Escape rooms are a national trend that I actually agree with.
This concept became a trend in 2014 when a group of entrepreneurs wanted to provide millenials a real-life video game experience where players solve puzzles in under 60 minutes as a way to escape the room they are trapped in.
Before I had my first escape room experience, I falsely assumed that players try to go through several rooms, in an ornate mansion, in order to shore up evidence to solve a big mystery at the end. When I brought six of my friends to The Great Escape Room in D.C (located on 1730 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington D.C) we were floored with the Sherlock Holms-style mystery we had to solve, the ancient mars bars used as a clue, and the uv ray nightlight (plus other cool tools, tricks, and games) we used to solve each puzzle.
Sixty-minutes may sound like a short amount of time to many of you but when you have multiple puzzles to solve, clues to unearth, and humorous amounts of stress layered in between each game, you feel like you’ve been playing this game for a long while.
What I really liked about The Great Escape Room was that all players had to work together, cohesively, in order to solve each puzzle consecutively. Without teamwork, trust, and communication I doubt we would’ve solved the puzzle just in time. In fact, this experience further bonded my rag-tag group of friends.
After our experience, we devoured copious amounts of gelato at Dolcezza by Dupont circle and kept rehashing items we all couldn’t find and word games that really twisted our minds. A funny moment that happened at the escape room was when one of my friends, Dan, came 15 minutes late and he walked through the door we were trying to escape out of. Our guide joked that she knew who the trouble maker in our group was. I just knew based on our guide’s sense of humor that the team behind The Great Escape Room really wants everyone to have a memorable time.
In fact, our guide for The Great Escape Room was very helpful whenever one of us was stuck. She guided us with hints and boosted our confidence over solving even the most cumbersome puzzle. When I think of the color green and puzzles, I will always remember the most difficult place to find a missing clue piece. Some memories, like that on and of my friend Dan coming out of the wrong door, are happy memories I will always cherish with me when I think of The Great Escape Room.
My friends universally agreed this experience is perfect for birthdays and many have said that they want to go back there again in the near future. I know that if I wanted a surefire way to teach leadership skills and teamwork to a group of eclectic personalities, I would recommend this experience.
Sometimes it’s good to take a break from playing a video game and to just experience the real thing.