Tired of the same old same old? Looking for a little escapist entertainment? Maybe you should try, well, escaping. Seriously. Here in Birmingham, escape games have become all the rage. What are escape games? Well, here’s the skinny: essentially, you and your compadres (we recommend playing these games as a team of somewhere between 2 and 10 intrepid souls) are put into a scenario that requires the team to engage in complex problem solving in order to free themselves from a room. For example:
Imagine that you are on a hijacked flight. You lose consciousness as the cabin depressurizes. When you come to, you find yourself trapped, handcuffed to your team members, and in the presumed headquarters of the hijackers. You have a limited amount of time to figure out what the hijackers are up to in order to escape.
Sound like fun? Well, if fantasy role play and solving problems are your jam, you have plenty to choose from here in Birmingham. Let’s have a look at some of the other purveyors of fine inventive hostage experiences.
In this storyline, you begin the game by assuming the roles of former art thieves who have been hired to find a rare collection of stolen artwork on the eve of a very important gallery opening. You must break into the thief’s home, find the stolen objets d’arts, and escape before time runs out. THIS is what these escape games are all about. In most, you assume a role, and based upon that role are fed into a scenario from which you must, yes, you guessed it – escape. The stolen art story is but one. So, if fine art doesn’t move you, perhaps you’d be happier flying the unfriendly skies in the following situation:
offers three different scenarios: “The Warehouse,” “The Laboratory,” and “The Classroom.”In “The Warehouse,” for example, you and your team assume the roles of workers in a secret government warehouse. A work partner has been forced into hiding after finding proof of a conspiracy. He has left clues to the location of an “item” that will clear his name. You must find it before the bad guys find you.
In “The Laboratory” situation, you’re on the clock to suss out the clues to stopping an escaped virus created in said laboratory from ending life as we know it.
In “The Classroom,” you awaken trapped in an abandoned schoolhouse with nothingmore than cryptic riddle written on the blackboard to help you free yourself.
Train Escape is one of the newer escape games to come to Birmingham. As of this writing, they offer two scenarios – one called “Sabotage,” and the other, “Classified.” In “Sabot
age,” your “elite team” finds itself on a train deep behind enemy lines, with just 60 minutes to stop a missile strike. But to do that, you must break into the locomotive control center, think Murder on the Orient Express meets War Games. In “Classified,” a train hauling a nuke is overtaken by terrorists, and you and your mighty band of night-on-the-town operatives must decipher clues in order to gain access to the engine and stop the train.
By and large, these experiences last about an hour, and are family friendly. They’re also a great way to start the evening (or even end it) for you and the crowd you run with. We recommend making a night of it. Only, instead of “dinner and a movie,” how about “dinner and a life-and-death-situation-in-which-only-you-and-your-team-can-save-the-world”?! The way we see it, the world will owe you one of our local craft beers after this one. Of that we’re certain!