“An escape room is [when] you take a group of individuals, friends or strangers, and your goal is to get out of the room within one hour,” said Andrew Ma, Owner of Rockville Panic Room. “There will be a door, and it will be locked. You have to find a combination through a series of clues, tests and logical puzzles that you’ll solve inside the room.”
One of the masterminds behind the puzzle-ridden classroom and cabin is a local student.
“I want to make sure that they all kind of make sense,” said Russell Allen, student at University of Baltimore’s Shady Grove campus. “If our players are getting hung up on something, [we] definitely have to look at that [and] maybe change it around.”
“It gives them that immediate feedback of seeing clients play their games and seeing what works [and] what doesn’t work,” said Professor Deborah Solomon, Montgomery College.
Ma called it a symbiotic relationship, where more creative minds contribute to game design while students get hands-on experience.
“You just have to take apart almost everything and look for clues,” said Allen.
Rockville Panic Room just opened in February, and it’s the second escape room in Montgomery County.
Ma said more locations are coming to the DMV area, including one in Germantown.
“I think the mental, challenging aspect of this is probably one of the biggest draws coming in,” said Ma. “People want to feel challenged.”