Escape If You Can

Discover a new type of immersive game where virtual code-cracking and adventure are brought to life.

By: Sylvia Slezak

Have you ever watched a suspenseful movie or read a detective novel, like Nancy Drew, Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes, where they have to decipher some secret code in order to get the next clue or escape or find out “who dunnit”?

Today’s next best thing seems to be escape rooms filled with mystery, puzzles, clues and the excitement of testing your wits to escape within a set time. Have you ever heard of them? Come along, gumshoe, for a clue-finding experience, and discover escape room themes and locations you may not have known about before.

What is an escape room?
Inspired by “escape-the-room”-style video games, escape rooms are a new type of immersive adventure game, often used for entertainment with friends and family or as a team-building experience with corporate groups.

In this physical adventure game, players are locked in a room with other participants and have to solve a series of puzzles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand, all within a set time limit to unveil the secret plot, which is hidden within the rooms. Participants must be observant, explore the room and use critical thinking to be successful.

What kinds of escape rooms are there?
These games are as exciting and challenging as video games, but better because you are really there, being part of the action and experiencing a level of interactivity that can’t be found in any other type of game. You can move and touch objects with your own two hands and listen to sounds in real surroundings rather than through headphones. If you want to experience a fully immersive game, try one of these rooms.

11th Hour Escape in Corpus Christi, Texas

Cottage Chaos: Your neighbor, Ethel, frantically called for your help. Her nephew, Kevin, moved into her spare bedroom, and he’s in there conducting science experiments! She discovered a countdown timer and needs your help to stop the experiment from spreading … before time runs out!

Pirate Captives: Your ship has been taken captive. You end up locked in the brig, and the only way to become part of the crew is to solve your way out. If you try to cheat or don’t make it out in time, you’ll become fish food, matey.

Great Room Escape in San Antonio, Texas

Countdown: The missile defense system has been sabotaged, a missile has been launched toward your location and you only have an hour to bring the system back online to prevent a disaster.

Zombie Room: Trapped with no way out, a bloodthirsty zombie invades the room.

The Escape Game in Austin, Texas

Gold Rush: For nearly two centuries, the hope of gold has lured people to the hills of Northern California. No one was captivated more than Clyde Hamilton, a greedy gold prospector who loved to gamble. Clyde made too many bets with the wrong crowd, and now he’s missing. You’ve been tipped off to where he stashed his gold … but so has the mob. Finders, keepers.

The Heist: Stealing is wrong, most of the time. This is an exciting challenge of beating thieves at their own game. If you succeed in your mission, you will become a national hero! If you fail, you will be treated as a common criminal by the authorities.

Prison Break: The year is 1955, and you’ve been wrongfully accused of a crime and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Your new “home” is a cell that once belonged to an inmate who disappeared without a trace … or did he? Some claim he escaped; others swear he was murdered by the infamously cruel warden. But no one actually knows. Can you escape before you suffer the same fate?

Classified: Your team, an international anti-terrorist organization, has been assigned to a critical covert mission. Your objective? Stop a major international terrorist threat by gathering details on the impending attack. In this thrilling high-stakes mission, it’s up to you to get inside the head of the masterminds and infiltrate their evil plan.

Can you escape?
While each room is uniquely tailored to provide a different experience, an escape room is a perfect place to have fun and test your wits. Since these rooms are completely indoors, they are perfect for vacations and traveling, especially when bad weather takes over the day. Escape from mundane activities, and try one of these rooms.

Our time is up for this mind-blowing revelation; we hope it turns you into a clue-finding detective. Remember to be aware of your surroundings, for you never know when the slightest object will become a key to your next adventure.

Sylvia Slezak is the director of marketing and social media at CityOf.com. For more information on where to relax, have fun and discover new adventures, visit us online at www.cityof.com to find local premier businesses, restaurants, events, attractions and more.

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