OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK ~ AS EARLY AS 10 AM

Clues & News

“Circle of Trust” promotion!

Introducing our Circle of Trust promotion!

You don’t want to play with strangers? We hear you! Book for a Tuesday evening (5 pm until close) game, and pay $25/player plus a $25 fee to get the entire room to yourselves.

Make sure to indicate “Circle of Trust” as your promo code when you book. Valid only on Tuesdays until Sept. 26th 2017. Our regular cancellation fee applies.

Final Sacrifice: The End Is Near!

The time has come – The Final Sacrifice will be retiring soon! The final… Final Sacrifice will be on September 17, 2017.

We’ll have special Do-Over Days where you can play the room again for $10 off the regular price. You must call us at 704-837-0515 or email our South location at info@exitstrategyus.com to schedule a Do-Over.

Final Sacrifice Do-Over Days – 9/07/17 and 9/17/17.

So you have a little under 2 months to play our hardest room for the last time!

The dirty “S” word of escape rooms!

You reserved The Mansion for 6 people and you and your crew are really excited to see how well you can work together. You’re going to beat this room, you can feel it! When you arrive at the North location to your surprise you are playing with 2 other people. Strangers! They are sitting right there and seem to be nice enough but they are still strangers! You don’t want them to ruin your plans…

You express concerns of playing with other people to the person at the front desk: “The website showed there were only 6 spots available. We wanted to be in the room by ourselves. We didn’t know we’d be playing with other people…” The staff explain The Mansion has a max of 8 people and 2 spots were taken when you made your reservation. Despite your disappointment, you put on a happy face, meet your new partners in crime and go to play the room anyway.

Does this sound familiar?

We understand that it can be disappointing or even frustrating to realize that you’ll have to spend an hour working in a room with strangers but here are a few things to keep in mind:

1. Most times, when people play with strangers they have a wonderful time and everyone is working together well. We’ve even had instances when people exchange phone numbers and email addresses!
2. Many of our record holders are strangers who were combined. How can that be? We think there are a few reasons. One is that people might be on their best behavior, trying to impress strangers. It could also be because strangers will look at things in a way that is different from how you and your group would look at things. Finally, it’s likely also because in any room that’s not fully linear, there are more than one task that can be worked on. Oftentimes, the smaller groups will divide naturally and work on simultaneous tasks.

Are there instances when strangers didn’t work out well? Indeed, there are and that’s always unfortunate. Our briefings do mention playing nice with strangers and our game masters are always watching for the quality of interactions when strangers are concerned. But if a group chooses to not play nice, the only thing we can do is make things right by the group who was overpowered.

Now, if you absolutely do not want to play with strangers, here’s what you can do: book all the spots! Look at the room description to see how many spots there are in the room you want to play and make sure to book all of them. When you check in, you’ll pay the regular $25/person and you’ll also pay $12.50 for each spot that you booked but are not using.

Ready to book your adventure at either our North or South location?

“I didn’t like that room!” ~ Owners’ series

Once in a while, someone comes out of one of our rooms and says “I didn’t like that room”. As much as we want to say: “What do you mean you didn’t like our room? How’s that even possible?” we know that not everyone will like every room. And that’s OK!


Escape rooms are like movies.

Not everyone likes the same movies and it’s the same with escape rooms. I’m not a fan of horror flicks but my hubby loves them! For myself, I much prefer a good drama. Him, not so much!

Escape rooms are exactly the same. That’s why for us, we always make sure that all our rooms are going to be different. No two environments are going to be the same and we will stay away from using the same type of puzzle more than once. If you didn’t like Final Sacrifice because it was too dark and scary, Quest of Honor might do the trick for you!

 

Playing styles are like learning styles.

I was a teacher in my previous life and always had to keep in mind the students’ learning styles. What we’ve come to realize with our Exit Strategy customers is that playing styles are very much like learning styles. Although no room only caters to a single playing style, they usually have an underlying feel.

Abstract thinker vs. Concrete thinker

Some players love to have things magically happen through magic spells or incantations while others cannot stand to not understand why “it worked”. For them, there’s nothing like a good old combination lock. They figured out the combination/found the key, used it on the lock and it worked! Throwing a concrete thinker in Quest of Honor might not be a good idea. However, put him in Cabin in the Woods and he’s more likely to be happy. On the other hand, an abstract thinker in Lost in Space might not be ideal!

