Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Great Escape Room - Royal Oak, MI

A few weeks ago I had one of the most entertaining evenings I've had in ages. And my life is pretty fun (ha!). I got together with a group of local bloggers to visit The Great Escape Room in Royal Oak, Michigan. With locations already in full swing in Orlando and Miami, the Royal Oak location just opened recently, and D.C. and Tampa will soon be following.

I knew there would be a mystery of some sort, but beyond that I had no idea what to expect. This is one reason I love blogging - I often find myself in situations I'm pretty sure I would have never been in had I not been invited as a blogger.

Since it IS mysterious, I can't give away too many details. But I can tell you that this place is just plain awesome! Here's a brief rundown of what you can expect.

Upon arrival, your party will be shown to a room where you can enjoy some light snacks and beverages while you await your turn. I suggest you use this time to visit the restroom as well, because when you're shown into The Great Escape Room, you won't be getting out until either 1) your group solves the mystery, or 2) your time is up.

A guide of sorts will accompany you into the room and lock the door. Not just on the doorknob, where you can easily get out, but with a key. She will give you some instructions, play a Sherlock Holmes recording that explains the mystery at hand and reiterates some rules and guidelines, and set a timer for one hour.

There are four puzzles to solve, and clues to find for each of those puzzles. Each is color coded, and when you find a clue it will have a colored sticker on it so you know which puzzle it goes with. For each puzzle there is a small bin where you can collect its clues, and a whiteboard where you can jot down any relevant information that might help you solve the puzzles. There are also signs indicating how many clues you need to find for each puzzle. Once the timer starts, you have free reign to tear the room apart looking for clues.

Now, there are a few rules. All clues are within reach, so you won't need to stand on furniture to find any. And there are a few items with signs requesting that you don't move them. But other than that, you can move everything, take out drawers, and disassemble whatever you can. You have permission to trash a room, AND you don't have to clean it up afterward.
Before and after shot at The Great Escape Room in Royal Oak.

Your guide is there to help you - to a point. She gave us some very vague clues to help keep us moving. The point is to have fun! They aren't going to solve the puzzles for you, but if your group is really frustrated or stuck, they will try to steer you in the right direction without giving anything away.

What did I like love about The Great Escape Room? It was entertaining, interactive, and mentally stimulating. It was a singularly unique experience, something out of the ordinary, social, and an absolute blast! Our whole group was grinning from ear to ear by the end. We were all completely engaged. The Great Escape Room would make a fun date, girls night out, parents night out, birthday party, etc. All ages are welcome, and it is completely G-rated - nothing violent or inappropriate. However, we agreed that we would recommend this experience for kids 12 and up, in a group mixed with adults, or 15/16 and up without parents or other adults.

If you successfully solve all the puzzles in time, you will find your way out of The Great Escape Room. If not, don't worry - they'll let you out once you're time is up. We are obviously awesome so we made it out in time, but don't feel bad if you don't - a lot of groups don't! Everyone gets a group shot at the end, with signage appropriate to your outcome.
Group shot with other local bloggers at The Great Escape Room in Royal Oak


Location: 301 W. 4th St., Suite LL110 (downstairs), Royal Oak, MI 48067
Phone: 248-495-7032
Facebook Page:
Cost: $28 pp Friday-Sunday, $23 pp Thursdays
Up to 12 people per group (book a min. of 10 tickets and your group will go through alone - otherwise you may be with some strangers - but that's fun too!)
Private Events (starting soon): $38 pp, up to 25 people (special 2 room events)

Right now the Royal Oak location has one Escape Room, but eventually they will be expanding to include at least one more. The clues and puzzles will be the same for awhile (approximately four months), so once you've done it, it's not really something you can do again...until they change it up or open a new room. Royal Oak is planning on opening their second room within the next month, and I am looking forward to taking some friends and going back for more! Located in downtown Royal Oak, there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby to extend your evening fun. If you live in the area, or you're visiting, The Great Escape Room is not to be missed.

1 comment:

Becki said...

Thanks for sharing your review! I could apply to go as a Yelp Elite, but the idea makes me nervous! :) Glad it was fun.