Escape rooms seem to be the thing to do right now, however there are a couple of cons to escape rooms that have kept me from trying one out yet. The first being that if you don't bring enough people with you to fill the room, you may be put with other small groups. I've heard horror stories from people who have been paired with other people for their escape room adventure and haven't had the best experience. The cost of an escape room, per person, is a big deterrent for some people. And the last complaint I've heard is that after an hour, your time is up and you have to leave the room, so if you haven't solved the mystery, you're sorry out of luck!
The good news is, I've found a solution to all of those problems! You need to check out Lockbox Mysteries, right here in Davis County. One crate costs about the same as one person at most escape rooms, so it's really affordable. You can play with as few or as many people as you wish and put together the perfect group of mystery solving detectives. My favorite part though, is that you can race against the clock to solve the mystery but won't be forced to quit without solving it if you aren't finished when the hour is up.
Escape Room Date Night on a Budget
Forget card games and Monopoly, when you have a group date to plan, rent a crate from Lockbox Mysteries. It would even be a fun at home date night activity to enjoy just the two of you, maybe after the kids are in bed? Lockbox Mysteries suggested that you might even consider renting more than one crate for larger groups and compete against each other to see who can solve the mystery first. There are so many ways to have fun with the Lockbox Mysteries escape room crates!
For our date night, we got the Sherlock Holmes and the Great Charade crate, and solved our murder mystery in just over an hour. "The year is 1910. Crime is on the rise in Central London and a shocking murder was just committed days ago. Scotland Yard has no leads and has brought the baffling case to Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Step into the shoes London’s greatest detective and find alibis to eliminate innocent suspects. Can you crack the case before the killer strikes again?" (Description from Lockbox Mysteries) Everything that we could possibly need was provided; A case summary, crime scene photos, suspect bios, evidence, a notebook and pen to make notes, etc. I didn't have to provide anything but refreshments and we all enjoyed our night playing detectives!
When I returned our crate, I asked Tia, the founder, if she'd come up with this all on her own. It amazes me how her brain works in such a creative, logical and tactical way to put together all of the pieces to the multiple puzzles in the game. The entire time we were playing, I kept thinking 'this is amazing! How does one person come up with all of this?' Tia developed the entire game herself, and after talking to her, I know that she had just as much (if not more) fun coming up with the story line, puzzles and little details of the game as we did playing it. She's currently working on a second crate, and I'm really excited to see what surprises she comes up with for it!
You can check out their FAQ page for answers to any questions you might have. One that I know I had was whether or not I'd have to ruin the fun for myself in order to host the evening's fun. The answer to that was nope! There was a binder with rules and information that I read before everyone arrived and then reviewed again with the entire group, but it didn't give away any clues or the solution. I was able to enjoy the experience and participate fully in helping our group solve the mystery!
My only suggestions to you would be these:
Pick people you want to have fun with! Our entire group worked well together, there were never any arguments and nobody took over or tried to run the show. We all worked together as a group and in different mini teams to solve whatever puzzles the game threw our way.
Find a good playing space. We played with a group of six at our kitchen table, that seats six. There were a couple of instances, when we were knee deep in trying to solve multiple puzzles, when we found ourselves wishing we had an extra little bit of table space to spread out on and I wished I'd pulled out our longer table. I also found that it was easier to be standing up for the game, I'm not sure why.
Plan your date night today!!! The day after we played, I let a few people know that they should try out Lockbox Mysteries for a couple of fun activities I knew they had coming up or with a specific group that I know they hang out with often. And now I'm telling all of you because I think that everyone should have the opportunity to try Lockbox Mysteries.
You'd better believe that we will be one of the first to rent Battle of the Zombies as soon as it is released!