Immersive puzzle rooms offer an experience where participants find themselves smack dab in the middle of a real-life puzzle. Once the door closes, each of these interactive games offer groups one hour to work together to find a way out of the locked room. They offer different challenges depending on the room, either by being locked in Dracula's lair or by being trapped with a zombie.
Even Sherlock would find some of these riddles challenging, but after studying for finals week each one should be a piece of cake. Sherlock has nothing on stressed college students who, after studying for four tests in one day, can overcome getting trapped. While working together to solve puzzles, one question will remain: What happens when the time runs out?
Phoenix Puzzle Room
106 N. Central Ave., Phoenix
When deciding on an adventure, the Phoenix Puzzle Room offers two options for a group and one option where teams can go head-to-head. The escapee can decide to break free from the confines of explorer Alexander Forsythe’s study or escape The Curse of Madame Lumina, where a quaint coffee shop turns out to be more than it seems.
If the player is up for a challenge, the competition room has four levels of puzzles where the opponent is no longer just the clock — it’s another team as well. While centered on problem solving, these rooms also offer a great team-building experience where everyone must work together to find the best way out.
In the heart of downtown Phoenix, this escape room is fun for all ages, and those who are over 21 can make a whole night of fun because staff are happy to direct participants to places to grab a drink, or even order them a special table upon request.
Escape the Room
7017 E. Main St., Scottsdale
Escape the room is nestled in the midst of Old Town Scottsdale, located a short walk from the popular ice cream parlor, Sugar Bowl.
The first option is to escape from "The Apartment," which feels like a normal apartment until the door is locked and the key is hidden.
The next option is the "Western Bank Heist," where participants are transported back to the Old West. The challenge is for escapees and their 11 partners-in-crime to rob a bank and get away.
Another is "The Rec Room," where the Wild West is long gone, and instead the escapee must find their way out of the '80s, with seven other helping hands.
Escape the Room’s newest attraction is called the "The Dig," not much is known about this new room other than what the website offers: “You’ve been summoned into the deep."
If this doesn't sound difficult, there’s a catch — you only have 60 minutes to escape. While you may get a few hints along the way, the majority of the success will come down to problem solving skills and working together.
Epic Escape Game
844 N. Fourth Ave., Phoenix
For someone who wants to know what they are getting, the Phoenix Epic Escape Game has various difficulty levels and success rates to choose from. With a difficulty of “challenging,” one of the escape games is called "Blood Thirst," where the escapee becomes a vampire hunter with other elite members of this team set in Transylvania.
To defeat Dracula, the participants locate his lair, only to find themselves trapped inside. With a success rate of 20 percent, even puzzle experts might find this real-life adventure game challenging.
For an adventurer who wants a challenge with better odds, "The Fortune Teller" has a 25 percent success rate, and a difficulty level of moderate-to-challenging. The story behind this puzzle is that as the eight participants go to get their fortunes told by Madame Zarra, and they find that she may have some secrets.
Another option is the "Whimsical Library," with a 48 percent success rate and a difficulty level of easy-to-moderate.
In order to keep the library open, the participants must find the "Book of Fun," which is overdue and missing. Participants must work together to locate the book before the librarian shuts the doors forever.
Finally, for beginners, "Top Dog" has a 62 percent success rate and a difficulty level of easy-to-moderate. In this scenario, Sydney, an award-winning show dog, is missing and thought to be kidnapped.
With the dog competition starting soon, it is up to the participants to locate Sydney and make it in time to compete in the show.
Trapped in a Room with a ZOMBIE
5047 E. Elliot Road, Phoenix
If you have ever wondered if you could outsmart a zombie, Trapped in a Room with a ZOMBIE is a perfect chance to find out. Different from the other escape the room experiences, the puzzle is better described as an interactive show.
A zombie is chained in the room with the 12 participants, and the stakes are high. While the participants are rushing to solve puzzles and clues to get out in time, the zombie is knocking out the help. If someone is touched by the zombie, they must exit the room and stand on the side lines, only being able to offer verbal aid.
The Sleuth Box
2400 W. Medtronic Way #3, Tempe
The Sleuth Box offers an escape the room experience where those seeking a live-action puzzle room will find themselves locked in "The Study" with nine other participants and a lot of questions.
Currently, "The Study" is the only escape room available, however, another attraction is in the works that will not only test problem solving skills but also challenge how easily a participant can think under fear. It is a short six-minute drive from Tempe campus, which provides an adventure nearby.
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