America’s Escape Game encourages the Oxford community to escape from the realities of homework, responsibilities and jobs through a little detective work.
The Orlando, Florida-based chain is a series of themed rooms that present challenging experiences for escape. Lisa and Dylan Detlefsen opened up a location in Oxford—on Jackson Avenue West right next to Kabuki Sushi Bar & Steak House—in the spring of 2017.
The Detlefsens are originally from Arkansas but Dylan came to Oxford to attend school at the University of Mississippi and found it to be the perfect location. The couple got the idea to open up a game room when Dylan visited a similar escape room and loved the thrill of it.
“Dylan went and did an escape game and absolutely loved it so they decided that would be something to open for him to have in the future,” said manager Lindy Johnson.
This location has three escape rooms with different themes. ‘Pandemic’ is a dimly lit room simulating a lab at a morgue. ‘Crisis 1600’ is set in the White House where players try to stop a missile attack. ‘The Caretaker’ is dubbed one of hardest escape rooms in America. The scene is set deep within the dark recesses of the forests in Oregon, where players try to escape from an evil like no other.
“It’s not just a blank room,” Johnson said. “There is a lot that (the developers) put into those rooms to make you really feel like you’re in that setting.”
Although the rooms are realistic, they are also somewhat challenging. The scary and realistic aspects of the rooms are not the only part of what makes this a fun time. In order to escape from the rooms, players will have to figure out how to get out through clues and puzzles.
“It’s super fun to be with your friends and try to find the hidden objects. I think it’s really immersive. You’re in the game and you have to think your way out of it,” Johnson said.
Making the customers feel like they are in a real scenario is one of the main goals that the company tries to accomplish. America’s Escape Room customer, Klare McMechan, visited the escape room recently with her boyfriend but would also recommend going with a group of people.
“The escape room was amazing. (It had) very creative clues and amazing decorations to make it seem real. The staff was wonderful and very helpful when it came to giving clues,” McMechan said.
Johnson said the experience is highly interactive and requires critical thinking for all players.
“You wouldn’t believe how much you forget from one time to another, so it’s almost like they’re playing it again,” Johnson said, referring to repeat customers.
Admission is $25 per person, or $20 with an Ole Miss student ID.