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Canoe kids prepare to enter The Study. Photo by Miranda Lowrie

 

Feed your inner detective at Mission: Escape Atlanta

By Melissa Lowrie

Do you fancy yourself a problem-solver? Able to figure things out in a time crunch? What about working well in a group?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have what it takes to escape.

Mission: Escape Atlanta is a real-life escape game in which clues lead to more clues that eventually lead to a huge diamond - and a way out.

Sounds like a fun challenge, right? It is.

The Study was the setting for our mission. There is a maximum of 10 people per session for The Study, so if you sign up as a party of two, you likely will be paired up with others. We booked a party of four on a weekday afternoon and had the room to ourselves.

The Mission: Escape Atlanta website says this room is for ages 12 and up, but if kids are under 18, they must have an adult with them. My party of four was ages 11, 12, 13 and me (I’m slightly older).

Basically, your group is “locked”in a room. Locked is a loose term, because technically they can’t lock people in a room. There you’ll find a series of clues that gradually get more complex, to steer you towards the jewel. I don’t want to give it away, so I won’t. Just bring your problem-solving skills.

You’ll get the spiel from the employee working, ours was Sarah Turner, but this is also on the website: “The world's most coveted jewel ‘The Siena III’ has been stolen from the British Royal Family. You and your team have been selected to infiltrate the estate of billionaire playboy mastermind Claude Juan Philippe, to attempt to take back the jewel. You have 60 minutes before you are caught. Good luck!”

And so, the four of us are pseudo-locked into Claude Juan Philippe’s study and left to our own devices.

Sarah mentioned she’d help us by giving three clues along the way; all we had to do is ask. She said maybe four since we were such a small group - as it turns out, I think she ended up giving us way more than that. Sarah was watching from another room and could hear us, so the clues were specific, not generic. Did I mention we had a timer? Groups get 60 minutes to find all the clues and escape.

We were told only 25 percent of groups successfully escape this room. Pretty low odds if you ask me. This didn’t deter the kids, though; they were excited about the challenge.

Our group started strong, but then floundered a bit. I had to encourage the kids to ask for help. Sarah came through and gave some much-needed assistance. With her help, I think we may have gotten through about 60 percent of the clues, which need to be solved in order. Once our time was up, she came in and showed us what we missed. We are now part of the 75 percent of groups that did not succeed. But it was fun to try!

Sarah told me after our hour in The Study, it’s good to have one adult for each child, that way one pair can work on solving a problem while the others work to solve another. She also mentioned it’s really geared toward adults, and they have lots of work groups come in as a team-building activity. Apparently, teams of engineers have tried and come up short as well, so I didn’t feel so bad.

This start-up has been around for roughly six months. They were working on an additional room when we visited, The Hotel, which should be ready for guests by the end of September. It likely will be a six-person max room with an age requirement of 16 and up. Of the new space, Sarah said, “We will lock players into three separate rooms, and they will have to escape their individual room first, then The Hotel's lobby.” 

Things are going well with families, tourists and corporate-types enjoying the game. The third room will be The Lab, hopefully open by the end of the year.

There are no food or drinks available, so plan to dine before or after. This is a fun concept and a great thing to do with older kids. We had a blast, even though we didn’t finish. At $28 per person, I thought it was a bargain and the kids are still talking about it.

Visit www.missionescapeatlanta.com for more information and to buy a ticket. If you can’t make it to Mission: Escape Atlanta, choose another adventure. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

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