Voice of the Notre Dame Prep Saints

The Seraphim

‘Escape the Room’ for the thrill of it

12 seniors step up to challenge

Amanda Haj and Liah Port, Staff Writers

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What would you do if you were locked in an unfamiliar room with only one hour to escape?

When the popular computer game/app Escape the Room first hit the market in 2001, no one fathomed that it would become a live-action adventure game.

This new form of entertainment has popped up all over the U.S. Various locations, such as NYC, DC, Texas and Arizona, have all hopped on the Escape the Room train. Each location has its own creative theme. For example, in NYC there is an Opera house-themed escape.

Recently opened in 2015 and located in Old Town Scottsdale, Escape the Room AZ has become a popular activity. There are four different rooms that players can choose to be locked into for $28 each. The rooms range from the classic apartment all the way to a Western bank heist.

Each room can hold between seven to 12 players, but regardless of the size of the group, players only have 60 minutes to escape.

In order to fully comprehend the complexity of this game, we decided to try it for ourselves. Completely renting out the entire Bank Heist room, we, along with nine of our friends, got locked in what looked to be a replica of a bank in the Wild West.

Senior Shannon Macneil said, “To me, being locked in a room with 10 other people seemed terrifying, but in actuality, it was a good bonding experience with my friends. It was different than just going to someone’s house and watching movies.”

The host, also our clue master for the hour, locked us in the room, and the clock began counting down. We had exactly 60 minutes to rob a bank and get out with the entire loot before the sheriff showed up. With every passing second, the game proved to be more challenging than we originally thought.

We searched through various drawers, under benches and even rearranged puzzles. All of these clues led us further into the maze. Finally, we made it into the next room: the holding jail cell.

There we had to search for less obvious clues, and the game became increasingly difficult. Time was running out, and we still had no idea how to get out.

Senior Sam Ohanian said, “As we got closer to the end of the hour, we felt the pressure. We really wanted to win.”  

Finally, we figured it out. We grabbed the money, the bank statements and the keys we found. There were mere seconds left. As all 12 of us ran towards the door, time ran out. We didn’t make it out in time.

The lights came on, the door unlocked, and our clue master came in. In the midst of defeat, we walked back into the lobby and were humiliated by being forced to take a picture holding up various signs that proved we lost.

escape the room

After failing to escape, we 12 seniors smile for the exit picture. Pictured, from back, are Tripp Smith, Ben Gburek, Samuel Ohanian, Landon Goldberg, Shannon Macneil, Bradley Friedman. Middle: Maddie Schwanz, Lindsay Bucklin, Liah Port, Maria Kraus. Front: Amanda Haj and Danielle Olsen.

Senior Maria Kraus said, “We only needed 10 more seconds to make it out in time! It was so frustrating.” She added, “But we still had a fun time, and, all in all, I am glad I did it with my friends.”

Even though we didn’t “escape the room” in time, it was a fun and exciting way to bond with each other. We highly recommend NDP students check it out. A $28 ticket costs can be purchased and booked online.


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Voice of the Notre Dame Prep Saints
‘Escape the Room’ for the thrill of it