Managing to Escape

This past weekend, my family and I did our second-ever escape room. Do you know about escape rooms? Those weird little things where they lock you in a room and you have to solve a bunch of puzzles to find the key so you can actually get back out?

We did one in the midst of one of the rougher periods of the pandemic, because it was one of those things where we could actually get out and do something without being all that close to anyone outside of ourselves, and we had a ton of fun, but came out of it feeling like we should have done a lot better. Although we never asked for any hints, our game master gave us a ton and we still only barely managed to squeak out a successful escape.

This time, we had zero clues, and we got out with over ten minutes to spare. And this room was supposedly much harder than the one we did last year.

The reason for our success? Because we actually had some level of concept of what these things were about.

Because, although there are definitely a ton of clues you have to hunt down and puzzles to solve, the reality is that these things all seem to run a pretty basic course. When you realize that they designed this room purely for the purposes of the game, you start to see clues in everything. In fact, at one point one of our kids pointed out this incredibly innocuous-looking thing as a clue, which me and the wife both denied as being a thing, until I found another similar clue elsewhere. But then, it turns out, we had already solved that puzzle because they had another clue for it elsewhere because that one had been too hard for most people.

All the same, you start to pick up on the little hints and take them to new directions.

In fact, there was really only one moment in the whole thing in which we were completely stumped, and that’s when we couldn’t find the last piece of the puzzle. We scrambled around the entire room trying to figure out what we had missed. And what we had missed was this key which magically appeared in a place where it most definitely hadn’t been before. (I’m convinced the game master somehow snuck into the room when our backs were turned and managed to place it there).

The point here is…I don’t really have one. I had a ton of fun working through the puzzles. Each one of them, although ultimately feeling simple after the fact, were a ton of fun to work through and hunt for the answers. An escape room is almost like a little scavenger hunt, where you have to hunt down all the clues so you can get the absolute final answer.

But…I think I might have to find a harder one next time. I was still working with only half a brain, and really I think the only reason things took us as long as they did was because this room had over two dozen locks we had to unlock in order to get an answer. We didn’t pause to figure out how to solve the puzzles nearly as much as it took us just to do the work to actually get to the answer. If we had been rushing it, we could have easy done it in half the time.

So, next time, I might have to put some sort of competition in it just so we can feel as though we’ve accomplished something just due to the speed in which we finished.

Or something.

I don’t know. It’s Monday morning when I’m writing this and my brain is soft and I don’t have much to write about. So, I’m just telling you about my weekend and pretending its a blog post of worth.

The end…I guess

Published by Adam Oster, Adventure Novelist

Husband, Father, Creator/Destroyer of Worlds

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