Imagine being handcuffed to a wall with no sign of freedom other than a small, wooden, locked box. Now imagine half your team is in an adjacent room, also handcuffed to a wall. This is how The Austinot bloggers decided to spend their Thursday evening: trying to escape from Prison Break at Austin Panic Room.
While we can’t give you answers to the puzzles, here are some tips to surviving Austin Panic Room, and having fun while you’re doing it.
Austin Panic Room
With several puzzle-solving businesses popping up around town, we decided to try Austin Panic Room. Because it’s located in downtown’s business district at 1205 Rio Grande St., we found ample street parking.
Despite its name, Austin Panic Room doesn’t actually evoke panic. The challenging and thought-provoking puzzles make you feel like you’re in a real life version of the board game Clue. You can choose from a variety of puzzle rooms ranging in size and difficulty, and you’re given an hour to (try to) escape. The rooms and puzzles are changed every six to eight months, so this is definitely something you can do more than once!
We chose Prison Break, which was one of the hardest rooms with only a 20% escape rate. Knowing the likelihood of us escaping was so low made us more relaxed. We were able to really have fun solving the clues.
The Key to Escaping
While we can’t actually give you any clues to solve the puzzles—mainly because that would be cheating and what’s the fun in that—we can give you some tips to have a great experience!
- Don’t panic. Sounds easy enough, but when those (very real) handcuffs shackle you to a wall, it becomes soberingly realistic. Remember that Austin Panic Room’s staff members are monitoring you at all times and you have nothing to panic about.
- Talk to each other. In some puzzle rooms, like Prison Break, you will actually be in two separate rooms, and the clues needed to open locks might be in opposite rooms. So you must talk to your teammates in order to escape.
- Listen to each other. A pretty good tip which goes hand-in-hand with tip #2, but bears stating.
- Break into smaller teams. This could backfire if you aren’t diligent about tips #2 and #3 because even if you break into smaller groups to work on separate clues, you may discover that your WRONG answer is the RIGHT answer for something else.
- Ask the staff questions. As part of the game, each group can ask seven questions of Austin Panic Room via walkie talkie. Consult your group before asking a question and be sure to use all seven questions!
- Expect NOT to get out and be pleasantly surprised if you do. Our room, Prison Break, only has a 20% completion rate. Knowing we’d likely NOT escape helped us enjoy the process, instead of being bummed by the end result.
If you haven’t figured it out, the point to these rooms–other than to have a blast–is team-building! This is a perfect activity for colleagues, families or friends to do, to strengthen relationships and communication. And that’s it! Our Austinot bloggers learned more about each other and our working styles, and had a blast doing it.
Austin Panic Room is located at 1205 Rio Grande St. Learn more and make your reservation on their website.
@jpino9 wants to know:
Who would you take with you to Austin Panic Room?
Disclosure: Austin Panic Room hosted our team at no cost. All opinions are my own.