You are locked in a room. You have 60 minutes to get out. There is a panic key that you can use to exit immediately, but if you use it, the game ends. This may sound like torture, but it's actually quite fun.
One of the hot sensations of 2015 will be escape games. You and up to 7 of your friends are locked in a room and use your wits to solve puzzles to locate: numbers (that are part of combinations) or physical keys. When used to unlock containers and furniture, the contents provide additional clues and resources that allow you to make progress toward your ultimate exit.
My friends and relatives tried this at Clue Carré - the first escape game based in New Orleans. The French Quarter in New Orleans is often called the Vieux Carré which is how the game got its name. No feats of strength are required. A strong mind is all it takes. Our group was able to exit the Mardi Gras Room with 4 minutes and 39 seconds to spare. Actually the Clue Carré staff monitored our progress and gave us just the right amount of hints when we were off track. Given this, a successful exit is almost guaranteed, but it's fun to ignore that part and brag to everyone you know that you got out in time. There is a Voodoo Room that we can try on our next visit.
The hour just flew by. I did it with friends and relatives, but it would also make a great team building exercise for work colleagues. There is an escape game in San Francisco that I am now eager to try.
Puzzle solving is alive in the lab.