ABQ Journal Article

NM Escape Room - News
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July 19, 2015
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July 19, 2015
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ABQ Journal Article

NM Escape Room - News

gbs061815a/BUSINESS -- Darren Guido stands in Victorian office at the Escape Room entertainment venue at 3916 Carlise on Thursday, June 18, 2105. The room is one of three where people pay for an hour-long experience to be locked in a room and work with others to solve clues and riddles to get out. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal

Darren Guido stands in Victorian office at the Escape Room entertainment venue at 3916 Carlise on Thursday, June 18, 2105. The room is one of three where people pay for an hour-long experience to be
locked in a room and work with others to solve clues and riddles to get out. (Greg Sorber/Albuquerque Journal)
 

I nsert your content hereetting locked up is now a form of entertainment in Albuquerque.

Not in a jail cell, of course, but in specially designed quarters stocked with clues and puzzles intended to assist occupants as they try to make their exit.

The local take on the international “escape room” trend opened this month inside an old Northeast Albuquerque charter school. Working in teams of up to eight, customers have one hour to mentally maneuver their way out of a locked room by decoding messages and solving puzzles.

They pay $28 apiece for the experience.

NM Escape Room is the work of Carie and Darren Guido, who have years of experience hosting haunted houses in Albuquerque. But, Darren Guido said, don’t get the wrong idea: Escape rooms are more scheme than scare. Guido even had his 8-year-old niece take part in a test run of the room — a themed space meant to make participants feel like they’re in the Wild West and searching an office for Jesse James’ map to hidden treasure.

“You’ve got locks you’ve got to open, (and) one thing leads to something else which leads to something else,” Guido said. “It’s all about utilizing your mind.”

Cameras monitor the proceedings, and staff can offer up to three extra clues on demand. Even if the team doesn’t successfully negotiate its way out, the room gets unlocked after an hour.

Guido said the escape room phenomenon grew out of the virtual versions portrayed in video games. He said the real-life rooms rose to prominence in Asia and have since cropped up in cities around the world.

“We came across this idea at a convention we went to,” Guido said. “The guy wasn’t selling a franchise — he was selling escape room idea so we kind of teamed up with this consultant and put together this first room.”

He said he and his wife moved fast so they’d be the first to bring the concept to Albuquerque.

NM Escape Room, located at 3916 Carlisle NE, will eventually grow to include other themed rooms, he said.

For more information, go online to nmescaperoom.com.

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