By Namon Eugene
“What in the world is an escape room?”
I asked that question several times throughout the years and never got a clear answer.
In 2015, while interning at a radio station in Manhattan, I was hearing about escape rooms on a daily basis. I never had time to go and I never bothered to look further into it. Then, when I moved to New York permanently in 2016, my sister would regularly mention how much she wanted to try one out. I was too caught up in the city grind and never dug deeper. But this year, to my surprise, I received a message inviting me to finally experience the elusive attraction. Recently, during one unusually warm winter night, I hopped on the 3 train and trucked it to uptown Manhattan to discover what all the fuss is about.
The best way to grasp what an escape room is about is to go to one, but if I were to try and describe the experience, I would compare it to the popular Saw movie franchise—the thrill and excitement of trying to free yourself from a strange, and sometimes quirky, puzzle filled room — minus the terrible macabre deaths (thank God). They make you think way beyond the ordinary, and Hoodwinked Escape, a black-owned escape room in the heart of Harlem, delivers excitement beyond your most logical expectations.