Interns at the Reykjavík Grapevine are encouraged to go on short trips or to events and then write about them. They go on spelunking and whale watching trips, and to all sorts of concerts and festivals. I, however, would rather be at home with a cup of tea at an embarrassingly early hour for my age than be out and about, so I don’t usually take advantage of these offers the way I should.
A few months ago an email was sent out asking if anyone was interested in covering a new venue that had just opened on Borgartún. After reading the message, I jumped at the chance.
Reykjavik Escape is a live interactive escape game where you will be locked inside a room buried with brain teasers, riddles and mysteries with only 60 minutes to escape. You must solve all riddles and puzzles to get out in time, with the final riddle showing the key for the locked door for your escape. You need only your problem solving skills and good team work to do the job.
In recent years ‘Escapes’ have been set up in New York, Berlin, Oslo, Edmonton, and many other cities. They are based off those point-and-click Escape flash games where the player must search a locked room for clues that can be used to get out. When we arrived we were told that we had one hour to escape the room using clues in the room. We were given a phone to ask for hints if we got stuck and an emergency key in case we needed to leave. After that the room was locked and it was up to us to get out.
Surprisingly, even though the idea based off a single-player puzzle game, it makes for a fantastic team-building exercise. Yes, team-building.
Cue dramatic sighs and eye-rolling…
I despise trust-falls and playing ‘two truths and a lie’ as much as the next introvert, but this was different. There is a very popular genre of ‘tween’ movies where a rag-tag group is thrown together and must survive some sort of dire situation.
These films are as a rule terrible, but without fail they give you a warm, fuzzy feeling three-quarters through the movie when the characters overcome their differences and unite against whatever big bad they’re up against. It turns out, this is actually a pretty good model for team-building. Being locked in the room gave us a common goal, and a team dynamic flowed from there naturally.
Also, it was really, really fun.
Recommended for ages 8 and up
The escape rooms are set up for groups of 3-5. Here are a couple excuses to go:
- Office parties
- Birthday parties
- Stag nights/Hen dos
- Class trips
- Conference social events