Escape Your Weekend Rut with Escape Rhode Island

You know that reoccurring nightmare everyone has where you can’t escape your 10th grade math class? You know, the dream where you’re stuck until you get at least a B on the mid-term, which is frankly impossible because geometry is really really hard, guys, and why couldn’t this have happened to me in ENGLISH CLASS? SORRY I’M A CREATIVE THINKER.

Okay, maybe that dream is specific to me.

Well, try to imagine that dream anyway. Only this time you aren’t stuck in a math class and you have between one and 11 friends with you, and, oh yeah, there is a way out. Wait, that sounds kind of … fun. Escape Rhode Island, opening Thursday, October 15, is a real-life game where players placed in a dimly lit room have one hour to solve puzzles and figure out clues for them to escape.

Escape Room games started gaining popularity online, until 2007 when real-life iterations of the Internet game popped up in Asia. Six years later the US saw its first Escape Room game in New York City.

Ethan Carlson, founder of Escape Rhode Island, a graduate of Yale University and game-player himself, saw an untapped market after moving to Providence in January 2013. He partnered with college friends who co-founded Escape Industries in New Haven, helping him adapt the game for Providence. “It’s a perfect place for it. We have that creative and quirky community in spades.”

I all but told Mr. Carlson about my deep-seated high school math-related trauma and expressed concern that a game of this nature would trigger unwanted feelings. “It’s not claustrophobic, the rooms are normal sized and nothing jumps out at you. It’s more a game of chess style of thinking.”

The games are hard, but don’t be deterred — they’re for everyone. Each room has surveillance equipment that gauges how close the players are to escaping so no team spends too much time on one problem. The monitors move the game along so players always experience a journey. “The type of person this is for is very broad,” Mr. Carlson explained.

So, if your eyes feel sore from playing online video games or if you’re tired of hitting up the same bar every weekend, get over to 385 S Main St, Floor 2 in PVD. For more information: