Puzzles with their many of pieces, words and problems can be enjoyed by one person or many. Sometimes it’s a fun activity to do when you’re bored and other times, it’s a challenge you present to yourself. Whatever the reason may be that you decide to partake in puzzling, there are great benefits that come with it. When you’re trying to solve a puzzle, you use both your left and right brain which helps increase cognitive function. Puzzles also help with improving your critical thinking skills and spacial reasoning. Working on puzzles can give you a lot of wonderful things, but sometimes a puzzle isn’t enough.
When a puzzle isn’t enough, what do you do? You add spy-like elements to it and put the puzzle pieces on a grander scale. This combination of physical movements and critical thinking mixed with team work and grand and elaborate themes, gives you what? Escape Rooms!
What Are Escape Rooms Exactly?
An escape room is a 60 minute adventure that involves a group of people working together towards a common goal. The puzzles you encounter during an adventure depends on the escape room facility you go to. Some rooms are more logic based whereas others are more physical. There are also some that use a combination of the two to really keep you on your toes.
Considering escape rooms have been gaining popularity in recent years, there are still people who haven’t experienced the thrills of being trapped in a room for an hour. To account for this, most escape room facilities have varying levels of difficulties ranging from beginner to expert. Even if you aren’t experienced with escape rooms, you should try the one that speaks to you the most.
Escape rooms also come in a wide variety of themes. The most common themes are ones inspired by the horror genre. If that isn’t your cup of tea, there are also rooms with less frightening themes like casinos and Alice in Wonderland.
So, What Do You Actually Do In An Escape Room
My introduction to escape rooms came in the form of a job. I got a job at an escape room facility here in Vegas, and I started before the official opening so it was cool to see all of the inner workings and be apart of the OG team. Before I was hired, I heard about escape rooms but I hadn’t been to one. It’s crazy that the first one I played was during my training.
Like many other people who hadn’t played an escape room, I had no idea what to expect. I did know that you had to solve puzzles to get out of a room during a certain time limit because that’s pretty obvious. Another thing I knew was that I wasn’t the best at puzzles and riddles. My problem solving abilities are best showcased through math problems, so I did have that in my favor.
Playing an escape room for the first time can be a bit confusing because you don’t really know what to do first. It’s a fun game once you get the ball rolling, because its such an immersive experience. You want to help your team as much as you can so you become very determined. Pieces to the puzzle start connecting, and you don’t always know how you got there, but you did it anyway and that’s a very exciting feeling. While working with different teams, it was always interesting to see how people’s minds worked and how they got to the solution.
Sometimes Even Escape Rooms Have Difficult Puzzles To Solve
When I worked at the escape room facility, people were a lot more free to come-in a play a room then they are now due to the pandemic. Many escape rooms have now reopened, but at one point, alot of them had to close and adapt to the new environment. That’s were virtual escape rooms come into play. Escape the Space in Athens Georgia, started providing escape room experiences through Zoom. Palace Games in San Francisco also offers online escape rooms within their Palacesphere. One cool thing about these virtual escape rooms is that you can play from anywhere.
Puzzles Are Pretty Entertaining
Escape rooms are such a fun activity to participate in. They can become pretty addicting to tell you the truth. There is so much satisfaction that comes from solving an entire room or even one puzzle. It makes you want to try and solve even more, just ask the escape room enthusiasts. Playing more rooms also helps you improve your problem solving abilities because you get better at knowing what to look for. My abilities for solving puzzles and riddles have improved just from playing them and of course working at one.
I even started looking for them in other cities now. There is an International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. that I’ve visited and I honestly thought the museum would be similar to a giant escape room, but it wasn’t. It’s still a pretty cool museum that gives you some interesting facts about spies throughout history and interactive exhibits, but I had other expectations. With that being said, if you want to become a master of the riddles, rhymes and puzzles, try an escape room.
Header Image Credit: Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash