By Liz Johnson
If you’re looking to indulge your inner Sherlock Holmes or for an outing that gets the family video-gamer off the couch, consider an adventure at a local Escape Room.
Part virtual reality, part mystery, Escape Rooms are popping up in the most unlikely spots, from temporary venues such as the Prallsville Mill in Stockton, N.J. or Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pa. to venues tucked away in a nondescript cluster of office suites.
Escape Room players are told a storyline, then given a series of puzzles to solve and clues to unlock a mystery. They’re then shut into a room that’s transformed to look like a speakeasy or laboratory or another planet and given 60 minutes to solve them all. They can leave at any time, although once out, they can’t go back in.
Each storyline is custom to the individual Escape Room. Here are a few local venues to get you started:
361 NJ-31 Building C Suite 704
Flemington, NJ 08822
A deadly rescue mission leaves a crew fighting for their lives against an evil artificial intelligence in order to find their way home. Players will be solving puzzles, decoding messages, and wracking their brain for clues all while the timer continues to count down to doom. Grab four to eight family members or close friends to see if you have what it takes to emerge, home free, from this Escape Room.
Escape Room Center
Bridgewater, NJ 08807
One of the largest Escape Rooms in the area, Bridgewater’s Escape Room Center offers six different rooms with historic storylines that vary in difficulty from beginner to advanced. Some are ideal for as few as two players up to eight players. From locating the Lost Jewel of Zanzibar to escaping from Blackbeard’s Brig, players will be challenged to find their way out – alive.
Doylestown Escape Room
120 S Main St, Doylestown, PA 18901
Started by Doylestown residents Heather and Jack Dugan who fell in love with the game after playing it on a family vacation in Texas, the Doylestown Escape Room has found a home in a historic stone building on South Main Street in the borough. But the couple hasn’t stopped there. They now also host Escape Rooms at the Prallsville Mill in Stockon, N.J. (www.prallsvillemills.org/escape-the-mill) and Fonthill Castle in Doylestown (www.mercermuseum.org/fonthill-castle-escape-room/) where adventure and history merge.
The Great Escape Zone
2216 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
These are live action escape rooms where interactive gaming goes to a whole new level. Rooms here vary from Pirate Adventures to a Pharaoh’s tomb. There is even an adults only theme room that picks up just like the movie the hangover with puzzle goers seeking to solve the mystery of their night in Vegas.