My family and I were having a hard time trying to find an activity this past weekend. We wanted to do something “Halloween’ish” but it was too rainy for the pumpkin patch, we had already been to the Halloween store, and we had already watched a ton of scary movies. Suddenly, my daughter suggested an escape room. I looked into it and was surprised to see that while many are temporarily closed, there are still virtual escape room options in its place. Below is a list of local and virtual suggestions.
Mad Genius Escape Co.-
This company prides itself on its unique virtual game experience. There are two choices: “The Truth About Edith” and “The Boonabo Farm”. “The Truth about Edith” is $80 for four players, “The Boonabo Farm” is $15 per player for 8-16 players. I looked in the “frequently asked questions” and found that the two games are very different. The Boonabo farm is about working together, communication, and team work to complete the tasks in the least amount of time. The Edith game is in a different format and is described as a mix of a video game, an escape room, and a great “who-done-it” story. Players must have access to Zoom, Chrome, or Firefox. Here is the link for more info: https://www.madgeniusescapes.com/
Escape Games PDX-
These guys are open with a very limited schedule for in-person games and also have virtual options. There are five different choices of “escapes” offered: Portlandia, Amnesia, Film Noir, Prison Heist, or Sherlock’s Secret. All the escapes are $35 per player. The number of participants allowed vary between 2-12 depending on the escape. Escape Games PDX is located in NW Portland. For more info, head to this link: https://escapegamespdx.com/
In the pre-pandemic days, this company offered three adventures in one place 1) Mental Trap escape rooms 2) Wicked Axe Throwing and 3) Glowing Greens mini-golf. I’m not sure what’s going on with the mini-golf and axe throwing, but the escape room is still operating in a virtual sense. This business is located in Downtown Portland. Currently, Mental Trap escape room games is offering a 60-minute virtual escape room experience that is hosted by an avatar! The imaginary setting is called “Hotel no Vacancy”. Teams with 4-6 participants work together through Zoom to escape within the hour time limit. The price is $30 per person. Mental Trap’s Facebook page states that there is currently a 20% off promo code: MT2020. Here is the link for more information: https://www.mentaltrap.com/
There are 7 different escapes that are usually offered, but currently, there are only three available 1) Malice Manor 2) Magician’s Menagerie and 3) Ritual Room. The offerings are in different locations in Portland. The Ritual Room is in SW Portland, the Magician’s Menagerie is in NW Portland, and Malice Manor is in NE Portland. Each of them have unique storylines and clues. The cost is around $25-30 per person for each experience. The website states that they are taking safety precautions such as sanitizing each room after each visit, requiring masks, and offering gloves to participants. For more info, head to this link: https://escapismportland.com/
I would imagine that an escape room situation could be regarded as a Halloween activity. The elements of mystery, excitement, and maybe a little fear would make for a nice, spooky way to spend one’s time. The small group sizes also work well in this time of a pandemic when it is recommended to stay in small groups. Not to mention research supports the idea that many benefits arise from escape room activities such as: increased problem-solving skills, increased cooperation, increased communication, increased use of senses and fine motor skills, along with an increase in memory and concentration (sciencedirect.com, 2020). An escape room game may be a good activity for families on Halloween this year, or for any old time! My daughter didn’t talk us into attending an escape room session that day I mentioned earlier in the article, because many of them required a little more notice than “right away”, but my family and I will be choosing one to do very soon. Best of luck to you all in finding a fun local or virtual escape room activity!