Luther College Chips

Escape Rooms

Emma Brooks (‘21) and Sophiya Khan (‘21) try to figure out a puzzle in the’Extinction Level’ escape room.

Emma Brooks (‘21) and Sophiya Khan (‘21) try to figure out a puzzle in the’Extinction Level’ escape room.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips

Emma Brooks (‘21) and Sophiya Khan (‘21) try to figure out a puzzle in the’Extinction Level’ escape room.

Olivia Enquist, Staff Writer

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With the extinction of the human race or graduation at a prestigious wizarding school on the line, teams of 12 raced against the clock to solve a series of puzzles on Saturday, March 10. The Student Activities Council Entertainment committee and SAC Impact committee hosted an Escape Room event from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Mott-Borlaug rooms. Approximately 110 students participated.

SAC Entertainment co-chair Alex Shaw (‘19) described the process of collaborating with the company Neon Entertainment to bring travelling escape rooms to Luther campus. 

“The actual booking process was fairly easy,” Shaw said. “We negotiated to try to figure out the best price and we wanted it to be shorter times. It’s a busy time of the year and we didn’t want people to have to be here for an hour. We felt that the five-minute introduction and the 25 minute escape room was perfect. That way people could come and do the escape room as a study break.”

Escape rooms are typically simulated environments where teams are locked into a room and must use the clues they find to break out. However, the escape rooms at Luther were slightly different because the teams were not physically locked into the room.

“The escape rooms were called ‘Extinction Level’ and ‘School of Wizardry’,” Shaw said. “In the ‘Extinction Level’ room they had to work together to save the world, which was kind of cute. The end goal in that escape room was that they turned five keys simultaneously which then launched a missile that saves the world. In the ‘School of Wizardry’ room people had to pass certain magical tests. They are very different, which is nice because it played well into people’s different interests.”

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips
A group of students in the ‘School of Wizardry’ escape room.

Within the ‘Extinction Level’ room, red flashing lights and camouflage nets set an apocalyptic tone as participants used blacklights to find codes to unlock lock-boxes. These boxes held the keys that would eventually solve the puzzle to save the world. The ‘School of Wizardry’ escape room focused more on word-based puzzles. Here participants used clues from books to unlock the box which held their wizarding diploma.          

“It was a cool experience that I got to have with my Luther friends,” Maddie Williams (‘18) said.

Prior to the event, participants signed up for half-hour time slots outside of the SAC office. Each slot held groups of 12 people, and all ten time slots were filled up within days. SAC Entertainment co-chair elect Claire Hess (‘19) was happy with the participation level in the event.

Olivia Enquist (‘19) | Chips
Chase Gilson (‘18) and Maddie Williams (‘18) work together in the ‘School of Wizardry’ escape room.

“I thought the escape rooms were very successful,” Hess said. “We had every slot filled in a matter of days once the sign-up sheets were posted and had to turn people away. I feel as though that is an indicator of the excitement students felt for the event.”

In addition to individual or informal friend group participation, multiple sports teams and organizations used the event as a way to spend more time together.    

“I thought it was really fun,” Sarah Smallfield (‘19) said. “I went with a group of my sorority friends from [Tau Delta Gamma] and it was a great bonding experience.”              

Hess was pleased with the event and reflected on the possibility of bringing escape rooms back to Luther in the future.

“Everything ran quite smoothly and relatively on time,” Hess said. “From the comments we received, it seemed those who participated had a great time.”

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