Inside Midtown’s newest escape rooms, no expense has been spared: The “Gold Rush” room features a detailed forest landscape and cabin with 5 miles’ worth of wires in the walls, ensuring slides, smoke machines and second and third rooms are carefully hidden until players unlock them. The other four rooms — Prison Break, Playground, Special Ops and The Heist — are similarly detailed, and only winners get to enjoy their full size, as the majority of the space can only be accessed by solving puzzles.
“Push there, push there!” a guide yells at a screen in the control room, watching a group she’s been charged with hosting.
The Escape Game is the latest incarnation of the popular, puzzle-solving adventures that have become big business in recent years. The sprawling space in a former bank vault on Madison Avenue offers carefully designed experiences made to be family-friendly and customizable: Guides will tweak the hints they offer depending on whether teams are struggling or completing challenges too quickly. For inspiration, the co-founders played hundreds of games in 15 different countries to see what they were up against.
“I think this industry is in the second inning,” The Escape Game’s CEO Roger Clayton, tells The Post. To stand out, the company, founded in Nashville in 2013, makes all of its rooms “very bespoke” by enabling variable levels of difficulty via guides who are charged with tailoring guests’ experiences to their skill level.
“We try to make it so the game rewards everyone,” says Clayton, “the country-strong East Tennessean and the math Ph.D.”
The Escape Game, which opened in September, is an ideal escapist retreat: sleekly designed and offering the novelty of controlled, teamwork-reliant challenges with set answers. Plus, it’s distracting enough so that guests won’t feel the need to whip out their phones.
“We want you to be in the world [we create],” says Clayton, so that “we don’t have to take [away] people’s phones.”
The Escape Game is at 295 Madison Ave. and costs $41.99 per person