Friday, January 15, 2016

Birthday Escape!

It's good to be king.

  It's that time of the year again! Time to... turn older. With my birthday always comes some fun new adventure, and this year, the wife had a really cool one set up for me.
  Last night, we drove to the home of our friends Jalin and Molly, bff roommates who were totally up for sharing in our birthday plans. I was the only one with no idea of what was coming.
  After a quick and delicious snack of hors d'oeuvres, whisky, and apple pie, we went for a short drive to an undisclosed location. It was a nondescript building, and we appeared to be going in the back door. There were no signs, no d├ęcor. I had no idea if we were going into a restaurant, club, store or what.
  Inside was a small, fairly quiet room with games everywhere. On the very large television, Grand Theft Auto V was languishing, unplayed, its 1st person character doing the impatient "somebody-take-the-controls-already" wiggle.
  A young lady with a thick Russian accent handed each of us tablets with safety waivers on them. We were to read and digitally sign. I became suddenly very excited. You just KNOW it's going to be something fun when a waiver is involved.
  She asked what room we had booked, and my wife said "The Castle." I then began to figure out where we were and what activity we were about to take part in. An escape challenge!
  We were handed a walkie talkie in case we needed a hint or other kind of help, and then we were lead to the Castle Room and locked in. I had a huge smile on my face as we began to look around the room for clues.
  I won't go into it play-by-play here, but I'll instead just say that it was amazing. There were puzzles to solve, keys to find, clues to dechiper, locks to unlock. There were skeletons, swords, treasure chests, suits of armor, torches, pentagrams, old books, astrological signs, hidden compartments- the whole nine yards. There were even laser beams that had to be deflected by mirrors to point to other clues. At first, we did really well, tearing through several puzzles, and unlocking an adjoining room. Then, we promptly hit a wall.

Entering room 2
A clue on page 45

  We wracked our brains until we had headaches, but ultimately, our time ran out before we could escape the castle. At the appointed hour, our Russian male host entered the room and somberly said, "You failed."

The puzzle that ruined us
  He asked if we wanted it all explained to us, and we said yes. He proceeded to show us all the clues and compartments we had missed in the first room, which would have totally helped us to solve the second room and ultimately escape. And this was the EASY room! Undaunted, we swore we would return again to take the next room, which is a prison escape.
  It was an amazingly fun activity, and I highly recommend doing it if there's one in your area. I said it was like being in the Goonies, if the Goonies sucked and couldn't solve anything. We will not be defeated next time!!!