"The Great Escape"

The anticipation rises as groups of eight to ten people stand outside in the lobby, awaiting their turn to get inside.

You are given a time of 59:59, thats 59 minutes and 59 seconds just in case you might have thought the opposite, from the moment you pick up a clue that leads you to figure out where the key is and eventually unlocks the door. The challenge begins and then you realize you have many different perspectives and ways of thinking, all jumbled into one room.

59:59 Room Escape NYC is located on 32nd street in Manhattan, New York and it is a company that offers the opportunity for a team-based puzzle solving activity. This particular company offers three different rooms, each set up with themes that are all tied to a timeless story. Each room is designed to encourage teamwork, problem-solving and adrenaline driven excitement.

As you walk into the room, guests are welcomed by what appears to be a faux living room set up with a large table in the center and a couch against the wall. If you begin to look around, there are photos against one wall of historic icons, another contains a map and throughout the room are little boxes and drawers with locks on them. It is a well-lit room, but as you go on to discovering your clues, you do have the option to turn the light switch. Not saying it like that's a clue or anything.

The Hound of Baskervilles, one of the three featured options, is a room perfect for confident personalities and individuals who like to think outside of the box. However, as confusing as the clues can get inside of these rooms, it can tend to be more of a think inside-of-the-box episode, because it causes a person to over-think beyond the necessary. It was created to imitate an investigation where Dr. Watson searches for clues left by Sherlock Holmes.

It encourages friendly engagement and an internal challenge amongst friends as your brain is put to the test. In the top corner of the room is a flat screen television that is there to help with your clues along the way. In the moments when the team is completely stumped, they eagerly look up to the screen for help. The room is under surveillance, so theres a chance that the person behind the camera is getting a kick out of your struggle. Its an exciting moment because a team becomes focused on one goal and works on building many skills within the room.

The staff at 59:59 Room Escape NYC show extraordinary hospitality. Once the group succeeds or fails in escaping the room, a staff member comes and congratulates your team for the effort. Following the congratulatory greetings, they break down each clue and how it could have been found.

The price range for booking a room varies depending on the day your group decides to attend. During the weekdays, the prices are twenty-eight dollars, which is affordable for an hour of flexing your brain muscles. If interested in going on the weekends, it increases up to thirty-two dollars. Fortunately, there are sites like Groupon that provide discounted tickets from eighteen and twenty dollars, if you can catch the deal. Each room holds a maximum of ten players, which is great if you have ten friends who are all interested in going.

The true test is to beat the company at their own game and theres only one way out. You are in control of your destiny, but be prepared for any and everything to get in your way.

Saphia Louise