My husband, Scott, and I decided to try a local escape room for our date night. We had never been to one before, so this was a new experience for us. Decode Detroit, which opened in October 2016, is the newest option in Ann Arbor. The story, called The Minerva Project, centers around Minerva, an artificial intelligence who wants participants to help her get onto the internet. Because adventure games like this are more fun in a group, we went with a group of four other adults.
How it works: Upon arrival, we were taken into the briefing room where we signed waivers, received our badges, and got some general instructions. We were able to ask questions and use the restroom one last time. Once we were locked in the escape room, we had to solve a series of puzzles before the time expired. It’s a fast-paced hour filled with teamwork, problem solving, and quick decision making.
What our partners thought: Scott says that Decode Detroit exceeded his expectations. He enjoyed the mental challenge of the puzzle and had fun collaborating with the group.
Fun: Decode Detroit was perfect for a date because it let Scott and I interact and work together the entire time. We could rely on each other’s strengths to solve different parts of the game and enjoy a sense of accomplishment when we succeeded. It was also fun to discuss the game once we were finished; we laughed at the mistakes we made and talked about the hardest parts of the puzzle.
Weird: When the guide first shut us in the room, we had no idea how to start. We just looked at each other, and it was awkward for a few minutes. I think we were expecting some direct instruction about where to begin. It only took three or four minutes, though, to get the hang of it and jump right in.
Would we do it again: Yes! Absolutely! The great thing about Decode Detroit is that the game continues with a scavenge hunt in downtown Ann Arbor. The website contains four different missions with maps and clues to learn more about Minerva’s story. We can’t wait to try this!
Duration: The game lasts one hour, whether you escape or not.
Cost: $28 per person
Hours: Thursday and Friday 6pm-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am-11pm
4072 Packard Rd.