I have faced the zombie at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill and emerged victorious!
Okay, so I can’t take all the credit. I was part of a team, and together we kicked the crap out of the zombie known as Doctor Oxy and escaped her room of puzzley terror! Well, all of us except for Clint. Clint got bit. But his sacrifice was not in vain!
You probably want to know just what the holy heck I’m talking about, huh?
Well, at the base of Queen Anne Hill, just off of Highway 99, lurks a zombie research facility disguised as a back room in an auto glass repair shop. In this facility, guided by renowned zombiologist Dr. Von…um… (okay, I forgot his name), thrill-seeking volunteers put their brains to the test against the tragically zombified Doctor Oxy. It’s all part of something called Trapped in a Room with a Zombie, run by Room Escape Adventures, and this weekend I had the opportunity to experience it for myself. It was the most zombie-related fun I’ve had in a long while.
Essentially what happens is this: You’re part of a group of up to a dozen people (our group had eleven) locked in a room filled with puzzles that you have to solve in order to find a key to the door out. Also in this room is a zombie on a short chain that you have to avoid. You have an hour to get out of the room before you’re all eaten, and every five minutes the zombie’s chain gets a little longer. So while she’s just a growling irritation at the beginning, toward the end people are dashing around to avoid being eaten while trying to scour the room for what’s needed to solve the puzzles.
I myself had to sneak into a corner long enough to open a combination lock before the zombie spotted me and scrambled over for the kill. I made it there, crouched down, and entered the combination that my team had thought was correct. It wasn’t. I tried some others only to hear the chain rattling, and had to leap out of there with the zombie snapping at my heels.
I’m forbidden from spoiling what’s actually in the room, or any of how the puzzles are set up. I can say that it’s akin to playing one of the old LucasArts adventure games, only with a timer, and you CAN die. We had to manipulate items, scour the room for hidden…things, and work together to figure out how it all fit together. Some of us became responsible for zombie-baiting in order to distract the creature from those who were going after a puzzle in the danger zone.
It makes for a great team-building exercise, too. (In fact, that’s part of how the company that runs it bills it.) This was all part of a Meetup group, so most people only really knew two or three others in the group at most. Though it was chaotic (which just made it more fun) we learned to work together in order to get out of there.
And get of there we did! Before starting, we were told that the survival rate was at 31% for all groups since the Seattle branch of Trapped in a Room with a Zombie began three months ago. Not only did our team survive (except for poor Clint, may his name ever be sung with praise), we beat the Seattle record by 9 seconds! The time to beat now is 46 minutes, 51 seconds.
If you’ve got a chance to check it out, and you like solving puzzles while running for your life, I highly recommend it. Not only is the activity itself pretty awesome, the actors running it are excellent do a great job of adding to the humor and fun of the scenario. (At least I THINK the zombie was an actor…) My only regret is that the scenario doesn’t change, so I can’t really do it again–at least not until Trapped in a Room with a Zombie 2: Still Hungry starts up at some point. I’m on the email list to hear when this happens.