My family and I LOVE escape rooms. I’m sure most of you know that already, as I am constantly posting reviews of them on the site, and we have visited just under 200 over the past few years. We’ve never met a room that we couldn’t conquer, and we love how they all challenge us to think outside the box and work together.
Imagine our delight when Sony Pictures sent us a mysterious package last week to help promote the digital release of their film ESCAPE ROOM. While I didn’t get a chance to catch it in theaters, my son did and absolutely loved it. Needless to say, he was just as thrilled about the package as I was.
We all sat down one evening to dive into it, and let me tell you, it was way more fun that we expected! Created by The Wild Optimists, this mini-escape room in a box was a perfect way to experience the satisfaction of an escape room in our own home.
After opening the mailing package, we were already greeted with a challenge. The shoebox sized package was locked tight with a 3-digit lock, with a card with my name adorning the top. The only clue we had was contained within the card: “Life is FRAGILE. Find the A-PEEL.” After wracking our brains for a few minutes trying to figure out something that was fragile and could also be peeled, we finally realized that everything needed was right there. In fact, the box the package was mailed in had a “fragile” sticker on the outside. It couldn’t be…could it?
Turns out, it WAS the right answer! After carefully peeling that fragile sticker off, we noticed there was a note BEHIND it that lead to an Instagram account that had a picture of the lock with the correct code, and viola! The box opened!
This first “a-ha!” moment was one of many that evening, and showcased just how clever this entire mini-experience was, especially when it came to thinking outside the box…both figurately and literally. The box contained more locked packages and boxes, wrapped up items, a candle, and a locked bag with more. There was SO much left to do!
We wound up unwrapping the two “presents” first to reveal a cheese wheel (yes, really) and a granite board with “MINOS” written on it. The bubble wrap around the MINOS board had a note to “light the candle now”, so we complied as we moved on to the rest. We realized the wrapping paper definitely had a secret message and folded along the pattern to reveal it.
It told us to “read between the cows,” and sure enough, that wheel of cheese had cows on it. Reading the letters between the cows, it said to “rub out chalk”, which is exactly what was used to write MINOS on the board. Once we wiped it away, it revealed a numerical code, which lead to opening one of the many locks left.
I’m not going to go through the entire rest of the process, but I WILL say it was very clever and a ton of fun. Every new package and lock we opened revealed another fun surprise, from crazy concoctions to the candle revealing a hidden surprise once it melted. Hell, one of them was a medical folder that contained “information” about me, complete with a photograph of myself! It was both creepy AND cool at the same time.
But, after 30 minutes of calling numbers, mixing powders, word puzzles, and more, we made it to the end of the game. Our prize? A digital copy of ESCAPE ROOM, along with everything needed for a fun date night. That’s right, pretty much everything we used in the game doubled as items for a movie night at home: the granite board was actually a cheese board, to be used for the cheese we got! Mini-records that helped us solve a word puzzle were actually drink coasters. Glasses we used to mix the mysterious powder with water doubled as wine glasses. Hell, we even got popcorn and some candy, too!
Overall, this was a great bit of fun, and my entire family enjoyed doing it together. And you better believe we used all that stuff when we watched ESCAPE ROOM this weekend!
ESCAPE ROOM arrives on digital today, April 9, and is coming to Blu-ray & DVD on April 23. All of them feature a never-before-seen Alternate Ending and Opening, six deleted scenes and four featurettes. Be sure to check it out today!