Escape rooms offer puzzles and mysteries

Kaleb De La Cruz, Staff Writer

Feeling a need to escape?  There’s room for that!
Located at the Amusement Center on March Lane (next to Goodwill), Stockton Escape is modeled after the Escape Room phone apps. Instead of randomly tapping the screen in hopes for clues, players are required to use the their brain to physically escape the Escape Room.
Filled with mysteries and puzzles, Escape Rooms use a wide range of strategies to confound players.  From Morse Code to reenacting a chess match to even figuring out an entire train route from journal entries, the Escape Room always has something hidden to find.
“What I enjoyed most [about the Escape room] was the complex puzzles,” junior Jasmine Shinn said. “It was the best and worst part of it because a couple of the puzzles were really hard.  I give them a score 4.5/5.”
For the price tag of $25, Stockton Escape offers one hour of game time.  Players arrive to the venue at their booked time, sign a waiver (if under 18, then someone who is over 18 will need to sign), get briefed on the rules and regulations of the Escape Room, then start the Escape Room.  Stockton Escape does all of their booking online and offers a 15 percent student discount.
Stockton Escape offers three different Escape Rooms: The Gallery, The Study and Ex Machina.  Each room is entirely unique, with different stories and scenarios to them.   To attract repeat customers, the scenarios and puzzles are changed about every nine months.
The Gallery features a locally famous artist’s gallery, which contains hints and clues on why she went misasing and where she could have gone.  Players must find her whereabouts before the police take over the investigation.
For The Study, a mad scientist goes rogue and threatens to sell weapons to the enemy, so a team of agents must break into his mansion and find the secrets of the weapons before the government does.
In Ex Machina, a strange room is discovered with mechanical contraptions during renovation.  From the stories heard in the building, there is an ancient relic somewhere in the room, but people have gone missing when looking for it; the players’ objective is to find the relic before they disappear as well.
The design of the rooms is planned to immerse you into the ambiance of the room, with each element hand-crafted.  Even the pipes that protrude from the wall are welded on site. “I really liked the escape room, the themes of the escape room really added to the atmosphere,” junior Alexis Morales said.
After attempting all three Escape Rooms and escaping only one of them with the aid of several friends, I can confirm that these Escape Rooms are actually puzzling and require critical thinking.
“I rate the Escape Room 24/30.” Junior Christopher Arisment said. “Solving puzzles with friends was fun and I liked the person working there,”
I enjoyed the Escape Rooms; solving a puzzle is very satisfying, and doing it with friends is even more fun. Granted, there will be some mishaps, like puzzle pieces being stolen by previous players or technological problems with the puzzle pieces like a dying battery, but these issues don’t ruin the experience.  Escape rooms are playable by anyone regardless of age or intelligence.