better when you're chasing multiple linear paths at once.
- STOP WITH THE MORSE CODE PUZZLES.
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Post Post #18  (ISO)  » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:35 am

That sounds rad. But yeah books seem to be a point of contention for escape rooms. They make great scene-setting but you're just asking people to pore through them and find meanings where you shouldn't.

And the path thing is definitely something to consider. Like if you saw my notes for the SUPP ARG I had one central linear path but also tried to have later puzzles reference stuff from earlier puzzles, little branching puzzles, etc. It just helps allow everyone to have something to do. The last one I did was wholly linear and it had opportunity not to be. When I dream up designs I like, make a flowchart so that I know how clues and stuff are split up, etc.
three mommies making salad Today at 11:52 AM
but sometimes if you play the game at 6:66 p.m., a phone will appear and ring and if you answer, it'll be BRINE HERO

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Post Post #19  (ISO)  » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:37 am

Also: I listened to the first episode of Escape This Podcast which is like a role-played escape room done via podcast. It works really well and you can solve along with the solver. Additionally, they give you the resources so you can run it with your friends. I think it would be fun to do these with Scummers online or something if the chance arose!
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but sometimes if you play the game at 6:66 p.m., a phone will appear and ring and if you answer, it'll be BRINE HERO

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Post Post #20  (ISO)  » Thu Jun 21, 2018 2:19 pm

In post 19, Chevre wrote:Also: I listened to the first episode of Escape This Podcast which is like a role-played escape room done via podcast. It works really well and you can solve along with the solver. Additionally, they give you the resources so you can run it with your friends. I think it would be fun to do these with Scummers online or something if the chance arose!

/in
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Post Post #21  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:04 am

Hey everyone! I went on vacation to Minneapolis this weekend and did two rooms in the area. Puzzle-specific stuff will be in spoilers.

Asylum at Mission Manor - This was the first time ever where I'd done a full escape room experience with people I didn't know. We had our group of three and then were told two other people had signed up. This of course generated a lot of anxiety because you never know who you're gonna get, but it was a nice younger couple who had recently moved to Minnesota. Very good customer service. They let us take a look at any upcoming room too which was nice. They also provided a list of all rooms in the Twin Cities area as well as their preferred rooms and experiences. Overall, a really great time!

Spoiler: Asylum
I think a lot of bigger-city rooms have fancy tech, but my friends had never seen stuff like this so they were wowed. This room involved pushing on pictures, shining lasers, completing a circuit with your body, and listening for a heartbeat to unlock stuff. I think it was a mostly straight path of puzzles with a little divergence in the middle to unlock some locks, but otherwise it was good. We didn't use any hints and didn't get stuck on anything for too long except a kind of hidden drawer.


Utopia at Riddle Room - Initially this was my first choice but the excerpt sounded a little weird to my friends, but at Mission Manor it was one of the recommended ones, so we ended up doing it the next day. I think a combination of factors made this room feel a little worse overall - we were of course more tired after having gone to the zoo earlier that day, but also it was in a weird part of town and the attendant was new and shy.

Spoiler: Utopia
Technologically I think this is the coolest room I've been in. It's set up like a "Reconditioning Room" that guides you through a set of puzzles on a grid on a pedestal in the center (my Witness senses were tingling!). They were mostly color puzzles but involved these huge complicated set pieces: behind one wall was a grid that you had to move around using two levers, another two of them involved this gigantic panel with hexagon shapes that slid out, and then you had to put together a puzzle on it. Another involved combining primary colors to get secondary colors to form a picture, one had you waiting for the lights in the ceiling to change to get the right color, etc. It just seemed like technologically it was incredibly savvy and complex. The second part was that this was actually not a utopia and about one of these color puzzles in a drawer in the bottom of the wall opened that someone had to crawl in, lie down, and get pushed back in to open a second room where there were other puzzles. The theme was that the room was brainwashing you and you had to get 8 deactivation devices from the maintenance room. It was just over all an extremely cool experience even if my friends weren't into it with all the extremely puzzly elements.


I would recommend both if you are in the Minneapolis area! The sheet also highly recommended Hospital at PuzzleWorks and Dig at the Escape the Room Minneapolis location.
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Post Post #22  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:09 am

In Adelaide there was an escape room place where you could move to a new room after finishing one within the hour. shorter rooms, but still a concept I enjoyed.
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Post Post #23  (ISO)  » Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:56 am

Have done a total of 7 escape rooms over the past couple years:

In Newcastle-under-Lyme Escape Rooms (now known as "Break Free"):
The aforementioned homicide investigation
Prison break - was fun since we started off all handcuffed together and the theming and puzzles were good, however we somewhat ruined this one for ourselves - hot off the heels of the homicide investigation's 6 or so rooms we assumed this would be similar so asked for hints way too early since this only had two rooms but we didn't know this - so we only spent about half an hour in it.
Sherlock Holmes - did this one with family, was considerably harder than the others and is the only escape room we've ever failed (blame it on spending about 15 mins stuck on one little puzzle) - the final puzzle is figuring out who did the murders and how and why, which gives a four digit code for the last door - we had seconds left and sadly had one digit wrong. Was still the most fun at this location.

Overall this location has well themed rooms and good puzzles, but the rooms are very linear; the first two I did with six people and it felt way too crowded with all of us trying to solve the same puzzle at the same time almost the whole way, and all the clashing ideas made them less fun. The Sherlock room with just four of us was much more enjoyable.

Manchester, Lucardo:
School of Magic: Did this with scummers Postie and wgeurts, was great fun with some really clever and intriguing puzzles and some puzzles requiring teamwork which is always great. Theming was great too. Not an "escape" room as such as the goal was to pass a test by reaching the final room and making a potion but that just made it more interesting. Would very much like to come to this location again if Manchester wasn't just a bit too far out.

Oxford, Escape Hunt
Wild West - was a very interesting escape room in that it was incredibly non-linear; there's about a 15 min main linear path to reach the train engine, with the main aim being to get all the gold bars then enough coal to allow the train to carry it all - this culminates in a large room with an absolute ton of little, interesting puzzles which get you coal and searching every nook and cranny of the room to get the last pieces which was really fun and a different dynamic than I'm used to from escape rooms - was just me and gf doing this but this seems to be one that would be great with large numbers or people wanting a break from "typical" escape rooms
Last Samurai - and the complete opposite in a very linear room with only a few times where there are multiple puzzles that can be solved at once (thought better than the Newcastle location's so I reckon this would still be good with many). The theming was exceptional (the wild west was good too but this was so good) and the puzzles were great.
Honestly this is such a good location for escape rooms and I'm looking forwards to going through more in the coming years


Then at Eastermeet we did a prison break room, with six of us. Was fairly non-linear with lots of little puzzles providing parts for the main flag puzzle, as well as lots of other puzzles not leading to this resulting in an interesting room. The puzzles themselves were a little by-the-numbers and the theming was not the best (the room felt very bare unlike the other locations I've done) and I wasn't a big fan of the hint system where you had a Walkie talkie and often the guide gave help unprompted and very soon, but was still a lot of fun as escape rooms are.
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