INTELLECTUAL CHALLENGE FOR THE THRILL SEEKERS:
By James Stemple, Staff Writer
Have you ever wanted to willingly lock yourself in a room for fun with the only way out being solving puzzles? This Halloween, spook yourself with a thrilling experience at Room Escape Fairfax, a warehouse full of rooms specifically designed to test your mental merit.
Escape rooms are physical adventure rooms that involve complex puzzles that require teamwork and communication to solve. The concept has evolved from point and click games on computers dating back to the early 2000’s.
Room Escape Fairfax seeks to capture this sense of adventure and wonder through it’s many available rooms—there’s even a mobile escape bus to really challenge large groups.
Participants are given an hour after entering the rooms to solve the puzzles, which involve any number of different kinds of puzzles—every room is different. For example, in one room, titled “Joker’s Trap,” you start tied to a chair in the dark and must find your escape using flashlights after freeing yourself.
But don’t worry, you’re free to leave the room at any time if you feel a bit trapped or claustrophobic. Staff are always just outside and communicate with the participants and sometimes help them finish the puzzle if you’re a few minutes from the hour-long deadline.
Each room has a different theme that makes it unique—you won’t find the same puzzle in a different room. We at the Fourth Estate experienced “The Cure,” a room designed to be an escape from a disease that will kill you in an hour.
The experience was a lot of fun—our group ran all over the room at the start trying to find all the clues. At one point, we found ourselves stuck and all laughed after realizing one of us was carrying the answer to a puzzle the whole time. Our triumphant cry when the final door opened at the end was worth it all—we barely made it under the hour time limit.
Room Escape Fairfax was a great team-building exercise. Just up the road from Mason on University Drive, it’s a great escape from the mundane day, and a great activity to do this Halloween.
Photos Courtesy of Michelle Gardner