Traveling is a form of escape, whether that escape means visiting a vibrant city or a secluded island. But when it comes to things to do, travelers are taking the word “escape” much more literally these days.
Escape Rooms are having a moment, and the appeal seems to be in the challenge. Clues are provided to the escapees, most often groups of friends and it is their job to decode the puzzles, usually a series of locks, math equations, or hidden messages that all lead to the next clue. But how hard is it to conquer an escape room challenge that comes with a $300 price tag? Apparently hard enough to last a few days.
An Immersive Escape Room in New York
In an office building in Manhattan’s Koreatown, Paradiso is more than just a locked room. It’s a multi-room adventure that involves live actors who will interact with participants, and interrogate you with personality quizzes that may or may not come back to haunt you. But what makes Paradiso really stand out is the unique $300 experience they offer: the Path of Beatrice. It’s a customized, fully immersive game that doesn’t take place in a staged office building, but on the streets of New York.
For $300, you get a fully customized experience (plus one of their more affordable puzzle experiences) that can transform your New York vacation into a live-action thriller inspired by David Fincher’s film The Game. Players meet with actors all around the city, from coffee shops to museums, for “episodes” that last between twenty to thirty minutes and receive mysterious text messages and packages throughout their week. Although the Paradiso website advertises the Path of Beatrice as 5-7 day experience, it can be customized to fit any timeline, from a short weekend in the city to two weeks—for diehard escape room enthusiasts.
This is definitely one of the priciest escape options out there. So far, the reviews are pretty convincing that it’s an experience like no other.
Escape Rooms Elsewhere
Live actors aren’t unique to Paradiso. The Basement in Los Angeles and the appropriately named Trapped in a Room with a Zombie in Chicago also utilize actors to make their escape room experience more immersive.
After becoming popular in Japan a few years ago, escape rooms have been popping up all over the U.S., providing the perfect rainy-day activity to travelers, especially those visiting big cities like New York and Los Angeles. Escape rooms vary in price, theme, and length—and as this puzzling trend continues to grow, escape rooms are going to have to do more to stand out above the rest.
Are you an escape room fanatic? Would you spend $300 to live like the star of your own conspiracy thriller on your next vacation? Comment below.
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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.