Ottawa problem solvers, puzzle lovers, game enthusiasts and those looking for fun, there is a new challenge in town for you at Claustrophobia. It is an escape game that requires groups of people to work together solving clues and puzzles to find the key out of the room and back to freedom. Recently, I had the chance to give this a try and see if I was clever and fast enough to get out.
Claustrophobia has been open since the beginning of March – the second escape game room facility in Ottawa. The rise of these games has been growing quite strong since their original creation back in 2006. It is believed that a group of system programmers from California developed this concept of real life adventure escape games. They were based off of playing virtual ones. The concept has taken off incredibly, as escape game rooms can be found all over the world.
The brainchild behind Claustrophobia is a creative, talented and entrepreneurial woman named Jennifer Schnare. Having been a participant in many other escape game rooms in other countries along her travels, she decided to give it a shot and open up her own here in Ottawa. She considered opening one in Toronto, but after doing some market research, she found that the market was starting to become over saturated with them. Lucky for Ottawa, Claustrophobia is located in Hintonburg at 984 Wellington Street West with two escape rooms and a third on the way in the near future.
When I played, I was teamed up with my parents and my boyfriend. We opted for the slightly easier room, which is called The Hostel. This particular room has an escape rate of approximately 20%. A time restriction of one hour was given to try and set ourselves free. The option of having clues given via walkie talkie was available. However after redeeming the first free clue, if any more were used and we escaped under an hour it would not have counted as a successful escape. My team was not so good. We all worked together racking our brains to piece together the cryptic clues but we just couldn’t crack it all. If we had been given 5 more minutes, we believe we would have certainly escaped.
Escape game rooms are a great team building experience, whether it is with friends, family or coworkers. The only way to be successful in the rooms is for everyone to work together. It is not a one man show. When I came out of the room, for the first little while, I was thinking very cryptically and analytically about everything around me, wondering how the significance of two objects could be connected.
Whether you play in the Laboratory or Hostel room, you will be sure to have an amazing problem solving time at Claustrophobia. Book your room, as time slots fill up fast!