Help! Get me out of here!
I am not sure if it is all the chilling films out there, inspiration from the board game Clue, the rise in themed murder mystery dinner parties, or infamous characters
such as Sherlock Holmes and Lieutenant Columbo . . . but something sure entices folks to try to use their wits to escape a “locked” room! The experience of an escape room provides patrons with a unique opportunity to delve into another world, and satisfy a need for the feeling of accomplishment, collaboration, and curiosity. The idea is you and your team work together — typically within a designated time constraint — to uncover clues, solve puzzles, and ultimately,
exit the game to be considered a champ.
Escape rooms are also widely recognized and used as a development tool and teambuilding exercise. If you have employees or peers who are struggling to build connections, this might just be the ticket to solve that dilemma. Malachi Jimenez is a claims manager for Allstate in Las Cruces and recently visited Lost Cruces
Escape Room with his colleagues.
“As each room is unique to a different world of mystery, my advice is to pay close attention to any clues whether they be audible or visual,” advises Malachi. “Keep an open mind and allow yourself to enjoy the process! Some of the room activities are a little more challenging than others and can be difficult to get out of. So, if you are in a group, work together and listen to one another.”
LOST CRUCES ESCAPE ROOM
The superbly charismatic Griffin M. Allen serves as the managing director of Lost Cruces Escape Room. In this venture, guests can expect an experience that lasts about 90 minutes and includes brief orientation and debrief sessions. “They offer people something they can’t get elsewhere — a unique and immersive, real-world recreation experience that gives groups of people a sense of excitement, accomplishment, suspense, and adventure,” shares Griffin. One Friday evening I enlisted my mom and cousin to form an investigative team to see if we could accomplish the goal. The lobby area immediately gave the impression that we should start paying close attention to our surroundings. After we snooped around for a few minutes, Griffin surprised us by popping out from behind a sliding door! This man has a knack for immediately drawing you into the world they have created and was helpful along the way.
“Because escape rooms depend so heavily upon in-person interpersonal interaction, they give people something fun that is impossible to get online, in a video game, or from other digital environments,” says Griffin.
Lost Cruces Escape Room allows players to receive as many hints or clues as they wish throughout their journey and is designed to create repeat customers. Although my team was far from solving the full mystery, we still experienced some success solving smaller puzzles and will certainly be back!
Operation Outbreak in El Paso is a family affair, owned by brother and sister team Misael and Paty Garcia. There are several rooms to explore at affordable prices, each with detailed background stories. Individuals can book an experience online from $23 to $27. Once purchased, tickets are non-refundable and no cancellations are accepted. Book your private game in advance online and look for discounted rates for companies and corporations looking for unique
team-building exercises.lve puzzles, and ultimately, exit the game to be considered a champ.
If you are a fan of the choose-your-own- adventure books where each story is written from a second-person point of view, typically with the reader taking on the role of the protagonist, you will love the fact that at Operation Outbreak, Misael suggests, “It puts the player as the center of the experience. Everything revolves around whoever is playing and I think people really like that. It’s like, if you’re the lead of the movie, who doesn’t want to be the star?!”
RED DOOR ESCAPE ROOM
Within the Fountains at Farah in El Paso is Red Door Escape Room, which now has five locations in the United States. I recommend taking the escape-room personality test on the homepage of its website, reddoorescape.com. This brief quiz provides entertaining and valuable insight into what type of player you might be. I turned out to be Captain Jack Sparrow (also known as the “fun” participant). As it turns out, the prediction of the type of player I would be was spot-on. The quiz results indicated that “Without you, the team might take it way too seriously. You laugh, crack jokes, and have a great time while playing. Like Captain Jack Sparrow, while enjoying yourself, you frequently stumble across a Black Pearl . . . valuable clues and insights that your team needs in order to succeed. You also keep your team relaxed and lighthearted in the midst of the pressure.”
RUIDOSO ESCAPE ROOM
Although the mountains and serene setting of the Lincoln National Forest are remarkable and an escape all in themselves, the perfect place for a family outing is Ruidoso Escape Room. This establishment allows children 10 and under to get in free with the purchase of two adult tickets at $25 per person.
Visit its website for information on the rooms, including the story behind the mission, duration, number of participants, and difficulty level. Whether you solve the puzzles in these escape rooms or not, getting your gumshoe on makes all players a winner! In homage to the game of Clue . . . I accuse you. . . of committing the crime of having fun in an escape room . . . with your wits!
Tips and Tricks
I am certainly not providing a cheat sheet on how to make your way out of the room. What fun would that be? However, I am happy to share a few things to help make the most out of your experience:
1. DREAM TEAM: Creating a team of individuals who have different strengths and who are willing to cooperate is an excellent route to take instead of just focusing on recruiting those with a high IQ.
2. PROMPT ARRIVAL: Many escape rooms adhere to a tight schedule and if you arrive late, odds are your time will be cut short. The best practice is to arrive 15
3. POSITIVE THINKING: The intriguing thought of being locked in is often what attracts folks, but that is also voiced as a primary concern! So no, the room is not
actually locked, and you are free to exit at any time. This holds across all escape room establishments I have encountered.
4. COMMUNICATION: Escape rooms are designed to ignite strong collaboration and teamwork. Again, remember different players have distinct skill sets to contribute. Sometimes children are the best detectives based on their unique outlook!
5. FINAL TIP: Have fun!
MAKE YOUR ESCAPE
4530 Montana Ave.
915-412-0740 | escapegameep.com
Red Door Escape Room
8889 Gateway Blvd. West, Suite 2800
915-283-4247 | reddoorescape.com
Lost Cruces Escape Room
755 S. Telshor Blvd. Suite G4
575-323-2112 | lostcruces.com
Ruidoso Escape Room
2809 Sudderth Drive
575-808-8545 | escaperoomsruidoso.com
Story and photography by Desiree Bustamantes | Additional photos courtesy
Originally published in Neighbors magazine.
Posted by LasCruces.com