Invented in Japan, the first Escape Rooms started to open in the U.S. in 2010’s. Now, according to the online Escape Room Directory, you can find these fun, live action venues in 84 countries, 994 cities, and 2,127 sites. Rockville joined this worldwide gaming trend with the new Rockville Escape Room which opened in July.
The owners, Roxanne and Arnold Duke, have successfully run The International Gem & Jewelry Show for many years.
“The Duke family has been in the entertainment industry for 50 years,” explained Brian Fischer, their Corporate Account Manager, “and they are very proud to bring the same quality to the Escape Rooms as they have to The International Gem & Jewelry Show.”
After their shows in other parts of the country, the Dukes visited escape rooms. The couple found themselves wondering, “Why don’t we have one of these in Rockville?” Since they live here and are absolutely committed to the area, they decided to open the Rockville Escape Room on Derwood Circle.
When in an escape room, players must use their brains and a healthy dose of teamwork to solve clues and open locks. Each scenario gives players only 60 minutes to finish the mystery and escape.
When asked why people love escape rooms so much, Fischer replied, “The first reason is because it’s fun. The second reason is because they are challenged. They want to be challenged. They want to figure it out. They want to use their brains. With phones people ‘google’ things out, but in escape rooms there are no phones. People need to come up with the solution to open a lock. They have an hour. It’s a mission and they could loose, which brings in the excitement of a video game.”
Rockville Escape Room currently has three mysteries but hope to add two more soon. In the Pirate’s Quest, participants are armed with captain Blye’s treasure map from 300 years ago and they must find the hidden booty before the ghosts of his vengeful crew arrive to claim it. In the Great Diamond Heist, a mysterious benefactor has assembled a team of the world’s greatest thieves, tricksters, and confidence men for a single job: steal the world’s largest diamond by even having to climb through laser beams. In the Mad Dentist room, the dentist, Dr. Phil Payne, turns into a crazed madman, who participants must fend off while escaping from his office.
“The clues are not obvious and you need to think outside the box,” explained Calder, who visited with his youth group and was happy to escape from the pirate room (pictured above).
“People come in and do all three rooms because they love doing it together,” said Fischer, “Families come in all the time. ”
Escape Rooms are the great equalizer because people feel like they are at the same level as everyone else.
“It’s great for team building. Many high profile corporate clients from Montgomery County say that nothing in Montgomery County is like this. They want their marketing or IT departments to come in and bond. They have to talk to each other, look in each other’s eyes, and work together,” said Fischer, “You have to communicate to succeed.”
One recent participant, Michelle, said she has gone to quite a few escape rooms, “This really was one of the best! So much fun and we can’t wait to go back!”
Reservations should be made at least 24 hours in advance. 120 Derwood Circle, Rockville, MD 20850, 240-688-1396, firstname.lastname@example.org