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The Amazing Escape

Time was winding down, and we didn’t know if we’d make it. We tore the room apart, trying to find the last clue. We finally found it, but the clock was nearly zero. A five-letter clue was the only thing standing between us and victory. However, it might’ve been too late.

Escape rooms are an entertaining hobby that has been becoming increasingly popular worldwide. Many people love these escape rooms because they provide immersive, video game-like experiences. Teamwork and problem-solving are the two most important skills to have in order to escape. In the room, a group of people work together to find clues and use a series of codes and letters to open locks. These locks contain the next step of the puzzle inside, and the process repeats until you have escaped. The first modern escape room originated in 2007 by Takao Kato in Kyoto, Japan. He sought to bring the ‘escape the room’ genre of video games from the 80’s, 90’s, and 00’s to life. Their commercial success reached the United States in 2014 when they became a mainstream source of entertainment for many citizens.

The Amazing Escape Room is a national chain of escape rooms that offers various rooms such as Lab (Formerly Quarantine), Da Vinci’s Office, Space, Lost Teddy, The Candy Shop, and Santa’s Workshop. Our newsgroup visited the escape room in Montgomeryville. When we arrived, we were greeted with a warm welcome and briefed on the rules of the room. We were then guided to our room, Da Vinci’s Office. The room was filled with antique-themed objects and various puzzles that fit the time period. At first glance, some key things we noticed were drawers, a carpet, a hole in the ceiling, a Da Vinci poster on the wall, and two shelves riddled with locks we would have to unlock later in the room.

When inside, we were shown a video explaining the lore of the room and our objective. There were no hints or guides on where to start, and when the video ended, the timer immediately started. The race had begun, and we had an hour to escape. We frantically searched for any clues or pictures that would help us solve the mystery. We made significant progress in the first 15 minutes, almost completing the first half of the room, until we got stuck at one part of the puzzle. It stumped us for around 20 minutes while we searched for clues to solve the part of the puzzle. A pentagram puzzle confused us, but we eventually figured out what we were doing wrong. It annoyed us that it took so long to figure it out. From then on, we solved the room quickly because the rest of our clues were obvious. Eventually, we got stuck again.

Time was winding down, and we couldn’t seem to figure out this puzzle. It got to the point where there were only eight minutes left, and we had to request a hint, or we wouldn’t have finished. Requesting a hint bars your score from being kept as a record, but at that point, we just wanted to finish the room. Everyone had to wave their hands at the camera to get the hint, so the managers knew you were all in agreement, so we did so accordingly. The next few clues after that were simple to solve, and we ended up completing the room with four minutes left.
A crucial part of the escape room is creating a puzzle worth solving. Danny, an employee of The Amazing Escape Room, stated that a key part of the design is anticipating what people will do. Danny pointed out that having duplicate or alternate solutions could make the room less engaging. A challenging part of the process can also be designing the room itself. Danny stated, “The best way to create one is to work backward until you create something that is roughly 60 minutes long.”

The escape room was a very fun experience for everyone in the group. We put our minds to the test by solving puzzles and working together to achieve a common goal. Bobby Ahern, who also completed an escape room, described it as a ‘“team and group bonding experience.” He also thinks teamwork is essential.“ You do need a certain level of intelligence to connect the numbers.” Overall, it was a very memorable experience that our newsgroup would recommend to everyone. The address of The Amazing Escape Room is 668 Bethlehem Pike, Montgomeryville, PA. The phone number is 267-222-8186, and their website is theamazingescaperoom.com.

Sources:

https://amazingescaperoom.com/montgomeryville/
https://nmescaperoom.com/a-little-history-how-did-escape-room-scenarios-originate/#:~:text=The%20first%20modern%20escape%20room,players%20in%20a%20shared%20space, https://theescapegame.com/blog/the-history-of-escape-rooms/

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About the Contributor
Christian Cullen, Student Writer
Christian Cullen, Grade 12. Interests/hobbies include NHS, Link Crew, volleyball, snowboarding, and going to the mountains. Christian plans to attend either Rutgers University or Penn State University to study Pre-Law or Economics.

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