In a Wizard’s study, with the forces of darkness pounding at the castle door, six friends are desperately trying to find the magical artifact that will save the kingdom. One problem, they’re also locked in thanks to a spell. Way to go, Dumbledoofus! What are they to do? Dun dun duuuuunnnnn…
Are you on the edge of your seat? You should be.
Full disclosure, I’ve done this escape room before with other friends, and calling it a futile effort would be generous. We basically tore the room apart and sat dumbfounded for an hour, occasionally throwing out a profane comment or two. Good times. Therefore, the idea of taking on this challenge again was a bit daunting.
Cut to the other night. The Duckpin Team partook in a pre-escape room brain juice ritual aka happy hour at Charles Village Pub. See our previous post on how moderate amounts of alcohol impairs your ability to focus, freeing up your brain from distractions and inhibitions, therefore increasing your creativity. Believe me, you need some creativity for this perplexing place.
Cut to Escape Room Live. Imagine a room the size of a jail cell, then cut that in half and cram six adults inside. Comfy! All of a sudden, a video plays on a TV in the corner of the room explaining the situation and nothing else. We’re left to your own devices. So we start as I did before, tearing the room apart. We’re now left with locked boxes, locked drawers and locked doors. By chance I remembered one detail so immediately we got the first locked box open. Then, as if by magic—see what I did there—we start figuring things out one by one. Color me shocked. Not that I don’t have faith in my team, but this was like, “Woah! What is happening?” I was so jaded from my previous experience that I was in a state of shock. Trapped doors were opening, locks were popping off, it was glorious.
After getting a few more clues solved, some elementary level mathematics, we open a combination lock and BOOM! we’re in another room. Another room! Keep in mind, there is a large yellow countdown on the TV screen mocking us, and we have no idea how many things need to be solved to discover the code to get us out of this prison of puzzles. So now we’ve happened upon this dark room with more locked boxes and all of these clocks. WHY??? This is when things get intense. We start solving more clues and we finally get to the final puzzle. The final puzzle! Are we actually going to get out of here? The anticipation is killing you isn’t it? Now voices are starting to get raised and the mania is setting in. It’s legit like a scene from “A Beautiful Mind.”
Sadly, after all of our hard work, the yellow clock counts down to it’s final second and we’re still inside. Color us defeated. We checked and double checked and kept coming out to the same four digit code, but it wasn’t unlocking the door. Long story short, the final puzzle was one of those things that’s written so confusingly that you’re tempted to put the 20-year-old room monitor in a headlock, but you don’t know how to explain to your mom that you got arrested because the stupid face college student had a stupid answer to the stupid wizard’s puzzle. Moving on.
In the end, while we didn’t get out, I was really proud of us. We got so much further than I could have ever hoped and expected. This was truly the epitome of teamwork and we knocked it out of the park. We never had a moment where we gave up or talked in a defeatist manner. This was a test of wits and thinking outside of the box. A test we passed with flying colors. Moral of the story: you never know until you try and six heads are better than one. The real victory, we got to play dress up in the end.