To this day, I come across tons of people that don't quite understand what an escape room is. Even when I do get it to sink in, I get asked why it's something that people would actively sign up for and participate in. As Hidden Trail's first blog post, I was thinking it would be a good idea to cover both of those concerns from our personal perspective.
What is an escape room?
Firstly (and most importantly), I want to cover what and escape room is to anyone who hasn't tried this experience before.
I've done a few interviews where a very common description gets used, and I'm starting to want to alter that. Initially, this does sound like a pretty clean way to put it:
An escape room is a designed room where a series of clues, storylines and puzzles must be solved in order to get out of said room.
However, if you've done our Asylum room before, you may know that this description doesn't quite cover the social, team-building or time-sensitive aspects of the experience. A more apt expression might be:
An escape room is a designed room where you and your team are locked into another world for an hour and are meant to feel like if you don't get out, you'll be unsuccessful, trapped, or worse (we have an affinity for scary things). Oh, and there are some seriously stressful puzzles that you have to power through that are in your way to freedom.
Yeah, that's better.
I could try to address all of the questions I've gotten from groups before they go in to the room while they stand in the lobby, often anxious and scared, but we don't have that kind of typing power. So at the end of the day, me and all of the people that helped out with our first room are proud to answer the big “What?” with “It's just fun. You gotta try it.“
Now the “Why”.
Oh, the possibilities for this post to be too long just because of this question. To narrow it down, it was really a desire to add to Windsor as a city. Having lived in the GTA for 2 years between 2013 and 2015, I quickly realized that there was a lot that the big city had to offer that we didn't in Windsor. Particularly, I noted that nobody ever complained about having something to do on a weekend — or even the weekdays for that matter. More importantly, not a whole lot of people my age or younger were planning on leaving the city for work. Ever. When I decided to come back to Windsor, I knew that it would be to help alleviate both of those issues.
I'm happy to say that we're now reviewed extremely well on all of our platforms and it's incredibly inspiring to have people leave our room and continue to talk about what they experienced. So check the box on Windsor being a bit more fun. Even more exciting is that we've hired two staff members that are not just running the rooms, but have been vital in the creative process for our new location's rooms. Hopefully we can increase Hidden Trail's ability to provide work for Windsorites in the future.
I wanted to close by saying that I've always had a passion for puzzles and mystery. I think everyone has a time in their lives that they wanted a letter from Hogwarts to open a wardrobe and transport them somewhere fascinating, to be taken on a journey. Especially now that everything is right at your fingertips, it's difficult to be somewhere that you really believe is not just a plain, easily solved problem. Our goal will always be to make sure that Google is left in the dark to the mysteries of our rooms and that the solutions to our puzzles are only going to be obtained live, in the rooms, using only your wits and cleverness.