No prison can hold me; no hand or leg irons or steel locks can shackle me. No ropes or chains can keep me from my freedom.

It seems like no matter where you turn, there’s a new escape room opening up. The concept, if you’ve never been in one before, is that you’re “locked” in a room (I use quotes because legally you can’t actually be locked in, but, use your imagination) and you have a certain amount of time to find your way out based on clues and items found within the room. From the few I’ve been to, if you find yourself stuck, you do have the opportunity to ask for clues. Each of the rooms has a different theme and level of difficulty but from what I’ve found, no escape room is the same and as you’ll read, some are MUCH better than others.

What started our tour-de-escape room, a friend of mine and I went to Escape the Mystery Room in Albany from a Groupon. We picked “Sherlock’s Library” because I’m a huge fan of the books and though the difficulty was high, we figured the two of us would at least come close if not escape. We were “locked” in a room and told that the first clue is on the desk. My issue with this location is that the escape room is too linear, we didn’t enjoy ourselves. We expected to go in and tear apart the place looking for secret messages and that wasn’t the case here. We had to find one clue to move on to the next. There weren’t many objects to interact with, the clues were confusing, some of the maps were hard to read, most of the puzzles had to be solved with papers instead of objects and in 45 minutes we didn’t get very far. I would say if you want an Escape Room, don’t even bother with that one and head over to Tru-Escape for a much better experience.

We were excited to check out Tru-Escape in VIAPort (formerly Rotterdam Square Mall) in Rotterdam (There’s also a Queensbury location and upcoming Clifton Park location). Tru-Escape has 5 different room theme options, we chose Serial Killer Sleuth. We had 60 minutes to get ourselves out of the basement of a serial killer ($28/pp). From the very beginning we knew this escape room was going to be different. Before we even entered the room, my friend had handcuffs on her ankles and a cape over her head & I had my hands cuffed together and also had a cape over my head. My friend was brought in first and locked to the wall in a jail cell and then I was walked in. The clock started and without instruction we had to find our way out.

My friend, not being able to move out of the cell, looked at the walls and tried to figure out clues while I figure out where locks were and moved props to find information. Whenever we got stuck, we had the option to ask for clues which showed up on a TV screen. The visuals alone were so much better! We actually felt like we were in some crazy person’s basement with fake dead bodies, weird goo, cut off tongues & scary messages on the wall. I loved being able to interact with the room more. We were organizing paint cans and looking at wooden blocks instead of just finding another piece of paper to figure out. We ended up escaping with 17 minutes left! We still can’t stop talking about how much we enjoyed Tru-Escape and are already planning on when we can do the next one. I couldn’t post pictures of the rooms themselves, I don’t want to ruin the illusion or the mystery but keep checking back for updates on the other rooms Tru-Escape has to offer because we can’t WAIT to go back!

NOTE: Though I was not paid for my review, my experience was comped by the establishment in order to give me the opportunity to write about them. 

[Quote by Harry Houdini]