By Madelyn Jones
Last month, an editor dispatched a few other literary agents and me to land an interview with the famous and elusive author Maximillian Abre. This interview was the opportunity of a lifetime, but we quickly realized something sinister was happening and we desperately needed to get out of that house. However, it was not as easy as walking through the front door.
At least, his was the story we were told when my friends and I decided to partake in the Poe’s Legacy escape room in downtown: “Salem’s Exitus”. We were locked in a room — with a code to get out prematurely if needed — that unfurled a flushed out story as we progressed through puzzles whose completion was usually rewarded with keys or lock combinations. These unlocked not only the many locked boxes or doors in the room, but more puzzles and plot. This article will not contain any spoilers to the storyline or puzzle solving.
Exitus’s website describes their business as “a live-action, interactive game wherein a group has 60 minutes to use their collective wits and teamwork skills to find clues, solve puzzles and determine the method needed to exit a themed, locked room.”
Besides Poe’s Legacy, standing at a 22 percent success rate, they offer rooms titled “Exitus P.D.” and “Hermit’s Lair”. In “Exitus P.D.,” your party is on their first day of their new policeman job, the captain does not show up and things start seeming dangerous when you find ominous notes from the captain. 29 percent of parties successfully escape. The Hermit’s Layer’s, clocking in with an 11 percent success rate, is set in the Salem underground, where you have been sent to investigate. You find that someone has been trapped down there, and he is plotting his revenge.
Even though these storylines deal with scary topics, I felt comfortable the whole time I was in the room, and I scare easily. The website also assured you that nothing jumps out. However, Hermit’s Layer is the darkest room and Exitus P.D. the brightest, if that helps you make your decision of which room explore.
In each room you get a walky-talky where you can communicate with the staff, guised in character voices. They periodically remind how much time is left and are there to give you clues when needed or just to chat.
These escape rooms allow for a highly immersive experience and immense satisfaction if you manage to escape. It sends you into a mindset that completely differs from day-to-day thoughts while you walk around the room looking for clues. Each time we solved a puzzle my party celebrated and cheered on the people integral to our success, making it a unique bonding experience as well. Overall, it is a good way to escape everyday worries and monotony while immersing yourself in adventure.
On the subject of accessibility, their website states: “Everyone is welcome; the only real requirement is the ability to read english. The Hermit room is not wheelchair-accessible, but the others are (and the building has an elevator). The hearing-impaired should encounter no issue, but those visually-impaired would need assistance due to our lack of braille. Please don’t hesitate to contact us regarding specific accommodation needs.”
Admission is $25 per person with a maximum of eight people for all except Poe’s Legacy, which can have up to 10.
For a private event, rooms are a flat rate of $160. If you do not book a private event, people outside of your party can be added in.
If you want to experience the thrill and adrenaline of using your mind to escape a sticky situation with no actual danger involved, maybe book a room for next weekend, and see if you’ve got what it takes.