What do Sherlock Holmes, pirates and a poltergeist all have in common?
They — along with mad scientists, secret agents and Alice in Wonderland — can all be found in Ocean City. Specifically at 2nd, 56th and 118th Street, where Escapomania’s escape rooms are located.
Escapomania has been in Ocean City since their first location on 118th Street opened in 2015, but even for the biggest escape room fans, Escapomania’s real-life escape games never get stale; at least one room is redone every season to keep the challenges fresh for returning customers.
Their one-room midtown location first opened its doors last summer, bringing a new Alice in Wonderland-themed escape game to 56th Street.
This summer, 118th Street’s Pirate’s Adventure room will be totally overhauled and become the Cursed Ship. Only the general pirate theme will remain. The story, the puzzles and the room’s interior will all be brand new.
Good, clean fun, whatever the weather
Escapomania’s escape rooms aren’t meant to be just a rainy day activity. Kate and Asiya, two of Escapomania’s owners, like to encourage their guests to get out of the hot sun and cool off with a challenging escape game.
“I don’t plan it around a rainy day,” said Kate, who travels and visits escape rooms all over the world. “I just want to go there because I want to experience something that challenges you, and it’s more fun to do besides just going to the bar and drinking.”
Groups who do take cover from a rained out beach in an escape room should expect a crowd: Rainy days tend to be the busiest days, and if a group doesn’t book the whole room for themselves (the largest room, Sherlock Holmes, holds up to 10 people), they may find themselves paired up with another team. That, however, only adds to the fun.
It’s a good way to meet new people, Asiya said. She’s seen several groups over the years head to the bar next door together after being paired up in an escape room.
“People should not be worried to be inside with somebody else,” she said. “It’s a good opportunity to make connections and friends.”
It’s not uncommon for a pair to enter an escape room as strangers and emerge as new friends. And on a somewhat less regular basis, a pair will enter an escape room dating and emerge as fiancés.
At least two proposals have occurred at the 118th Street location, and one on 2nd Street. The proposer will ask the escape room employees if they can hide the ring somewhere, an employee will put it in a puzzle, and the proposee will be led to finish the puzzle toward the end of the game.
Most people like a challenge. The rooms that are rated as “harder,” usually a 9/10 or 10/10 on Escapomania’s website, tend to be the most popular. But, Asiya said, what’s more important than completing a difficult puzzle or escaping a challenging room altogether is savoring the experience and having a good time with friends, old or new.
“People like solving puzzles, they like completion, but that shouldn’t be the ultimate goal,” she said. “The experience of the room, of being with people you love in the room and to see how they’re solving the puzzles, I think this is the most important.”
Escape room is a REAL-LIFE escape game. You have to escape the mystery room by solving a series of multitask puzzles, finding hidden clues and eventually get out in time. You have 60 minutes to escape. The clock is ticking, so be quick!! OR… You could be trapped inside forever!