Escape Rooms have become a rising phenomenon in cities all over the world. Centered around the pursuit of adventure, mystery and problem-solving, they have the ability to test the constraints of your friend group, as time runs out and pressure builds.
Players enter a room and are tasked with the responsibility of finding clues and deciphering puzzles in order to find a way to “escape” the room. Usually, the room is themed, containing references to popular genres.
If you are searching for something that is unique, creative and distracting from the tribulations of reality, escape rooms could definitely be just the thrill you are seeking.
Escape2Win is a locally-owned escape room business in Virginia Beach. Located only twelve minutes away from the Virginia Wesleyan campus, Escape2Win offers five different escape room themes to choose from. These options range from family-friendly explorative adventures to horror-movie style settings. Different rooms accommodate various levels of challenge, with two players being the minimum and eight being the maximum to play.
Having five stars on both Yelp and TripAdvisor, the business has built quite the reputation. As stated on the website, it offers student, military and large group discounts. Their current escape rooms available are “The Attic,” “Scene of the Crime,” “Lunar Lockdown,” “Ghostly Encounter” and “The Explorer’s Club.”
In order to secure a time block, advance registration via Escape2Win’s online website is required. Customers choose their escape room theme of choice and select the hour they would like to reserve.
Upon entry into the building, players gather in a lobby that has a variety of puzzles and mini-games strewn about on the coffee and side tables. Peg solitaire and dry erase board mazes are only a few of the options available to occupy one’s time while waiting for everything to be set up.
After confirming that each member of the group has filled out a short liability waiver, everyone watches a brief video on the rules and regulations of participating in an Escape2Win escape room. Important information pertaining to logistics, such as not being able to take pictures during the experience, is conveyed.
When the video is finished, players are escorted to their designated, reserved escape room, and the 60 minute countdown begins. With only an hour to try and solve everything, time management is essential.
Sophomore Stone Sterling participated in the “Lunar Lockdown” escape room. With a plot line of needing to restore power to the spaceship in order to return home to earth, the objective was to get all the grids up and running.
“I was in awe of the details in the room. The theme was amazing as after a while I felt like I was actually on a ship,” Sterling said.
Sterling expressed his overall positive experience with Escape2Win, citing it as a great activity to do with friends. He appreciated the attention to detail in creating an immersive environment through both visuals and auditory sounds.
“I would recommend this to everyone. The escape room was a great serotonin boost to get my mind relaxed before finals. I had a great time, and I don’t remember when there wasn’t a smile on my face,” Sterling said.
Sophomore Marco Molino, another member of the same group, agreed with Sterling’s assessment of the decor, saying that it was “definitely one of the most well put together escape rooms. Fantastic aesthetic.”
Molino especially enjoyed the collaborative spirit the escape room encouraged.
“My favorite part was certainly watching everyone add to solving the puzzle. Each of us was making connections and getting the chance to put something together,” Molino said.
Sophomore Evelyn Weaver, also a member of the participating group, appreciated the cooperation of the activity as well.
“I feel like a good escape room should be interactive in a lot of different ways,” Weaver said, going on to assert that Escape2Win’s “Lunar Lockdown” did exactly that.
She liked being able to work with the group, allowing all participants to bounce off of each other’s skill sets.
“Everyone in our group thinks a little bit differently, so everyone kind of had a few moments where things just clicked,” Weaver said.
Overall, Escape2Win provides a fun experience for any group of friends looking to spend some interactive time together off campus. With prices of about $30 per person, it is a unique and different way to have fun. For anyone who dares try out “Lunar Lockdown” too, Molino warns you to “NOT just touch every red button you see.”
By Phoebe Cox