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What in the world is an Escape Room, and how do you survive it??

Escape rooms are getting more and more popular and Capitol Hill’s Puzzle Break is one of the best, not to mention the oldest American-based escape room company. (Image: Puzzle Break)

Tired of the same old same old and looking to try something new? How about being locked in a room and having to riddle your way to the exit in just one hour? Think Nickelodeon’s 'Legends of the Hidden Temple' mixed with the 'Da Vinci Code'.

Escape rooms are getting more and more popular and Capitol Hill’s Puzzle Break is one of the best, not to mention the oldest American-based escape room company. I had the opportunity to try out the Midnight Carnival Room with a team of friends and without giving too much away, came up with some essential tips when trying out this new craze!

Assemble a Quality Team: Your team is clutch! Since our city is a leader in the tech industry, your team should never be short of engineers. I jumped at the chance to include as many smarty pants people as I could. Being a creative type, I knew I had to gather some Type A, logical brains to help with the more complex and technical puzzles. Make sure you have a variety of personality types and thinkers to ensure being able to tackle any clue that’s thrown at you.

Don’t let fear stand in your way: I tend to fall on the claustrophobic side of things so was hesitant to agree to being LOCKED in a room by strangers! But the room itself isn’t small (I was nervous it’d be elevator-size or something equally as terrifying) and there’s plenty of space to roam around to find clues. A speedy roam will do the trick pace-wise because if you get too eager, you could end up on the floor like one of my teammates that attempted to take a corner too fast in the wrong shoes.

Utilize the staff: The staff that walked us through the experience was amazing!! Sure, there was the occasional “don’t pick that up, it’s not a part of the game” corrections but mostly they helped without helping too much. They did the perfect amount of nudging us along if we were on the right track or dropping casual hints if we were stuck. They did an amazing job of making everyone feel comfortable but letting it be our own unique experience.

Use your time wisely: Remember, you only have one hour. So if you find yourself trying to solve the same puzzle for too long, move on to something else or help one of your teammates with something. If you spend too much time on one puzzle, you could be missing out on clues that would aid in solving it! Survey the tasks and prioritize. Appoint a leader, game plan, then divide and conquer!

Communicate: This tip was told to us before we even began but it’s funny how quickly that concept goes out the window when stress hits. Communicating with your whole team is not only helpful for distributions of tasks or riddles, but makes for a very effective use of time. You don’t want someone working on one puzzle that may have the missing piece to yours and never know! Especially as the hour was ticking by, communication became more and more essential to beating the game and the clock. This is why the puzzle room is an awesome outing for team-building exercises or to see if your friend group is capable of having game nights that don't end in heated arguments.

Don’t want to venture to Cap Hill for these escape rooms? Good news - Puzzle Break is opening a new location in Belltown by the end of the year! This expansion will include multiple new experiences, and even some duplicate games where teams can compete head to head. With over 6000 square feet, the new Puzzle Break location will be one of the largest room escape facilities in the world!


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