We got a chance to visit the C.R. Escape Zone located in Jeffersonville, Indiana. See how we did and what we thought of the experience.
I hadn’t ever been to one of these “Escape Rooms” before so I honestly had no idea what to expect. I tried doing some reading beforehand and while a few minutes of research can give you some insight, you don’t truly understand what it’s all about until you give it a try.
The awesome staff at C.R. Escape Zone set us up with a private room and let us take a crack at the “Lab”. I could set things up myself, but the website does a really great with the description as follows:
You wake up and find yourself in Dr. Tom’s evil lab. He had been working to find a cure for TNS7 but was fired before he could finish. Now he has turned the cure into a medicine that turns people into strong, obedient zombies that will follow his every command for his army. He has left for 60 minutes to find more victims for his army. You must figure out how to escape before he comes back for you! In the lab is a zombie he has been working on. He is tied down with 5 restraints but every 10 minutes he is getting stronger and breaking one of his restraints. If the zombie gets you then you must go into quarantine until the rest of your teammates can escape and send help for you.
Sound intense? Well it is… If the puzzle solving and time limit isn’t enough pressure, there is in fact an actor in the room that manages to heighten the tension significantly. How exactly? Well it wasn’t because he was super gory or extra scary, but for a handful of other reasons that you may not think about.
The first of these for me was the simple fact of not wanting to look like an idiot. This may sound silly to hear and it’s obvious that you are on camera during this whole experience, but having someone in the room with you that reacts to your attempts and failures adds a very unique dynamic. In our experience the zombie stayed in character the whole time but also managed to convey a sense of humor, mischief, and even frustration as we struggled with a few steps along the way.
The other major way the zombie impacts the experience is breaking through the restraints periodically. “He is tied down with 5 restraints but every 10 minutes he is getting stronger and breaking one of his restraints” How does this directly effect you? If the timer in the room isn’t enough pressure for you, the zombie makes it known whenever he breaks another restraint and with that manages to constantly keep the time limit in the forefront of your thinking. What happens when he is completely free? Well I don’t want to ruin anything for you, but just keep in mind that the moment is coming where the zombie will be free while you are still trying to solve the puzzles and escape.
I’ve covered quite a bit of the zombie portion of this experience, but you probably want to know about the puzzles right? Well I don’t want to get too specific and go ruining the experience for anyone, but I will say that the puzzles we encountered were a lot more difficult than what we expected going in. The saving grace with this particular experience is that you have the option of getting two free hints at your request. (This also doesn’t count the generosity of the staff if they chime in on occasion to give you pointers along the way) This may seem like quite the helping hand, but rest assured you will likely need them. (Especially if you were “first timers” like we were)
I have no shame in admitting that we used our first hint on the first puzzle of this room. If you haven’t ever been through one of these, it’s safe to say you will too. After being led into the room with our blindfolds on, the starting point was fairly easy to spot but figuring out exactly what to do was the biggest challenge. I have yet to really decide on whether or not it was the difficulty of the first puzzle or just a matter of getting into a rhythm and knowing what to expect. Regardless after getting our first hint and a few more minutes of racking our brain, we managed to proceed to the next obstacle.
I wish I could say that things got easier for us after this, but that wouldn’t exactly be true. I can say that I felt like as we progressed we were able to solve more and more on our own and at a faster rate. We had many moments of both failure and success as we were tested and at times given the freedom to get creative with solving the obstacles in front of us. One of my favorite aspects of this type of experience is the opportunity to have moments where you can kind of outsmart the puzzle if only briefly. While I wasn’t able to have a genius “Aha!” moment that managed to save the day, there were a couple of times where our group overcame an obstacle in a way that wasn’t necessarily intended. Too much of this can obviously ruin the experience in my opinion, but just the right amount of freedom manages to keep things interesting for everyone.
Ultimately time was the major factor for us as we failed to escape the room in the allotted amount of time. How much longer did we need? That’s hard to say, but I do know we were on our last few steps before obtaining the key to escape. While we may have lost Daniel to the zombie, the remaining three of us scrambled until the very last second.
This event comes highly recommended and regardless of the endgame, we can genuinely say that we had blast and can’t wait for our next room. We hadn’t even got back to the car and were already starting to discuss our schedules to determine the best opportunity to make our way back. Phrases like “Now that we know what it’s like, maybe we can solve the next one!” filled the car on the way home. Whether you are interested in checking this out for the challenge or just to have a fun night out, this is likely an experience that won’t be forgotten.
For more information on the C.R. Escape Zone and to schedule your visit go to the Official Site.