Have you heard of an “Escape Room?” I have asked several people this same question and most have not heard of it. Of course the words “Escape Room” give some idea to what it could be but besides trying to escape from a room there is not much information. I first heard of an escape room from one of my cousins who had recently visited one in Los Angeles. An escape room is a room full of puzzles in which you and a group of friends are locked in for 60 minutes. The whole point of this escape room is to escape. No great mystery there. The question is, what type of puzzles are there? How hard are the puzzles? What happens if you can’t get out?
For New Year’s Day, I decided to take my family to one of these escape rooms. I chose one with a mission. Enigma Headquarters in San Diego is an escape room with a storyline to it. You are recruited as an Enigma agent who has a specific mission to complete. The mission can vary with time so as to keep people coming back. As we drove to the location we imagined ourselves as Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible and sang the Mission Impossible theme song.
When we arrived at the Enigma Headquarters at 2:15 pm on Sunday we notice that the building was locked and the only way into the building was to call the Enigma Headquarters for their agents to open the door. We were told to come back because we arrived too early so we decided to walk around the Little Italy section to kill time. While we waited we started to wonder why there was nobody coming in and out of the building. Why was there a half-way home across the street and could it be that nobody has come out alive.
The movie SAW came into mind. We all started to recall some of the most gruesome scenes in SAW which made us a bit more nervous. Maybe this story of being recruited as an Enigma Agent was just a front. Maybe we would be trapped there and would have to cut body parts off to make it out alive. We started observing the building looking for scratch marks, blood, signs of any type of struggle from previous “agents.” We start
ed to imagine men in lab coats with a welcoming smile and a devilish look in their eyes greeting us. I was then questioned as to how I found out about the place and did I read the reviews. Speculation was that I might have received an invitation to come to this mysterious headquarters. The more we waited, the more our imaginations went wild. Prior to entering, we sent a text message to other family members with a picture of the building and a message that read, “If we don’t report back in 2 hours please come find us.” We pressed the call button and waited for the doors to open.
As we walked through the hall we realized we were the only ones there. Once the elevator doors closed I grabbed on to the handle expecting the elevator to free
fall as part of Enigma’s mission. Since it didn’t the teens started to semi jump on th
e elevator to add a bit a fear factor to the ride. We got off the elevator and the Enigma door opens, Agent Conroy instructing us to come in. We came in and sat down on a small receiving room with tables, chairs, television screen, flashlights, pens, and paper. After taking care of the
“we are not responsible for any psychological, bodily injury…” waiver, Agent Conroy started the mission.
There were five of us trying to solve the clues. If it wasn’t for Conroy I think we would have been lost. Conroy was very patient and professional. I know if I was in Conroy’s position I would be like “you idiots how many times do I have to give you the answer without giving you the answer.” At the end, we finished the mission with 2 minutes to spare. I have to say that we really enjoyed this escape room. We even got pictures to remember our mission success. I highly recommend this place. The more people the better the discount also they don’t put you with strangers so that was a bonus.
- If you find a Groupon ticket, use it.
- Rainy day activity.
- Great for teens and adults