This past weekend I had one of my favorite adventures to date: I got locked in a room for an hour! No, I’m not kidding, through Escape Room LA eight of my friends and I were locked in a 1970’s themed detective’s office with the goal of solving clues to find a key and escape the room before the hour time limit was up. Unfortunately, we failed to meet the goal (only 35 out of 349 teams had escaped before us), but that didn’t mean it wasn’t one of the best times I’ve had.
I wish I had photos of the room, but unfortunately no photography allowed, so you’ll just have to use that good old imagination. It was actually a fairly small room; big enough to fit the maximum number of people-12- but not many more. Like I mentioned before, it was themed to be an old detectives office complete with typewriter, city maps, and several large cabinets/sets of drawers. I was worried going into it that figuring out what was a clue would be difficult; however, once inside it was all very obvious what was usable and what was just for show. And, just in case, there was an attendant who sat there pretty silent throughout it all and watched us work (she was just there to confirm our answers).
According to the game, a crime had been committed and we were to solve the puzzles to 1) figure out who had committed the crime 2) find some hidden jewels and 3) find the key to open the door and let us out of the room. And let me tell you, there were a LOT of puzzles to solve. Even with ten people in the room we could all be productively working separately to reach one of the goals. However, as they told us and as we learned, communication was so key. It saved time by not having to repeat puzzles and was super helpful because often times the clues connected so one persons answer was the key to another puzzle. My group did really well and was able to solve 21 out of 25 puzzles within the hour time limit. It was too bad though, because just as they told us we were done, we figured out the steps we needed to take to finish off all of the remaining puzzles.
Like I said, it was a blast! My friends worked really well together as we bounced ideas off one another and collaborated to solve everything we could. I would recommend this to anyone and there are other companies besides Escape Room LA that run similar ideas. For instance, in a Big Bang Theory episode Leonard and some friends did a different one downtown that had a zombie inside with them as an added level of difficulty. I would love to do another one someplace else, or even the other room that Escape Room LA offers. I was also really psyched to learn that the same company that runs Escape Room LA also does Run LA which is an Amazing Race like scavenger hunt all across the city, or in specific neighborhoods. What really peaked my fancy was that they hold one every year in Disneyland. I mean, sign me up already!