I’ve always been a fan of locked room mysteries and have played a few online escape games. When I saw that there was a live version of the escape room games right here in the Delmarva area, I had to check it out. Exodus Escape Rooms has three locations, including the Newark, Delaware location I visited.
Escape rooms are set up so you have to solve a group of challenges to find the key to unlock the door and leave the room. They have varying levels of difficulty and are typically designed to be solved in about an hour. You probably won’t see a depiction of the room on the company website – they need to keep you guessing as much as possible.
We chose the Pirates of the Caribbean room because it was billed as the easiest and we weren’t sure what we were doing! (The room does not in any way resemble the room pictured on the website. That is actually a good thing, though. An elegant setting filled with decorative objects seems awesome when you look at the photo, but the reality is that you’d be overwhelmed and frustrated with all those dead ends to explore.)
We arrived at the Newark location 15 minutes early as suggested. It turns out that you need all 15 of those minutes if you’d like to take a bathroom break (back outside and around the back of the building and in through the rear entrance with a key.) and to pay the balance on your booking.
At 12:15, we were led upstairs. The guide explained which items were not part of the puzzle – no need to open windows or remove the radiator cover, folks! He also showed us the television that would give us clues if we seemed stuck, the camera that would keep them alerted to our progress and the emergency key in case we needed to get out of the room immediately for some reason. As he handcuffed us together, I asked about cameras. Exodus Escape Rooms does ask that you not take photos in the rooms, but you can keep your cell phones to use as calculators if needed. He did take a photo of us in all our handcuffed glory for me before he stepped out of the room, shut the door and locked it behind him.
An hour later, we were uncuffed and had solved a number of other puzzles. Sadly, we were still working on the final puzzle when our time ran out. The guide, who came back to let us out of the room, explained the final puzzle so we weren’t left wondering about it for all eternity and we were back in the real world again.
At $20 a person, this was definitely a worthwhile hour of entertainment. We plan to go again with kids. (Children are $15 each.) The guide recommended the Scooby Doo room in Wilmington if several adults and older children were working together or the Goldilocks room in Newark, which is designed for kids ages 7-14, if we are bringing younger children. He also said that if we came with a group that was mostly adults, the Boardwalk Empire room might be another option.
For More Information:
Exodus Escape Rooms, LLC
284 E Main St,
Newark, DE 19711