Could you solve the challenges to escape these 6 puzzle rooms?

 

Immerse yourself in a live-action mystery!

West Virginia’s intense “escape rooms” test your ability to solve puzzles under pressure. Beat the clock as you solve spy stories, adventure dramas and creepy tales.

Learning the craft

Escape rooms are simple in concept, even if solving one isn’t.

Interactive games have stories that vary from company to company, but several things unite them: clues, time limits and teamwork. You’ll also be “locked” into a room, although it’s an illusion — you can always leave.

Since these games are based on deductive reasoning, more players are better than less. Share your observations with your fellow teammates. The room is filled with clues that lead to an escape, and you only have an hour or less to complete the mystery.

Most escape rooms record top times, too. See if you are crafty enough to finish before time elapses! Victorious players sometimes get free shirts or a group photo. If you don’t solve the game, you can still pose with your hapless team in the lobby — and plan for the next round!

How to be a sleuth

No matter where you play, escape rooms follow 2 trends. Some are subtle and test your observational skills; for example, you might find clues by scanning a bookcase and aligning numbered texts. Other games focus more on puzzles, like boxes with odd slots or pictures.

No matter which style you try, these tips should help:

  • Keep track of your clues. Most lead from one to the other. Also, remember where you found them; sometimes, that’s a clue, too.
  • Beware of red herrings. Escape rooms are pretty sophisticated, and it’s easy to get misled by tricks. Instead, try to find themes or relationships.
  • Communicate with your friends. Time is short, so don’t be afraid to voice aloud your observations and theories.

Also, escape rooms can be scary or frustrating for anyone younger than 12.

Ready to play? Here’s where to go:

1. Epic Escape Game: New River Gorge

Fayetteville may be an outdoor adventure hotspot, but its newest indoor attraction is guaranteed to raise your pulse, too. Try your hand at:

  • Runaway Train. As your ride to Thurmond steams along, you discover the engineer has disappeared. Worse, you have 60 minutes until the locomotive runs out of track. You can stop the train — just piece together the right clues.
  • Brave New World. Your friend’s cabin in the New River Gorge has codes that will stop a rogue missile from launching. Unfortunately, your search is hampered by odd occurrences and a countdown to nuclear disaster.
  • Mothman. While waiting out a storm in an abandoned mine, you discover that you’ve stumbled across a monster’s lair. Alas, the entrance collapses. Can you escape in time before the Mothman returns?

2. Morgantown Escape Room

Most interactive games have a creepy element to them, but not these. If you prefer something more lighthearted, try your luck with:

  • Race to the Game. With tickets in hand, you try to leave the office — only to be stonewalled by tasks and a series of unfortunate events. Will the game start without you?
  • Detention Breakout. You and a bunch of troublemakers have to spend Saturday at school. Still, your supervisor offers a challenge: escape the room by the time he returns from lunch, and you’ve proven your worth.

 

Main lobby at Xscape, Morgantown, WV

3. Xscape! Live Escape Room

This Morgantown attraction has games that range from intense to goofy. Pick your comfort level and solve:

  • Bank Job. You and some officemates have temporarily found shelter from robbers. Unfortunately, they have planted a bomb in the building to cover all evidence. Can you retrieve the device and defuse it before time’s up?
  • Taken. When a gang of robbers imprisons you and your buddies, they split everybody up to prevent communication. Piece together clues to find your pals and escape — before your kidnappers return.
  • The Estate. Your eccentric aunt bequeathed a generous inheritance to you in her will. Unfortunately, you have to explore her apartment and uncover the money before time expires and the state gets everything.
  • King Tut: Lost (new — coming in spring). It turns out the real pharaoh’s tomb lies undiscovered in Egypt. You and your archaeology team have just 60 minutes to solve ancient clues that lead to the genuine burial chamber. Fame is yours unless time’s up!

4. The Resort at Glade Springs

Search for treasure or flee the forces of nature like Indiana Jones. You’ll need to be quick on your feet and even swifter in the head for:

  • The Gold Mine. Anyone who has entered this mysterious cavern has never returned. You have a map that can lead you to riches and back again — if everything goes to plan.
  • Cabin Fever. An enormous snowstorm has trapped you inside a cabin, and it looks like more accumulation is on its way. Unless you escape in time, you’ll be sealed inside forever!

 

Lobby with souvenir shirts at The Lost Escape Room, WV

5. The Lost Escape Room

If spy thrillers and horror scenarios get your pulse going, head to Huntington for:

  • Tell No One. With an investigator dogging your every move, you have to use every ounce of discretion not to betray a 3-year secret to the wrong person.
  • The Outbreak. An entire city is infected by a deadly virus. You and your team must find an antidote and develop a cure before it’s too late.
  • 60:00. This spy thriller pits you in the high-stakes world of espionage. When a terrorist attack puts the world on edge, it’s up to you to halt the perpetrator.

6. Escape Room — West Virginia Penitentiary

As if these games aren’t intense enough, this one happens at an authentic prison.

Brace yourself for Escape the Pen: The Execution. Infamous criminal “Lefty Lafferty” is scheduled for the electric chair until the governor of West Virginia delays his sentence for 1 hour. Nothing is what it seems, particularly the mysterious prisoner.

Which game are you going to try?

 

This post was last updated on October 19, 2017