60OUT ESCAPE ROOMS
CHALLENGE YOURSELF & ESCAPE IF YOU CAN
You find yourself blindfolded and shackled in an unknown room. What do you do? There’s no time for apprehension as you need to find your way out. That’s the world of escape rooms—based on the “escape the room” video games where these life size, real life scenarios force a team to band together to escape from their current captive circumstances.
A popular and addictive game played around the world, there are escape room veterans who have played over 100 games in different states and countries. These physical adventure games start in a locked room where players must use elements of their room to solve a series of puzzles and escape within a set time limit. Settings can vary from prison cells, dungeons and space stations.
Recently my posse and I tested our wits at 60out Escape Rooms Melrose Avenue and Marina del Rey locations (other locations include Hollywood and West L.A.). Our rooms included a ghost ship; bank heist; escaping the sinking Titanic; and finding Zen in an asylum setting. We were active participants in our stories and had to work together to solve intriguing and intricate puzzles to escape.
While these were my first ever escape room experiences, research and conversations with other gamers has shown me that 60Out Escape Rooms are some of the most elaborate and toughest around. Celebrity gamers at 60Out Escape Rooms have included Matt Damon, Kevin Hart, The Clippers, Snapchat and Google.
It turns out we started with the two most challenging rooms of them all—Ghost Ship, and Grandma’s Masterplan at the Melrose Avenue location (they have a brand-new game now called Hangover). Finding the Melrose 60Out Escape Room was almost a game in itself as we all weren’t sure we were in the right place as we individually made our way up to the second floor. While most games last an hour, hence the name 60Out, Grandma’s Masterplan is so intricate that there’s a limit of 75 minutes of which we used practically every second offered.
Aboard the Ghost Shop we were led in blindfolded when my friend Bernie, whom I’ve known since the second grade, cried out that he was shackled. We all became a bit nervous but then he quickly laughed and said he was only kidding. Then we all were actually shackled. As the blindfolds came off the clock started and the game had begun. First we had to find the key to free us from our chains and then we had to find another key to escape the first of four rooms.
It’s fascinating how individual personalities come into play. Bernie’s wife Anna, a mother of two, was the only one who knew how to work the “child locks” as she called them. We all tried and got nowhere until she took over. My good friend Chris Temple quickly became the dominant player. But I was the only one who actually knew him and wasn’t surprised when his impatient yet good intentioned side came out as he started snapping at us. First he barked at me, “What’s wrong with your friend?” I actually feared telling him that Bernie was stoned. Then he took over other puzzles shouting, “Here, I’ll do that.”
Meanwhile my pal Eddie Park who is a mild mannered, good guy kept a level head and performed as a solid team player never minding when Temple would be short with him. We were a team and each of us had our strengths and together, along with help from our game master whom you can ask questions to and we did more than we’d like to admit, worked without ego to accomplish our goal.
“What I like most about escape room is it’s a team game,” said our unofficial team captain Chris Temple. “You’re only as good as the players you play with. There’s too many things for one person to work through within the time allotted. If you’re working with people you don’t like it’s probably annoying. Luckily I was with people that were awesome so that was fun.”
Weeks later, our group sans Temple was in Marina del Rey to escape the Titanic, and Zen Room. We wondered how we would do without our fearless leader (less yelled out we joked) but Anna stepped up and performed like a player possessed solving puzzles like it ain’t no thang.
Rooms range from hard, medium to easy. Our first night attempting to escape the ghost ship and Grandma’s masterplan we struggled in parts as they were indeed hard and challenging rooms. Titanic is billed as a medium room and we finished with time to spare while Zen Room is medium it was really tough. We needed help before we got on a roll and finished before time was up. After our first time on Melrose Avenue, Eddie admitted his brain hurt the next morning.
“The best thing is the ‘unknown’ anticipatory factor,” Eddie Park pointed out. “The most challenging part is the stamina you need when going back-to-back hard rooms.”
“The most challenging aspect of the escape room is that each of the puzzles require different logic,” Temple added. “Some are more abstract than others. Some are really simple and some are brainteasers. I like puzzles so the harder the game got, the more entertained I was.”
And being challenged and entertained is what it’s all about. Getting outside your comfort zone for a fun outing with friends makes escape rooms a good night out. As different personalities rise and dominant players emerge, it’s all about teamwork to escape. At 60Out Escape Rooms the games are tech savvy and state of the art. Big props to the game designers for coming up with challenging and complicated escape rooms. In our case, it took a whole team effort for us to escape. If you buy into the game, then you want to beat the clock and work together to make your escape.
60Out Escape Rooms are located at 7270 Melrose Avenue; 1316 N. Western Avenue in Hollywood; 1560 Corinth Avenue in West L.A.; and 13336 Beach Avenue in Marina del Rey. Certain rooms require more players than others depending on difficulty. Price varies depending on participants and range from $27 to $40 per person.
Story By: Jose Martinez