A Craze for Clues: Folks turn popular game into brain-busting experience

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ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Sherlock Holmes is known as the world’s greatest detective, and he’s the inspiration for a new game in the Capital Region.

It’s The Great Escape Room, and it’s part of a trend sweeping the nation. It’s part puzzle, part detective work, and all fun as you work against the clock.

Mystery games are trending across the country, and they are also popping up in the Capital Region. The idea is simple: you and a group of friends, or strangers, are locked in a room and have one hour to solve the puzzles to get out.

“It’s funny,” The Great Escape Room manager Fiona Gray said. “When people arrive and say they’ll get out in 10 minutes, we love to hear that. It’s never happened.”

Gray sees a lot of people enter the library through the small door, but not everyone figures out the code to unlock the sealed large door in the one hour time limit.

“Because every single group who comes through, they’re completely different,” she said. “They’ll solve puzzles in different orders. Their approach to solving the puzzle will be different. The whole experience is unique, and that’s fun for us.”

But The Great Escape Room is more than fun and games. NEWS10 ABC’s visit with the Great Escape Room coincided with a team building exercise by a group of local scientists and engineers who design super capacitors.

“I know them well enough that we know each other’s work styles and stuff like that, but it’s definitely fun in action when you started to take the framework away to really see people’s strengths,” Mark Hamilton said.

The group came and they puzzled, but ultimately, they did not conquer the Great Escape Room. They figured out the code just after time ran out.

“We often tell people it’s brains and not brawn,” Gray said. “It’s trial and error. It’s thinking outside the box. It’s working with your teammates. It’s making sure you communicate.”

Most people don’t beat the clock, but the 30 percent who do leave their mark and set the bar for the next group to say, “The game is afoot!”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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