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Escape Rooms

photo courtesy of NPR

photo courtesy of NPR

Ben Gustafson, in-depth editor

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If you are looking to become Indiana Jones or Sherlock Holmes for a day, escape rooms are the activity for you. Escape rooms look no different than any other room, but there are dozens of clues and puzzles hidden all over the place that participants must use to find a mystery object that is the key to their escape.

The concept gained traction about ten years ago, starting in Japan and eventually spreading to the United States in 2012. Escape rooms appear to be a part of growing problem-solving adventure entertainment, which can be seen with the recent popularity of interactive theater and haunted house experiences along with adventure game shows, like Survivor Man. In the span of a couple of months, three escape room companies, Escape Frenzy, IRL Escape, and Missing Pieces Escape Games, have opened up in Edina. Though it is not cheap (each player pays $30 to $35), escape rooms offer an exciting alternative to other forms of entertainment.With nine other people you are locked into a room for 60 minutes, and you have two objectives: solve the problem and find a way to escape,” said sophomore and frequent escapee Anna Rumley. Each escape room is different, and each is categorized by its level of difficulty. Participants should try to bring four to nine friends if they don’t want to be combined with another group. “My favorite parts of the escape rooms are finding the secret passages within the room, and all of the competitiveness that happens during the 60 minutes!” said Rumley.

Of the rooms that Rumley has experienced at Escape MSP (Decatur Ave, Golden Valley), her favorite is Dr. K’s Lethal Injection because “there is so much going on. We had to find many clues, including ones which required doing math/science problems, and one group had to hack into a computer.” The premise of the Dr. K’s Lethal Injection themed escape room is thatThe evil Dr. Kevorkianstein has plans to infect the world with a blood-borne pathogen virus he has synthetically created in his laboratory. His plan after he infects the world is to sell the only known antidote and make billions,” according to the Escape MSP website. Thus, participants must search his lab, find his notes, and make a version of the antidote. Participants have just 60 minutes before Dr. K returns.

If you are itching to try an escape room out for yourself, Rumley’s advice to you is to have some of the group members take charge, while others follow their lead. Good luck!

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