Linear player vs. All-over-the-place player

One of the warnings we sometimes give first time players about a room like Subject Zero is that it’s not going to be like a scavenger hunt: linear, one step at a time. For an all-over-the-place player, the ideal is to have many things to find and many puzzles to solve. If they get stuck with one thing, they’ll transition to another easily. Murder Mystery also fits that bill. However, a linear thinker might get confused and frustrated if things seem to be too scattered. They much prefer to have an environment that is stripped of distractions and where puzzles are going to be more streamlined. Spy Trainer might be a room to consider for them. Doesn’t mean the room is easy! It simply means that what you just found is probably the only thing for you to focus on.

Predictability factor.

Last but not least is how predictable you want things to be. For some players, they want to know what they’re playing with. They much prefer to see all the space they will need to conquer. Cabin in the Woods, though very challenging, would offer that predictable environment. Most players however much prefer to be surprised by what’s to come/what’s left. Ever tried Bank Heist? Or most of our newest rooms, like Mansion for that matter!

 

We like to think that if you tell us about yourself, we’ll be able to recommend a room for you to play. Might we get it wrong? Sure. But I guarantee that with the new rooms still to come in 2017, we’ll design one that you’ll love!!

Are you ready to master an escape room now? If you’re up for the challenge, Exit Strategy has six rooms at our South location and three (soon to be four) at our North location. Book a room today if you’re up for the challenge! You’re not sure which room to book, give us a call and we’ll help you pick!

How Exit Strategy came to be ~ Owners’ series

Mylene and Jay own the two Exit Strategy locations in Charlotte. In this post, Jay answers the question they’ve been asked the most: “How did you come up with Exit Strategy?”

In 2014, Mylene and I were on vacation in Europe. She had planned the entire trip and left one day for me to plan. Halfway through our stay she asked, “What would you like to do on our last day?” I went online and found a company that advertised that they locked people in a room and where they had to solve puzzles to get out. It sounded interesting and Mylene loves puzzles so we made a reservation. The total cost was $132 for just the two of us. That was steep but hey, we were on vacation!

When we received our confirmation email we were told to arrive no more than 10 minutes early and to enter from the rear of the building. When we arrived, we saw the sign and an arrow pointing toward an alley. Not very reassuring! And we had to ring the doorbell because the door was locked. I couldn’t believe we were going through with this. When the employee opened the door, she had a friendly smile and invited us to come in. As we entered the building there were stairs that descended into the basement and a very musty smell. This place was creepy with stone walls and steel doors and the employee was the only staff on duty. We were told to sign a waiver that we could not understand because of the language barrier and to leave all our personal belongings on the couch. Yes, no lockers. A couch!!! We were escorted into this stone wall room with no windows and a steel door. Now at this point I’m thinking she could leave us in here and no one would ever know. Mylene could already imagine the headlines in the newspaper back at home!

After a few minutes wondering what we were supposed to do, we dug in trying to find clues and solve puzzles and we were very bad at both. The employee felt sorry for us and she gave us a lot of help and extra time to beat the room. We must have received at least 20 hints!

Mylene and I had dinner afterwards and all we could talk about was who found what or did what. We were blown away with how much fun we had.

A few days after being home we both decided to create an escape room in our home office. Once the room was completed, we had to find someone willing to try it out. So, we invited my family over for dinner. After dinner we asked if they would like to play a game and they were all up for it, but had no idea what the game might be. We told them we were going to lock them in our office and they needed to find a key to escape. They all looked at us like we were crazy. After a few minutes of convincing they decided to partake.  The room they played was the 70’s room, which was the very first room we created at Exit Strategy. My family had a great time playing the 70’s and we continued to test and tweak that room with more family and friends not ever planning on opening an escape room.

During this time Mylene and I both had full-time jobs and even though we were hoping that we could turn Exit into a business, our goal was really just to share the fun we had with others. Our first Exit Strategy location was only 1200 square feet and when we opened our doors in August 2014, we only had the 70’s. We opened Cabin in the Woods two months later. Within a few more weeks, we knew Exit had legs and needed more of our attention. And more space! Mylene quit her job and we moved to our current South location.

2 years after that move, we opened our second location: Exit Strategy North in the University area. Once fully open, that location will add 4 rooms to our collection. Because we still have room ideas, as soon as North is complete, we’ll go back to South and start switching out rooms!

