Escape rooms are the new way to spend a free hour or two on the weekends. This activity has become popular and is making its way out of the big cities into less metropolitan areas. Kalamazoo currently boasts two places to “escape” for a little while, Escapology and The Final Clue.
What is an escape room you may ask? For a per-person fee, you and up to 7 of your closest friends can be locked in a room with a simple task; escape. Each room has a theme with a specific set of puzzles to solve and clues to put together to accomplish a task unique to your situation. Only after successfully completing all tasks are you allowed to “escape” the room. It is a race against the clock, with most rooms having an hour countdown.
What makes solving the puzzle and making it out of the room so enticing? Benjamin Smith ‘19 likes escaping from the outside world while simultaneously trying to escape the room. “You’re being put in an alternate reality where problems from your life back home don’t matter. Yes, you’re escaping the room, but for the hour or two that you spend doing that you also get the chance to momentarily escape your daily life.”
Maggie Smith ‘19 said she likes the excitement. “It’s a massive adrenaline rush. It feels like you’ve actually escaped from whatever scenario you’re in, whether it be escaping guards or a solving a murder on a train. They’re super addictive.”
For others, like Madelyn Betts ’19, it’s the problem-solving portion of the room that entices her. “I liked the puzzle aspect of it, and actually having physical clues and items to work with.”
Escapology is the largest escape room facility in Kalamazoo, boasting five different rooms with themes ranging from finding an antidote to a deadly virus, stopping a hacker before they commit a cybercrime, and solving a murder on a train in an old-fashioned setting. The Final Clue currently only has one room but is expanding soon, according to their website.
At $25 per person on weekdays and $28 per person on weekends, the price can be a little steep for college students looking for some cheap entertainment. However, the price may be worth it according to Smith.
“It’s totally worth the price. You’re not bored for a second,” said Smith. Benjamin Smith shared a similar sentiment. “It’s not something I would do often because of the price, but definitely worth it for the novelty if you haven’t done it before.”
It looks like escaping dire situations and solving crimes isn’t just for action heroes anymore. Maybe a good place to get out of the K-bubble is to get locked in an escape room.