60 minutes to escape

The ins and [maybe the] outs of Fort Collins escape rooms

“We will need you all to sign this waiver,” says a bright-eyed woman at the front desk; my group of anxious friends casting glares of “why are we doing this” in my direction. We were at the Something Secret escape room, located in the quaint Walnut Creek antique shop. The dozens of rustic accessories methodically placed around the area and the dimmed after-hour lights added to the mood. We were all about to experience an escape room for the first time and expectations were unclear. Led up a creaky, wooden staircase, we found ourselves in the upper loft of the building, surrounded by white brick and the continuation of the old wood floors. The continuation of the group’s anxiety also followed. What would the next hour have in store?

The picture painted was that of a group that thrives on knowing what to expect. Escape rooms are full of unexpected puzzles and riddles that need to be solved. They are intended to make you think and to get you to work with others that are in the room. However, they are not a scary experience, to the disbelief of some. Most contain an intricate theme that ties into your objective.

The concept of an escape room has been on the rise for the last few years, particularly in Fort Collins. With three escape rooms planted in Old Town — Fort Collins Escape Room, Enigma Escape Room and Somewhere Secret — visitors have the option of choosing what kind of story they want to participate in. The Fort Collins Escape Room has a steampunk vibe to it, while the Somewhere Secret escape room is merely decorated as if it were the early 1900s. Each are unique.

For one hour, visitors are put in a room in which they have to solve interactive riddles and puzzles in order to unlock the door and escape.

SPOILER ALERT: the group is liberated after the hour is up, even if you fail to completely solve the puzzle.

Escape rooms are designed for a broad age range, anywhere from 8–100 years old. The riddles and puzzles hidden within each room vary in difficulty making it easy for everyone to participate. Everything that you need to solve the puzzle is in the room, minimizing the need for you to bring any outside sources into the room.

So, why should I visit an escape room, one may ask?

It is an unique way to spend one hour out of your busy schedule. It presents the opportunity to exercise your brain and be with the ones you enjoy most. An escape room briefly pulls you away from reality and forces you to focus on the task at hand.

So, in revisiting the story of the group that was anxious for their attempt, they ultimately survived and were successful in completing the task. The group was all smiles as they posed for a picture with the coveted treasure map of Somewhere Secret and all of their anxieties were a thing of the past. The escape room facilitated a bonding experience for them by creating an atmosphere of teamwork mixed with effortless fun.

It is now your turn to give an escape room a try. You can book tickets for the three escape rooms online at their individual websites. You will undoubtedly have no regrets.