Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We escaped!

Last Friday, some friends and I did one of the "Escape the Room" games that have been cropping up in New York lately. For anyone who has ever played the Escape the Room computer games the premise should sound familiar: basically you're locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and clues to figure out how to get out. In the live action version, you have an hour on a big clock, and if you don't get out in the hour, then they just let you out to face your shame. There are also a bunch of different options in a Midtown and Downtown location. I found a number of friends willing to try it, but we ended up in a room with a maximum of 12 people, so there were a few strangers as well.

There are several different games from an office to an apartment to a Victorian mansion. Our room of choice (or rather necessity in terms of scheduling) was the Theater. I won't provide any spoilers lest anyone reading this wants to attempt the game sans cheating, but the gist is the twelve us were shut in a small theater with talking puppets. There were various locks that needed keys or combinations and once opened would provide tools or keys for the next obstacle. As you might imagine from the title of this post, we were successful in escaping. My contribution was pretty much nonexistent, however. Were I leading the team, we would probably still be in there.

I had a lot of fun, but my one quibble with the game was that there were a few too many people. With twelve, there was a lot of chaos. People were finding clues and riddles left and right, and most of the time I had no idea what was going on. Then again, that was possibly my own fault as I pretty much spent the whole time walking in circles and following one red herring doggedly for about 20 minutes. At the end, after we were successful, one of the games organizers walked us through the whole narrative that we had just done. I was amazed at all the things the team had accomplished while I was confusedly following along three steps behind. I was definitely glad for the post-game walk through, and if not for that, they probably could have locked me in there again and I would have no idea how to escape.

My poor escaping skills aside, I would do this again (were I but around for it). It was nice to do something a little different with a few of my favorite people.

Some proud escapees!
Totally unrelated to all of the above, but I must record for my own posterity: On Sunday night, my obsessive signing up for John Oliver tickets finally got me to a live taping of Last Week Tonight. Funny stuff. Also of note, former New York Times movie critic Elvis Mitchell was sitting in front of us. These are just a few of the things I'll miss about living in New York.

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