 

Do you have questions you’ve been wanting to ask us? We’re listening!

Mylene and Jay own the two Exit Strategy locations in Charlotte. In this post, Jay answers the question they’ve been asked the most: “How did you come up with Exit Strategy?”

In 2014, Mylene and I were on vacation in Europe. She had planned the entire trip and left one day for me to plan. Halfway through our stay she asked, “What would you like to do on our last day?” I went online and found a company that advertised that they locked people in a room and where they had to solve puzzles to get out. It sounded interesting and Mylene loves puzzles so we made a reservation. The total cost was $132 for just the two of us. That was steep but hey, we were on vacation!

When we received our confirmation email we were told to arrive no more than 10 minutes early and to enter from the rear of the building. When we arrived, we saw the sign and an arrow pointing toward an alley. Not very reassuring! And we had to ring the doorbell because the door was locked. I couldn’t believe we were going through with this. When the employee opened the door, she had a friendly smile and invited us to come in. As we entered the building there were stairs that descended into the basement and a very musty smell. This place was creepy with stone walls and steel doors and the employee was the only staff on duty. We were told to sign a waiver that we could not understand because of the language barrier and to leave all our personal belongings on the couch. Yes, no lockers. A couch!!! We were escorted into this stone wall room with no windows and a steel door. Now at this point I’m thinking she could leave us in here and no one would ever know. Mylene could already imagine the headlines in the newspaper back at home!

After a few minutes wondering what we were supposed to do, we dug in trying to find clues and solve puzzles and we were very bad at both. The employee felt sorry for us and she gave us a lot of help and extra time to beat the room. We must have received at least 20 hints!

Mylene and I had dinner afterwards and all we could talk about was who found what or did what. We were blown away with how much fun we had.

A few days after being home we both decided to create an escape room in our home office. Once the room was completed, we had to find someone willing to try it out. So, we invited my family over for dinner. After dinner we asked if they would like to play a game and they were all up for it, but had no idea what the game might be. We told them we were going to lock them in our office and they needed to find a key to escape. They all looked at us like we were crazy. After a few minutes of convincing they decided to partake.  The room they played was the 70’s room, which was the very first room we created at Exit Strategy. My family had a great time playing the 70’s and we continued to test and tweak that room with more family and friends not ever planning on opening an escape room.

During this time Mylene and I both had full-time jobs and even though we were hoping that we could turn Exit into a business, our goal was really just to share the fun we had with others. Our first Exit Strategy location was only 1200 square feet and when we opened our doors in August 2014, we only had the 70’s. We opened Cabin in the Woods two months later. Within a few more weeks, we knew Exit had legs and needed more of our attention. And more space! Mylene quit her job and we moved to our current South location.

2 years after that move, we opened our second location: Exit Strategy North in the University area. Once fully open, that location will add 4 rooms to our collection. Because we still have room ideas, as soon as North is complete, we’ll go back to South and start switching out rooms!

 

Do you have questions you’ve been wanting to ask us? We’re listening!

3 Things You’ll Learn About Your Colleagues During an Escape Game

Escape games can be a great teambuilding activity. You get to spend time with your colleagues and work as a team to put together clues and open locks to get out of the room within the allotted hour. During these situations, you get to learn more about your colleagues and how they handle stressful moments which can, ultimately, help or hurt you in the game due to everyone having different problem-solving styles. Who is going to listen or who is going to try to control the situation? Here are some things you could perceive in the room:

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3 Ways to Solve Escape Game Puzzles Faster

Escape games are designed to make you think critically and work as a team. If you don’t do those two important things while in the room, you won’t be able to accomplish your mission—escaping. Whether it’s your first game or your 100th, it’s always great to know tips of the trade when it comes to escaping, especially when players are known for making common errors while inside rooms. And (let’s be honest) most people want to know how they can escape the room quickly and more efficiently – because mistakes are commonly made.

  read more…

Here’s What it Takes to Design an Escape Game

Escape rooms – the good ones – are more than just a bunch of puzzles strewn about a spare closet. They’re multi-faceted and intentionally-designed; great escape games must challenge experienced players while not being too difficult for first-timers!

What does it take to design an escape room? Exit Strategy has a lot of experience putting together interactive, exciting escape puzzles. Here’s what we’ve learned.

read more…

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