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Escape Room review from a board gamer's perspective
Head in the Clouds
Updated: Friday, Dec 11, 2015

Hello, Chaz Marler from Pair Of Dice Paradise here, and, as one who enjoys immersing oneself in a board game, I was intrigued when the opportunity arose last month at BoardGameGeek con to participate in a truly interactive game of sorts, something called an “escape room”.

What is an escape room? It’s like an interactive mystery, where a group of players is put into a recreated real-world environment with a time limit and no obvious way out. The team then has to work together to discover clues that, when pieced together correctly, will guide them towards the puzzle’s solution and their freedom.

There’s many different types of escape rooms with different themes. From performing an investigative search of rooms for clues, to solving a series of riddles, to even trying to stay of ahead of a zombie that is creeping ever closer and closer to devour you. Some puzzles are mathematical, some are logical, some require deductive reasoning.

In the escape room that my group participated in, we played the part of private investigators, given one hour to ransack a suspect's apartment in order to find the clues necessary to solve a murder case that had gone cold. We had to comb through book shelves, break into a safe, hack our way into an iPad, discover and traverse a secret passage, assemble three-dimensional puzzles, and more.

Is an escape room an activity that is relevant to a board gamer? Absolutely. In fact, “the problem solving skills developed by board gaming can help give you an edge” is something that I would say if my team of fellow board gamers and I had completed ours with more than just a few seconds left on the clock. We succeeded, but just barely.

Escape rooms seem to be popping up in more and more cities. And they’re not just held at conventions. The one that we did wasn’t even at BGGcon itself, but at an actual dedicated escape room company about ten minutes away. If you have an escape room in your area, or the next time you attend BGG con, I recommend checking it out! It’s a unique, interactive experience that I think board gamers can certainly appreciate.
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