Escape rooms have become quite the rage in recent years, and it makes sense why: They’re a whole lot of fun!
Whether you’re looking to test your skills of logical thinking, you want a fun, bonding experience with your friends or family, or you’re just a huge Sherlock fan and want to try your hand at sleuthing, escape rooms offer exactly what you’re looking for.
What is an Escape Room?
The basic premise is the same, no matter the location: You are trapped in some sort of room (whether it be a dungeon, a study, a science lab, or something else) and need to find a way out. Sometimes back stories and characters are introduced, sometimes they’re not (though it’s always better when they are!).
Typically you’ll need to solve a series of puzzles, riddles, and challenges in order to escape, and there are often a number of false-starts or distractions to keep you from reaching your goal. As you race against the clock and find the minutes and seconds ticking down, your adrenaline will start to surge and your heart will start to race: You’ve got to get out!
If you don’t? Well, then you’ll have to face the embarrassment of the staff letting you out and, if you’re lucky, explaining where you went wrong. The shame!
Want to try one for yourself? Here are some escape rooms from all around CT that you can visit to put your skills to the test.
Note: It’s highly recommended that, regardless of which location you plan on attending, you call ahead and schedule an appointment. Time slots can fill up quickly, and there’s nothing worse than needing to wait an hour or more to get in!
1. The Ultimate Escape — Norwich
This venue has two rooms to try. One is set in an undisclosed location in Norwich where you take on the role of a secret agent to find the nuclear weapon launch codes from The General, who wants to destroy the USA. The other room is called the “ Quest for the Throne,” where you are a sibling born into a royal family. The king and queen die and your crazy brother takes the throne and runs the kingdom into despair. You have to sneak through the castle to prove your birthright without being detected to take over the throne.
2. Mystified — Mystic
This locally-owned and family-run business takes pride in the quality of games they provide for guests wanting to test their skills. They offer a handful of different adventure rooms to choose from. One, called “Rendezvous,” is a renaissance-themed escape game where visitors take on the role of a Victorian traveler on a European tour. You get delivered the long luggage to your hotel room and after further investigation find the luggage belonged to an artifact hunter. All you need to do is find a way to unlock the hunters notebook to find out where the lost artifacts are. Can you figure it out before it’s too late?
Other challenges include “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” “Keeper of the Light,” and “The Dizzy Drifter.”
3. Puzzle Theory — South Windsor
Puzzle Theory prides themselves on having unique and suspenseful 60-minute stories for visitors to navigate through. Their most interesting challenge is called “The Interview,” which asks you to conduct an interview with a mad scientist called Dr. X. You and your team need to work together to figure out what Dr. X is planning and make sure everyone in the room is a good fit for the work he needs done.
Other challenges on offer include “The Missing Doctor” and “The Experiment,” which both also feature the mysterious Dr. X.
4. Team Vs. Time — Berlin
Team Vs.Time is located in Berlin and offers a highly-competitive array of escape rooms, catering to groups ranging from families and friends celebrating birthdays to companies holding corporate team-building events.
My personal favorite event on offer is the “Gangster’s Gamble,” which lets you travel back in time to when crime bosses ruled the streets instead of law enforcement. You have been apart of this mob like family the “Ferretti’s” for four years helping with city control. The problem is, the family is starting to smell a rat in their organization. You need to find major evidence against the gangsters before they catch you.
Other events on offer are “The Lost Book of Spells,” “Save the Queen,” and “Cure of the Alchemist.”
5. Forbidden Escape — Plainville
Forbidden Escapes offers two escape rooms with an edgier feel than the rest on this list. They say this isn’t a horror house, but they’ve added bits of scary elements to their game rooms.
One room, called “The Basement,” puts has you investigating to find people who have disappeared from one of the oldest theaters in the state, The Mystique Theatre. People have started going missing from the grounds and while looking for one of your lost friends you get locked inside. You only have a short amount of time before the deep shadows return. There other room is “The Backstage” which has similar theatrical themes.
