My first experience with one of these real-life puzzle rooms was a lot of fun, so it didn't take much for a friend to convince to check out the other room that this company is currently offering. Leaving behind the pastiche of fairy tales that made up "The Grimm Escape," "Escape from Twenty Thousand Leagues" instead wraps up its cornucopia of cranial conundrums in water stuff, like coordinates on an ocean map and gigantic cephalopods. The general flow of what needed to be done remained in tact, working through this with an entirely new group of people significantly altered the experience.
In an unfortunate turn of events, no one in our group was comfortable with taking on the "type-A person that yells at everyone until they get their shit together" role, so communication quickly became our weak point. One group of four or so friends remained stuck on a single picture association puzzle throughout the duration of this challenge, and no one really intervened to help them out. Staff members also had to repeat the same handful hints to different chunks of us. No one was really surprised when we failed to make it out alive at the end. Well, metaphorically speaking. It'd be difficult for me to write this while I'm dead.
It was really interesting to learn more about what the actual success rate is for these puzzle rooms. After our group's failure, we were told that fewer than 20% of groups are able to complete either room, indicating that they've done their work in setting up a challenging experience. This definitely seems like the right way to go. Something that is nearly impossible to beat would be no fun, but it also would be rather boring if groups could effortlessly coast through.
So yeah, physical manifestations of what are essentially video games continue to be neat. Does this road lead to that "geocaching" thing that all of the kids crave? Maybe I should try that at some point, I like to feel hip and current.