Without further ado, your Idiotville feel-good story of the week:
Let’s get this out of the way right up top: this week’s good news is that Escape Game Erie has launched “The Escape Game Erie Virtual Challenge” at the best possible time – after a few weeks in quarantine. This could be just what the doctor ordered to break you out of your endless, mandated monotony for a few days.
As for me, I’ve done three escape rooms in my life: two of them were terrible and one was pretty great. Escape Game Erie was the best of the three, but I believe some detail first on the terrible ones will help sell you on it.
The first escape room I ever tried was something I didn’t know was happening until I was in the middle of it. I broke up with an old girlfriend whom then drove to my apartment and convinced me to get in her car to talk before locking the doors and that was not a good escape room at all, though I did escape. Let’s move on.
My second escape room was “organized” by my boss as part of a “team-building” adventure in a cabin in the woods. He purchased the instructions online before our weekend in the cabin, but never read the instructions until the morning this activity was scheduled. Turns out, there was some assembly required. Hours of assembly. Hours he no longer had. It was a debacle right out of The Office, complete with each of us cutting up little pieces of paper to help make the escape room, then hiding them around the cabin before “finding” them again later on. That wasn’t great.
That leads to my third and only worthwhile escape room experience, at 23 W. 10th Street right next to the Erie Playhouse across from the Avalon Hotel. This is one of Escape Game Erie’s locations. I haven’t been to the other one at 4838 W. Ridge Road yet, but I plan to once I’m allowed out of the house again.
Anyway, my wife and I joined up with some friends, eight of us in all, and all with different backgrounds and personality types which we assumed would help us. We were confident we’d get through. We did not. When we had two clues left to escape, our time expired and my evening was ruined. We went out to Voodoo Brewery afterward for drinks, which tasted like failure. All conversation focused on the clues we should’ve seen earlier or missed altogether. In spite of the disappointment, we all had a blast.
Now a few years later, that same Erie Escape Game is launching a virtual challenge. First of all, know this is a locally-owned business only charging $9.50 for three straight days of challenges. If you win, you get a free escape room once we’re all released back into the wild; otherwise, the $9.50 you paid goes toward your next outing there, anyway. Since you’re at home where things occasionally get busy, you have 24 hours to solve each riddle. You can even play with friends and compare notes.
Check out the Facebook link at the top for the rest of the details. I highly recommend this place. Stay at home – and escape.