Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We Don't Gato This

You might recall earlier this year when, during my stories of Steamboat Springs, I raved about my first experience trying an escape room. I said I was sure to try one again down here in Denver, and this past weekend that's exactly what happened.

This time, we went just north of town to a place called Colorado Escape. We same five from the Steamboat experience brought another five friends, and split into two different groups to attempt two of the four different rooms available. With overconfidence, we Steamboat Five kept our group intact and attempted the hardest room Colorado Escape had to offer, a quest to retrieve a "Golden Gato" that had only a 15% success rate.

Ah... hubris.

Two things (at least) sunk our team on this occasion. First, since we'd successfully navigated the previous escape room without ever asking for a clue, we were extremely reluctant to ask for any this time. We had a definite priority on "doing it with style" over "just doing it, period." If we wanted to get all the way to the end of it, we definitely cost ourselves a good 10 to 15 minutes on the edge of "Should we ask for a clue?" "No, never!" (Eventually, we did. But by then, the "damage" had been done.)

Second, our communications weren't as strong this time around as they'd been on the previous occasion. We were generally quite good about communicating basic inventory, if you will: I found this object, this potential lock code, and so on. We were not good about, essentially, asking for help. Each of us had a tendency to try working at one thing for a while and then, if coming up short, simply walking away from it to try some other aspect of the room. No pulling in a second set of eyes, only spotty communicating to each other what had been tried and failed.

In the end, we were told that we'd made it about 75% of the way through the room when our one hour expired. (But to be honest, it seemed like less than that when we were shown the remaining steps we'd needed to complete.) It was a humbling all around, as our friends in the other escape room also failed to solve it in the allotted hour.

Despite the misfire, I would still absolutely do another escape room again. I will say that the production values of Colorado Escape weren't nearly as strong as those up in Steamboat at Crooked Key. In terms of construction and atmosphere, Crooked Key felt a lot more polished and professional. That said, Colorado Escape was half the price, making it more practical to go back and try all their scenarios. Which we might very well do in the months to come.

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