Wednesday, December 16, 2015

'Will You Escape?' Adds New Mystery, Satisfying Ending

Posted By on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 1:30 PM

Last time we checked in with Nicolette Cusick, she had just opened Will You Escape?, Tucson's first live escape room.

Apparently that went pretty well because Cusick has since quit her day job, put together a new room for Tucson mystery-solvers and opened a second location in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Let's start with what's new here in the Old Pueblo: The Secret Agent Room. Cusick invited us back to try out the new mystery:


The devastating news of Donna Williams death came as a shock to the country. Our investigators have pinpointed the man behind the crime but we are in need of your services again.

Agent Q, our top secret agent at WYE, has disappeared after being suspected of the deadly crime in Hollywood. She has hidden her location somewhere in her office. It is up to your team of agents to pinpoint her location.

We must warn you though. Upon leaving her office, our agent set a bomb to go off in approximately 60 minutes from the time you enter. The code to defuse the bomb is on a hidden in the room.
The change in theme satisfies the one critique I offered last time: narrative.

In both renditions of the game, you're turning the room inside out to find the clues and keys that will help get through the (billions of) locks around the room. When we went through the Hollywood Room, the last lock we opened had the answer of the mystery we were trying to solve written on a piece of paper. Um, the dead lady didn't have time to hide that and I really doubt the murderer would want to. I understand why that was a more practical ending than trying to evaluate the suspects, motives and weapons, but it felt a little too artificial. Fun, but not like I was the next Monk

This challenge is entirely overcome in the Secret Agent room, where you can't claim victory until you pin point Agent Q's location, defuse the bomb and shred the information. The "bomb," which Cusick had built by a local computer guru, adds a satisfying ending (a true moment of triumph) to the detective work. 

The plan is to move the Hollywood Room into a smaller space within the Tucson location, refashioning the mystery for small groups. Cusick hopes to have that set up in about a month, but she is a bit busy right now.

Will You Escapes' second location recently opened in Breckenridge, featuring the Hollywood Room and an upcoming Shipwreck Room. Cusick is overseeing operations in Colorado right now, but will head back to Tucson when the Breckenridge staff and rooms are settled.

Will You Escape? bills itself as an "experience designed to test your intelligence, teamwork and problem solving skills," but it is not something you only do when your boss makes you work on team building.

The game is fun, challenging and only stressful in an enjoyable way. It's a unique way to spend a Friday night and I'd recommend it to anyone attempting to entertain holiday visitors. 

It's $20 per person to play and, hey, if you're still trying to figure out holiday gifts, they do gift cards. 

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