The “Escape Room” rage has officially hit #HipNJ!
Located in Waldwick, Cipher Seeker offers room escape challenges for adult groups of two to eight people. The group has 60 minutes to search their room, locate clues, solve riddles and puzzles, and work together as a team to complete their objective and “escape”.
We spoke with Chris Bartlett, founder and owner of Cipher Seeker, about this #hip concept!
First thing’s first- what’s an escape room?
It’s a relatively new field that started out in Japan and is exponentially growing in the United States. Room escapes are also known as “Mystery Rooms”, “Puzzle Rooms”, “Adventure Rooms”, and “Escape Rooms”. Originally created as online computer games, the player was stuck in a room until a level was completed, thus the need to “escape”. The thrill is in solving all the puzzles before your time is up.
How does the concept work?
You get together with friends, family or coworkers, go into a room of your choice, look for clues and solve the puzzle needed to escape! Some facilities lock you in, and some don’t. We do depending on which room you go into and what your objective is.
How did you become interested in this concept?
I actually saw an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” that did one and I thought to myself, “Hey, that looks cool!” So I Googled it and found that there were already some in New Jersey. I tried a couple in the area and realized how much fun they were. Since I had recently lost my job, I figured my best option was to start working for myself instead of someone else and open an escape room myself.
What are the room setups?
Room one of them is called DEFCON 1 and involves an old missile silo where the computer system has gone rogue and is trying to launch its battery of missiles. The objective is for your team to try and disable the launch system before its too late.
The second room is called Graveyard Inlet where you and your friends are on a tour at an old lighthouse and decide to start exploring on your own. In doing so, you get yourself locked in the keepers quarters and have to get out before the tour guide catches you.
Are actors involved?
We do not have any actors in place because of the not-so-positive feedback we’ve heard. Usually the actors stand to give hints and help groups through the puzzle, but we find them to be distracting to the groups. Therefore, in place of actors, we have a T.V. screen in the room where we watch the groups from a control room. If we see them struggling and they’re stuck, we send hints that appear on the screen.
Are the rooms “creepy?”
Not yet, but we have a third room opening next month that’s a murder mystery! The story is that you got accused of a crime and you have to figure out who actually committed the crime and what their murder weapon and motive was.
Who is this activity ideal for?
A lot of people do it as either a family or friend thing. It’s more interactive and thought-provoking than doing something like going to the movies. I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have fun during this activity.
It also works for company team building. The managers usually stay in our control room where they can watch the group solve the puzzle and see who the leaders are, who the real problem solvers are, and who their idea people are. It’s a good and fun way for them to really see how the team works together.
How can people find you?
Visit us on our website at CipherSeeker.com and follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we occasionally run promotions!