There are not a lot of forms of entertainment that you can describe as something parents can do with their kids, a group of teenagers would enjoy, or a group of adults enjoy that satisfies all groups. There are games that advertise themselves as Lockdown – Las Vegas residents in all three genres are flocking to. This is because it’s an evening out where you are challenged to think and work as a group. You also get to celebrate as a group if you win the challenge.
These lockdown or escape rooms as they are known are popping up in every major city in the United States it seems. The concept is that you have to solve a series of puzzles to eventually get out of a room that you are locked in. Some of these escape rooms are themed around murder mysteries, others are helping find a lost item, and others just ask that you solve the final puzzle.
Clues are placed around the room for the players. They might be riddles, searches for hidden items, or tests of logic. All of them can be solved using what is in the room itself though. Most places do not allow guests to bring cell phones in with them, as they do not want recording of the room or the use of the Internet to help solve challenges.
Types of Clues
The types of clues vary by establishment, but there are several standard types. Locks are a common challenge. Some you have to find keys, others you have to follow clues to solve combinations. These locks range from directional locks, number locks and even ones that have sequences of photos clicked on the lock. Moving items to find secret compartments is another common challenge. Using codes to solve mystery words is yet another. There are not clues that rely on strength or other physical abilities. Your brain is your tool here to solve them.
Interaction of Groups
The operators of the rooms encourage groups to attend, but you can play as an individual or couple too. Most places will combine smaller groups if their maximum number of people is not covered by one reservation. This adds to the social aspect of the game, as you may meet strangers and work together with them to solve the puzzles.
How Do You Win?
Winning a challenge is the result of solving the final clue. As mentioned earlier, some will have a physical result of solving that clue such as a door popping open. Other variations might be won by finding a hidden object by solving the last clue. In general, most rooms give you an hour to solve the clues and “escape”. Depending on the operator, some offer a number of clues you can ask for when you are stuck.
Lockdown or escape rooms offer a unique form of entertainment. Themes change regularly at most locations. This means a new challenge offers fun each time you visit these mysterious locations.