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Escape the room challenges in New York City

Being locked inside a room where you must solve a puzzle in order to escape sounds like a scene out of the "Saw" horror film franchise, but many people are willingly signing up to do this and find the experience can be quite fun.

And some of the top companies in the world are even sending their employees into these rooms for their team-building benefits.

In New York City alone, there are more than a dozen "escape rooms," according to the, a site that compiles information about places hosting these games around the globe.

Here's a quick guide to locating some of these spots in the Big Apple. (As for finding your way out of these rooms, you're on your own.)

Escape the Room NYC

Escape the Room NYC's games include an '80s
Photo Credit: Escape the Room NYC

Escape the Room NYC's games include an '80s inspired "Rec Room," pictured, in which players are grouped into a team of 10 and have to work together to "Escape the '80s." If they can't get out of the room within the allotted 60 minutes, they could be stuck in that decade "forever," according to the game's description. The "Rec Room" can be found at the downtown location, which is at 107 Suffolk St. There's also a midtown location at 31st Street and Fifth Avenue, where the games include "The Agency," "The Home" and "The Office," in which players are stuck at work and must figure out how to escape before the boss returns. More information available at

OMEscape New York

OMEscape's 3,200-square-foot Manhattan venue has 15 rooms across
Photo Credit: OMEscape

OMEscape's 3,200-square-foot Manhattan venue has 15 rooms across three floors. Their games include "The Penitentiary," pictured above, "Laboratory of Biohazard" and "Room X (Time Travel)." The rooms, located at 325 W 38th St., feature hi-tech machines including a laser security system, and players are given 70 minutes to accomplish the tasks needed to escape. In "the Penitentiary," players "wake up" to find themselves locked in a cramped cell that had belonged to a serial killer called "Night Stalker," who vanished from the prison mysteriously, according to the game's description. They must find the penitentiary's blueprint in order to break out. Visit to book a game or event.

Escape Games NYC

There's no
Photo Credit: Escape Games NYC

There's no "I" in EscapeGamesNYC's games; as the company says, "you will need your teammate to escape." Each game is designed for parties of two to six people and takes place in a "custom-built, specially designed room with a unique theme." The games include "Detective Story," "Outer Space" and the venue's most difficult one, "John Doe," which has a serial killer theme. For each one, a group is enclosed in a room and has 60 minutes to escape by solving puzzles, quizzes and brainteasers, using strategy, creativity and logic. Want to ensure you're not grouped with any strangers? EscapeGamesNYC gives you the option to book your own room at instead of buying an individual ticket, so you'll only be playing with people you already know. EscapeGamesNYC is located at 79 Leonard St.

Escape Entertainment

To create
Photo Credit: Escape Entertainment

To create "truly immersive experiences," Escape Entertainment says it tapped Hollywood and Broadway set designers to create the rooms at its midtown Manhattan location, and its game designers worked closely with psychologists, mathematicians and team-building experts. The games include "Prohibition Pandemonium," "Manhattan Mayhem" and "Alien Attack," and each has a 60-minute time limit. The venue, located on the fourth floor of 39 W. 32nd St., has the capacity to host events with 80-plus people, and has welcomed employees from some of the top U.S. companies, according to managing partner Bradley J. Albright. More information can be found at

Mystery Room NYC

You won't need to know any trivial knowledge
Photo Credit: Mystery Room NYC

You won't need to know any trivial knowledge such as the names of all the U.S. presidents or how to read binary numbers to solve the puzzles in these rooms, according to the organizers behind Mystery Room NYC. Each of their games is a chapter that is part of a nonlinear story line, and each experience is different. (The photo above is from the "Chapter 3: Cafe Belim game.") "We do not recycle puzzles, so players can expect a completely different experience when playing another chapter of our game," said Eric Siu, one of the cofounders. Mystery Room NYC has two locations. There's one at 39 Centre St. near the border of SoHo, Chinatown and Tribeca, and another in midtown at 365 7th Ave., diagonally across from Madison Square Garden. Players need to purchase tickets at

Challenge Escape Rooms

Photo Credit: Challenge Escape Rooms

"The Virus" is one of the games you can play at Challenge Escape Rooms in Queens. Here's the scenario: You volunteered for a new experimental drug trial, but due to a mix-up, you've been infected with a deadly virus. The area has been quarantined, and you have one hour to find the vaccine and escape the lab. Or you can also play the "Sweet Shoppe," where players find themselves locked in a bakery. The venue is located on the third floor of 40-18 Bell Blvd. in Bayside. Challenge Escape Rooms also has a location on Long Island that offers three different games: "The Unsolved Case," "Killer Countdown" and "The Carnival." That venue is in Franklin Square on the second floor of 922 Hempstead Tpke. Details can be found at

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