Shore Monthly Presents
in Association with Mission Escape Rooms
Written by Sarah Ensor
Photography by Arden Haley
Designed by Greg Mueller
Starring David Fike, Betsy Griffin, Art Crofoot, Jon Ekroos, Robyne Feehley, Paul Hagood, Sarah Ensor, Arden Haley, Greg Mueller
In August 2018, the Shore Monthly team traveled to Mission Escape Rooms on West Street in Annapolis to complete the challenges offered by the Museum Heist room. Would they make it out alive?
After entering the Museum Heist room, which was decorated like an office with paintings and sculptures, the Mission Escape Rooms host explained the story and the team’s challenge. While visiting a famous art museum, the group snuck down to the museum’s basement, where they entered a room reserved for museum staff. They soon discovered that it was the museum curator’s office, which also served as a private gallery for important art collectors — and he was dealing stolen art on the black market.
Would the Shore Monthly team be able to find the stolen artwork before the curator returned to his office? If not, priceless and important works of art could be lost to the art community and the world.
Escape room games have become popular in the United States this decade. The games are set in themed rooms where a variety of hints, clues, and puzzles are designed to lead players to unveil a final secret or goal. Themes often are centered on a mysterious plot having to do with a crime, the paranormal, or magic.
The business operating the rooms typically rates the difficulty of each room and sets a range for the number of players needed to complete the puzzles. The games are popular among groups such as bridal parties, families celebrating birthdays, and businesses.
The Shore Monthly team had spent the morning evaluating the magazine’s first year, planning for the coming year, and thinking of ways to enrich reader experience. Mission Escape Rooms would offer the team several benefits: a brain break after a productive and intense workshop, an exercise to build camaraderie among the team members, and an opportunity to experience an activity they could share with readers.
When groups enter escape rooms, they must solve the first puzzle to unlock the next. The host normally directs the team where to begin their investigation before “locking” the team in the room (for safety reasons, some businesses merely close the door and others offer emergency exit doors).
As the group works to solve the puzzle, the host watches on a closed-circuit video, and at some escape rooms, the host will offer support over a speaker.
Team Shore Monthly worked together to solve the puzzles, and with just seconds remaining on the clock, solved the final problem that released them from the room.