Escape the Room

I’m late to the party but I finally got round to taking part in an Escape the Room game.

Ideal for corporate team building, hen & stag dos, and for groups of friends and family looking for an alternative night out – these interactive live games have sprung up everywhere in the past couple of years.

Part of the success is down to their simple and tightly constructed concept. A team of 2-6 people enter a room, which is then locked. Engaging quick mental prowess and skills of deduction, your team must work together to solve the puzzle before the timer runs out in 60 minutes. If successful, the door is opened. If you fail, the door will never EVER open.

I went to Riddle Rooms in the city centre of Glasgow, who operate a number of scenarios, including a Spy Room, Identity Room and Mansion Room. Myself and three friends took on the Mystery Room.

Upon entering the room, you are given a brief set up – in our case a young woman had fallen victim of a mysterious murder and we had to uncover the killer and their motivation.

There was an occult angle to the murder and we had to employ all senses and creative thinking to solve the well plotted series of puzzles, which finally led to the answers we’d been seeking and – bam! – we were out the room; with a whole two minutes to spare.

At this point, I should reveal two key facts:

1, Staff are on hand to feed clues through a speaker or TV screen if you are failing to progress.

2, I performed very poorly. In my defence, my three friends had all taken part in other Escape the Rooms before so got into the mindset quickly and they all play Dungeons and Dragons and therefore have well honed problem solving skills. In opposition to my defence, I am a procrastinator who likes others to make decisions for me. If the bill comes at a restaurant when out with friends, I don’t even attempt to work it out. Someone else can do that.

So did I enjoy it? I did and I didn’t. I found the first half stressful as I realised how shit I was at it, but at the same time I was appreciating how well it was constructed and the details of the set, puzzles and layers of story; as well as my friend’s brains. Once I solved one puzzle I finally relaxed and got into it much more (phew! – same feeling as when you are the last member of a pub quiz team to offer up an answer).

There are a variety of Escape the Room games across Glasgow, so if you like the sound of it, then check out the three that I think look best:

Escape the Past by National Trust for Scotand– Set in Glasgow’s historic Pollok House, you travel back in time to experience life below the stairs in the Edwardian period as you attempt to thwart the Butler’s devious plans.

Contagion by Escape Glasgow – Get your white coat and safety googles on as your team play the part of scientists attempting to create a vaccine for a global fatal virus, which each of you have managed to contract.

Alcatraz by Escape Reality – Set in 1934, your team must escape from the world’s most notorious prison. As the largest Escape the Room experience in Glasgow, the multi-room game is based across 4,000sq ft  of underground vaults at the city’s Merchant City Square.