Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
Published November 1st 2018
I'm not a celebrity - but get me out of here
We're only halfway there and the tension is rising. My friend asked me to check my heart rate on the Fitbit and it's elevated but not as high as hers. We are all newcomers to this live immersive rush escape room experience. We have no idea what's about to happen (we're risk takers) but already we're getting excited, nervous and a little bit competitive.
Helen, our host, enthusiastically greets us. She clearly loves her job and likes to get into the role, so try to think of a great code name for her. Helen explains we have one hour to solve the problems in the escape room before the timer goes off. With our collective brains, what could possibly go wrong? Again, we have no idea what sort of problems we will encounter, let alone how to solve them. In retrospect, we may have spent too long playing around before getting stuck into it.
Of course, it's all set up to spook you but my heightened feelings weren't about being locked into a dark room. It was more because of the clock ticking away on the wall and the pressure of not looking too hopeless. I must admit I learnt something about myself. I'm not that competitive and I'm not that persistent when it comes to puzzles. However, I really like working in a team with such an almost impossible feat. The others didn't appreciate me doing the countdown as if it was the beginning of the new millennium, but I thought it was funny and added to the momentum. I think the designers are incredibly creative and clever. They have figured out the right amount of challenge, support and reward needed to keep a human striving to succeed.
I wish I could show you some photos to tell you more about the night's escape room but that would spoil the whole thing and I'd have to kill you! I can tell you that you are provided with a walkie-talkie and can ask for as many clues as you like but if you do you can't make it onto the monthly leaderboard or top the all-time record. Of course, that wasn't much of a risk for us, so ask away (and away and away) we did.
There are several rooms to choose from such as a medieval, James Bond, superheroes and Mission impossible. I can tell you right now I would not be going to the nightmare room. Each of them has their own costumes to help you get into the spirit of it. Some rooms are for over 18 year olds - the scary nightmare room is adults only - and others where kids can go if accompanied by an adult. I don't know if they would find it impossible or not. Maybe I just don't want to be outshone by my kids, af,ter all they never ask for help with tech problems.
The Rush escape rooms cater for everyone's ability. They require abstract reasoning and lateral thinking. Teamwork is perfect for this because you are able to capitalise on the different ways that people use their brains to solve problems.
Having now escaped one room (albeit with several clues), I think I have learnt a few tips. If it seems like a puzzle piece it might be, so hold onto it because it might be useful later. Without giving it away I've now learnt that a lot of things are connected in the rooms… it's just not that easy to figure out which ones… but then again that's all part of the challenge and satisfaction. Apparently some people over complicating the matter. Not us! We went for the very simple approach. No comment on the success of this random strategy.
Before we got downstairs one of my friends said it was the best day of her life and that she wanted to come back on the weekend. The Rush escape rooms would be great as a family experience, for birthdays with friends, as a gift voucher, for people of all ages or for corporate events. That's just about everyone on the planet.
Put on your joggers and rush in soon and enjoy one of the escape rooms. I hope you love it as much as we did. Good luck. Just don't tell me if you do it without clues because that would be showing off!