'Escapology' A Test Of Wits, Nerve And Teamwork
Oct 18, 2017 03:24PM
By Bill Gilman
Christina Tamboli is the general manager for Escapology, 345 Main St., Tewksbury
The year is 1943 and you are trapped at the bottom of the sea in a submarine. You and your team have been locked in a chamber by a Nazi spy, who has turned off the oxygen supply. You have one hour to escape the chamber and turn the oxygen back on or else ...
The year is 2015. You and your team are investigating an abandoned lab in the desert of Nevada. You've been tasked with finding an antidote to a deadly virus that can be used as a chemical weapon when, due to a clumsy teammate, you and your team are exposed to the virus! An automated quarantine system has trapped you in the lab. You have just one hour to find the antidote and escape the lab before the automated system eliminates all biological lifeforms in the lab ... this means you.
These are just two of the 'escape room' scenarios featured at Escapology, Tewksbury's newest recreational attraction. The facility is located at 345 Main St., near Harrow's Chicken, at the entrance to WalMart.
"The last couple of years (escape rooms) have become more and more popular as people have been looking for activities to do with their friends that aren't just eating and drinking," said Christina Tamboli, general manager for Escapology and a Tewksbury native. "This is great for people using their brains, using teamwork, making better friendships, better work relationships."
The overall decor of Escapology has a Victorian/Steampunk feel. But each of the escape rooms has its own design, that takes players to a different place and time.
"We have five different rooms, with varying difficulty. 'Antidote' being the easiest and 'Under Pressure' being the hardest," said Tamboli. "They all have different scenarios of why you are trapped in this room."
There are no physical requirements to be able to participate in the escape rooms. The challenges consist entirely of riddles, clues and puzzles, designed to challenge the team in different ways.
Before you enter the escape room of your choice, you and your team (3-6 people) are presented with the scenario/back story, which includes details of the scene and the time period and the challenge you are being presented with. You have up to 60 minutes to figure out the clues and make your 'escape.'
However, according to Tamboli, successful escape is not a requirement for an enjoyable game experience. She said because each escape room has multiple stages, teams will experience multiple "successes" along the way, even if they don't reach their final goal.
The escape rooms are recommended for ages 14-older, although younger children may accompany parents. In addition to being a fun activity for a family or group of friends, Tamboli said Escapology is also perfectly suited for corporate groups looking to engage in some effective and high-energy team-building.
"It's always good to bring along people you get along with. There can be high pressure in these rooms," said Tamboli. "It's also good to go with people of different personalities and thinking. That way you have people that approach puzzles with different mindsets."
In addition to "Under Pressure" and "Antidote", additional Escapology themes include "Budapest Express," a murder mystery set on a train; "Shanghaied", set on the high seas; and "Th3 C0D3," a computer hacking adventure.
True gamers don't have to worry about getting bored, because every six months, Escapology will rotate in a set of five brand new escape rooms to keep the experience fresh.
While escape rooms have been growing in popularity recently, Escapology is the only company to be franchised in the United States. There are just 11 locations presently, but by the end of the year, Tewksbury will be one of 34 locations across the country.
"They're very selective about who they work with. They're very selective about their geographical territories," said Steve Bourgeois, who is acting as a consultant for Escapology and helping the new venture get off the ground.
Bourgeois is part of the ownership team for Wamesit Lanes. Another member of that team is Don MacLaren Jr., who is the principal owner of the Tewksbury Escapology franchise. According to Bourgeois, Escapology and Wamesit Lanes enjoy a close working relationship but are technically two separate companies.
One of the areas where the two companies will work cooperatively is group events at Escapology, which Wamesit Lanes will cater. Escapology also has a bar and full liquor license, as well as light snacks.
Escapology is open to the public:
Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m
Friday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
But the facility can also be booked for group events during non-public hours.
Walk-ins are accepted but with just five rooms, Tamboli said the best way to guarantee you get the room you want at the time you want is to book on-line at https://www.escapology.com/en/tewksbury-ma/
The cost is $29 per person with a minimum of three people and maximum of six people per group.
For additional information, follow Escapology Tewksbury on Facebook at Facebook.com/EscapologyTewksbury, Instagram at www.instagram.com/escapologytbury/, and Twitter at EscapologyTbury or call 978-455-2199.\