So we talked to in our opinion, Asheville's best Escape Room tonight, A-Escape! It's run by Kyle and Ashley, a couple who have built it from the ground up. They come up with everything from the story line, to the puzzle, to building the damn thing.
What exactly is an escape room?
K: An escape room is a type of physical adventure game that mixes a bit of searching for things with a bit of "putting two and two together" all under the growing pressure of having to figure everything out in time.
A: It's also a lot about cooperation and teamwork, no matter how small or big the group.
Why should this appeal to geeks and geek culture?
K: If you've ever wanted to be a character in a different story, then this is that chance. Whether you choose to be an unfortunate soul who has stumbled into a sinister house in the woods, or a mobster turned state's witness to put away your ex-boss, you get to choose the story and live it for an hour. It's like a video game, but you're in it.
A: Because it has a little bit of everything for everyone. You get to live your own choose-your-own-adventure story, solve crimes, escape the monster, solve the grande puzzle, and be the hero just in the nick of time.
How do you come up with the puzzles and story lines?
K: Through months of brainstorming and a good amount of hunting down unique locks and items that we can work into our rooms. I draw a lot of influence from old mystery/horror games.
A: Would it be terrible to say a couple beers and a couple dozen cups of coffee? Seriously though, it usually starts with one of us saying "wouldn't it be fun to -" and tossing out an idea. It's like we get to be kids playing make-believe, except now we can actually build it for others to enjoy too.
Are escape rooms a trend or truly the next level of real life gaming?
K: Probably a trend, but they'll at least be around for a few years.
A: I think it's starting as a trend, which is actually great. It gets the word out that this is actually a thing. I do believe though that as long as people are willing to throw themselves into unknown challenges, then Escape Rooms could become a staple.
What's currently happening room wise for a-escape?
K: We're constructing our Abandoned Submarine room, which is going to include some awesome technology designed to really give it that "abandoned submarine" feel.
What's coming? Quick overview of the story?
K: We're still putting together the pieces, but something happened on this sub, the crew is gone, and your team is being sent to investigate.
A: There's so much I'm excited for when it comes to this room, but I don't want to give away anything else.
How much do John, Charlie, and I suck at these?
K: On a scale of 1-10... Orange.
A: My lawyer has advised me to stop answering questions now.