6. All In Adventures — Milford, Manchester, and Waterbury
This escape room empire has tons of locations across the country, and three specifically in Connecticut, and a huge catalog of escape room themes and challenges.
Though their exact offerings depend on which location you choose, their scenarios include:
- Escape from Alcatraz
- Treasure Island
- Zombie Apocalypse
- Hollywood Premiere
- Sherlock’s Library
- Houdini’s Magic Cell
- Black Ops
- Superhero’s Adventure
- Special Agent
7. Escape — New Haven
Escape New haven offers four unique games with thrilling moments throughout, and they’re regularly adding new stories. Their current offerings include scenarios like “The Crypt,” “The Gallery,” “The Space Station,” and “The Library.”
Bonus: Because it’s based in New Haven, you might just get paired up with a super-smart Yalie who can help you solve the really challenging puzzles.
Editor’s Note: In the past, Tim completed their “Library” event (no longer on offer) with a group of friends and says it was the most fun he’d had in years.
8. Escape 101 — Danbury
Escape 101 currently offers three escape scenarios that you can try your skills with, including “Victim No. 7,” “Jet Set,” and “Doomsday” that can accommodate up to 12 players. Doomsday sounds like the most unique to me, as your mission is to discover exactly how and when the world will end. Talk about pressure!
9.Trap’t — Stamford
These escape room are going to make you think outside the box and make you rely on teamwork. Trap’t says that even though your mind is an important part of the game, they are going to test all of your senses because they are needed to solve the different clues.
One of their rooms called “Museum Mayhem” depicts a museum that was broken into right before an important Gala. The museum hired you to find and put back all of the artifacts in the right position before time is up and the Gala begins. Think you can handle that?
Other rooms include:
- Abducted: Escape from the Madman
- Time Chasers: Race for the Cure
- Tremors on the Tracks
10. Complexity — Farmington
Complexity puts you in the middle of the actions. Your goal? To work together with your team to search your room, find your clues, crack the riddles, and get out before it’s too late. One of their rooms is called “Cat Burglar” your job is to search an eccentric millionaire’s house for his most prized possession. Can you find his treasure before he returns?
Other rooms include “The Mall” and “The Pirate Ship.”
11. Panic Room — Norwalk
Panic Room operates with the goal of pushing the limits of your brain and teamwork abilities. They pride themselves on having a very realistic and energizing experience for all of their guests.
Each room has a constant challenge and requires relentless focus throughout each mission. One of their rooms, called “Last Resort” puts you in an unknown town and forces you and your friends to find a place to sleep for the night. You end up at the hotel Last Resort. When no one checks you into the hotel, you have a sense of how the night will continue. Can you survive?
Their other rooms include “Tick Tok” and “A Broken Mind.”
12. Deadlocked — Stamford
Deadlocked escape rooms constantly update and refresh their rooms to keep them challenging and exciting. They say the only scary thing for some of their customers is the fact that you have to lock up your phone for an hour.
One of their rooms is called “Wrongfully Accused,” where you are placed into a private investigator’s business where your partner was brutally murdered the night before and you are the prime suspect in the police’s investigation. You have to search the office where your partner was killed to find clues to clear your name.
Other rooms include “Lost Treasure of Captain Lawrence” and “Biohazard.”
Quandary has been a CT favorite since they opened in 2016. Their original escape room was titled “The Wallingford Five,” which sets participants on an investigation to find an elusive, brazen band of bank robbers who have been terrorizing the northeast. After the success of their first scenario, Quandary has since added two additional stories: “Gambit,” which is a sort of spy-thriller, and “Son of the Zodiac,” which is a sort of murder mystery.
In all of the scenarios, participants have an hour to crack riddles, solve puzzles, and use their brains to achieve their mission and get out before being caught. Appointments must be made ahead of time, and rooms can accommodate up to 8 players at a time.
Editor’s Note: Tim played the “Gambit” room with some friends recently, and thought that it was a lot of fun. Challenging, but not too challenging, it’s a good room for escape-room-beginners. “Son of the Zodiac” is apparently the more challenging of the rooms, so keep that in mind when making plans.