The Ultimate Indoor Adventure
Escape Scene, Everett
Between May and October you will find The SnoCo Kid and I out hiking trails, rafting, zip lining, and covering our car in dirt along the Mountain Loop Highway. When it comes to the rest of the year though, we find ourselves having adventure withdrawals, itching to get outdoors, but not anymore thanks to a growing number of indoor learning and adventure opportunities that are springing up across Snohomish County.
One of the funniest opportunities we’ve come across by far has to be the escape rooms of Escape Scene in Downtown Everett, which we recently completed with a group of our subscribers. What is an escape room?
“Having fun, solving puzzles and riddles, with family and friends for an hour, that is basically it” – Diane
While that is a fairly accurate description, there really is much more to it than that, starting with all the energy and work that owners Diane and Kate have put in to make sure that you not only have fun, but escape.
The duo has created an immersive experience, complete with a backstory that connects each room available to you. That story turns you into a S.I.A. Agent, traveling back in time to collect three pieces of a device that would be dangerous in the hands of others, particularly Alastor Havoc, who wants to reassemble them.
Those pieces have been scattered across three different locations and time periods, including Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1876, Cairo, Egypt, in 1930, and Munich, Germany, in 1945. Why these specific locations and times?
“These pieces were blown apart and scattered across time, and we were like, how are these pieces going to be discovered. So, we picked periods in history when things were being dug up. We chose Deadwood because [of the] gold rush, Cairo is when people like Howard Carter were excavating pyramids, and Munich is because Nazi’s were searching for treasures and collecting them.” – Diane
Upon entering one of the escape rooms, it truly is like you have been transported back in time. Each has carefully been outfitted with not only decor, but technology, that is appropriate for the time period. And, no, you do not get to keep your cell phone, those are safely tucked away in a locker with all of your other modern belongings before you embark.
Don’t get too lost in your surroundings though, because once you are locked in, you have 60 minutes to escape. Doing so requires finding clues, solving puzzles and riddles, and more importantly working as a team.
“Teamwork is a huge thing, so if you have a group of people who really works well together, even if you are not the smartest, that can be a huge asset.” – Kate
How did our group do when it came to teamwork? We were an … interesting mix, made up of: SnoCo Gal – Me of Course, The SnoCo Kid + her brother Dominic, The Candle Maker – Paula of Vivid Experience, The Soap Maker – Sabrina of Naked Butters & Bars, The Beauty Product Maker – Julie of Coco Jewels.
Kids aside, we were all business owners, makers, so we had a lot in common. We were problem solvers, multi-taskers, and do-it-yourselfers. While all good skills to have, we did struggle to work as a team in some ways because of them. We found ourselves broken apart into smaller groups which allowed us to accomplish multiple tasks at the same time, but slowed us down when it came to coming together and combining it all to solve the final puzzle.
What went wrong? We were missing some important connections between the puzzles. So, the lesson learned from that is if you find yourselves breaking apart into smaller teams, instead of solving everything together as a whole, be sure to stop and check in with each other when problems arise, something important is discovered, or a puzzle is solved.
Beyond teamwork, having team members with certain skill sets can be very helpful. Organization and logic are key when it comes to puzzles, something we had covered as business owners and thanks to having a lawyer, me, on the team. Someone who is good at math can also be helpful, particularly in the Deadwood room.
As a former accountant, Paula got us through those portions. Beyond that, having minds that can think outside of the box is important. Clues and pieces to the puzzles are often hidden, sometimes in plain sight, or used in unexpected ways. All part of the fun of course.
I think Isabella, The SnoCo Kid, won the MVP award for her out of the box thinking. When we ran into a lock that was malfunctioning, and us adults were busy stressing out over getting it open, she found another way in. Her way may have been cheating a bit, but it got the job done, and no I will not let you cheat by telling you how she did it.
Don’t let that get you down though, you don’t need me to give you hints, you will have some available to you during the game. A few clues are given to you as freebies to use as part of your puzzle and riddle solving arsenals. If you are willing to give up an official complete time, you can get even more.
Where do those clues come from? From the eye in the sky of course, the control room.
“We are watching the whole time. There is always a dedicated game master for each game. It is important, we have to know what you have already done to be able to give good clues.” -Diane
Did we make use of clues? That’s a bit of a funny question, and the answer to it is no, and yes. What do I mean by that, well, being the business owning, problem solvers, that we are, we powered through the puzzles and riddles on our own until the end.
We were so used to doing things on our own, that none of us once thought to ask for help, and we didn’t. Instead, help came to us. As our clock was ticking down and it became obvious that we were struggling with the final puzzle Diane’s voice came down from the heavens and saved the day, giving us little nudges to get us back on the right track.
That’s not to say we wouldn’t have finished it on our own, but don’t take my word for it . . .
“You figured things out really well, you had all of the right processes, you just didn’t ask for a clue. If you had more time you would have gotten it. I started helping out because you were running out of time. Very few groups figure out the addition of the rocks without more help and very few figure out the checkers without more help either.” – Diane
Sorry for the redaction folks, remember I said that you’ll get no hints from me.
Overall, we completed the final puzzle, and collected our piece, a bit over the 60 minute mark, hence our honorary completion time. Not finishing on time wasn’t that big of a deal to us though, only half of first timers do, and what really mattered was how much fun we had in the room and with each other.
In that way, we were winners by Diane and Kate’s standards. They want the people that experience their escape rooms to have fun and to succeed, so much so that they are sitting on the edge of their seats behind the control room screens cheering players on whispering what to do. Not to mention making sure players don’t get up to any mischief, yes that does happen occasionally.
“Some escape rooms, they are designed to be hard, they don’t want people to win. For us, what we are really about is having fun. That is why you have the option of asking for as many clues as you want. We wanted to create something that was fun and engaging for people, not frustrating and impossible to complete.” -Diane
So, if you and your family, friends, or co-workers are up for a bit of indoor fun, Escape Scene in Everett is the place to go. We will be heading back soon for sure, hopefully with an equally fun group of players.
Tip … While you can do the rooms out of order, completing them in order means getting to start the next with a hint from the piece found in the previous room. Whatever order you choose, be sure to complete all three rooms, you won’t be able to get into the upcoming fourth room without collecting all of the pieces.
To book your escape visit www.escapescene.com
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