Utah Statesman experiences ‘Eskaped!’ Cache Valley’s first escape room

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Being locked in a room with 45 minutes counting down on the clock with only your wit and mediocre puzzle solving ability to save you seems like something out of a “Mission Impossible” movie. Many don’t imagine the experience to emerge in Logan, Utah.

However, a new business, Eskaped, is now providing Logan residents the chance to put their and their friends’ problem solving skills to the test. The idea of an escape room is to put a group of people in a small room and have them accomplish a task by solving puzzles in a set amount of time.

In Logan, Eskaped is simply a red trailer nestled at the edge of the Hasting’s parking lot.  It might not seem like much, but when you pair it with the puzzles handmade by owner, Preston Smith, and the 45 minute countdown, you’re in for a riveting, bewildering and overall satisfying time.

The use of the trailer was confusing for those who had not ever heard of Eskaped before, which was everyone in our group. Many escape rooms settle in actual buildings versus a portable trailer. Personally, I first thought that the trailer was simply a means of moving groups to the actual building in an attempt to create a “you’ve been kidnapped” feel. However, this was not the case, it’s all in the trailer.

Walking in, you see a grungy 1960s themed room, with a bunch of seemingly unrelated puzzles scattered throughout. The goal: with everything in this room, figure out how to unlock the box and press the red button before the timer runs out. Easier said than done. However, with a whole lot of teamwork, a little bit of frantic scrambling to figure everything out and just a few “aha” moments, it’s definitely achievable.

The experience differs from other escapes rooms in that it the participants aren’t presented with any specific story line. This might seem strange to seasoned escape roomies; nonetheless, the challenges were unique and the puzzles clever.

It’s an enjoyable experience for both the escape room veterans and the newest noob. However, we warn the midterm-ridden student, sometimes the sleep-deprived brain might become frustrated while attempting to solve the puzzles.

After successfully escaping the room, we were able to talk to Hilary Nelson, Eskaped’s manager, about the attraction.

Nelson loves getting to see how people react once they finally open the last lock.

“I think the look of satisfaction when people are able to do it as a group. Almost every group that pushes that red button, like they yell and jump and scream for joy, like, ‘We did it!’ I really enjoy that,” she said.

Nelson thinks solving Eskaped allows people to practice their communication skills in a timely and effective manner.

“One thing that I really like about it is that it really encourages communication within the group,” she said. “You can’t really do this on your own, and you have to be able to communicate and problem solve together in order for it to work out. And I think that’s pretty awesome.”

Nelson said she would love it if Eskaped became a new tradition for students and community members to participate in.

“My goal is for Eskaped in Cache Valley is for it to become one of those ‘right of passage’ things, like cleaning the sink at Angie’s,” she said. “I want it to kind of have a student culture of this is one of the things that you gotta do when you’re going to school at USU. I would really love for that to happen.”

In a couple months, Neslon said, Eskaped will get a new trailer with the ability to switch out puzzles and objectives so that consumers can continue to come back for renewed thrills.

A perfect weeknight or weekend activity for anyone, Eskaped opens Mondays-Thursdays 5 -10 p.m.; Fridays, 4-10 p.m.; and Saturdays  9-10 p.m.

With a cost of only $15 per person, it is the perfect activity for those looking for an adventure without a crazy price tag. Utah State University students pay $12.

Nelson said if students wish to pay full price, Eskaped will donate the extra money to a charity of their choice.

Tickets and reservations can be bought online at Eskaped.com. They suggest that groups are 6-10 people.

Whether you’re a puzzle aficionado, a challenge seeker, or just a college student looking for a fun time, Eskaped is a perfect activity for a date, family shindig, or roommate bonding experience.

 

Editor’s Note: This review was made possible through the efforts of Dillan Passmore, Kim Nabhan, Kortni Wells, Shelby Stoor, Alina Shaw and Miranda Lorenc.

 

Dillan.passmore@aggiemail.com

@Dirtyghettopass