2 Minutes and Counting – My First Escape Room Experience

My ego was on the line as the giant countdown clock loomed overhead. We were close. So very close to solving the final puzzle and with it we would make our escape and enjoy all of the glory and bragging rights that came with success. But, we still had to untie 4 giant knots to lower a banner and figure out how the final clues came together to reveal the passcode which would open the final door. All of that, and we had only 1:57 left on the clock.

This was my first visit to an Escape Room and I have to admit that I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I soon found out that an Escape Room is essentially a room filled with series of puzzles that you must solve in order to “escape” before the timer runs out. They’re a fantastic way to challenge yourself and your friends or co-workers to work together to achieve a shared goal. It’s like team-building on steroids. They usually involve a theme or story, have varying degrees of difficulty, and can bring out the best, or sometimes the worst, in your teammates as the clock ticks on and the stress sets in.

Escape rooms in the Greater Toronto Area are a hot trend right now with over 50 locations to discover. In order to maximize your chances of success, I’d suggest the following:

1. Have a plan going in. Don’t just frantically rummage about looking for clues as the  experience usually builds from one clue to the next.

2. Define your decision criteria. Do you want to designate someone as the “leader” and let them make the final decisions, or let everything come down to a vote? There’s no time for consensus with a countdown clock in motion.

3. Remember the primary goal is to have fun. Despite the sense of satisfaction you’d have if you make a successful escape, the real reason you’re there is to have fun so don’t get too caught up in the moment.

All of that said, when we first got into the room we managed to quickly find and re-arrange several clues, got locked in a stale-mate trying for consensus decision making, and saw our blood pressures rise as the clock ticked on.

In the end, we didn’t quite make our escape. As we walked out of the room and the pressure of the clock subsided, we moved from consoling each other, to recounting the fun, the drama, and the satisfaction of going through the experience.

And then, we started to plan our next escape.

About Hijinks

Hijinks is the online marketplace that makes it easy to discover and book life experiences to enjoy with friends, family, and co-workers. Whether it’s an escape room visit, cooking class, or team building activity, we provide comprehensive listings, customer ratings and reviews, and easy browse and search functionality to help you book with confidence. For more information check us out here!