andrew kruse-ross | escape room wisconsin | sept. 2019
Escape Room Wisconsin is challenging perceptions where corporate and private gatherings are concerned. If the words “corporate team building” conjure up images of the same old 9-to-5 drudgery or if you find girls' night out or date nights no longer have the same zeal, Escape Room Wisconsin is here help — and they'll do so in 60 minutes or less.
Escape Room Wisconsin offers both private and corporate adventures via five in-house escape rooms, two off-site challenges and the ultimate D&D room for experienced and beginning dungeon crawlers. If that weren't enough, the final touches are being put on a seventh attraction scheduled to open later this month.
At its core, an escape room is an immersive adventure game in which participants are “locked” in a heavily themed room with others and must use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and find clues in order to escape within a set time limit. Basically, follow the clues, find the key, solve the puzzles and escape the room. Sounds simple, right? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Escape Room Wisconsin offers five uniquely immersive adventures on location at 985 Centennial Street in Green Bay. Whether your tastes run more athletic or fantastic or you consider yourself to be somewhat of the armchair sleuth, there's an escape room adventure that's right for you. Here's a brief look at the adventures currently offered.
Incredibly popular with tourists visiting Titletown is Locker Room Lock Down. This adventure puts you inside a pro football locker room. According to legend, one of the most successful coaches in professional football history has stashed his secret playbook in here for safekeeping. The championship game kicks off in 60 minutes, can you and your team find the playbook and escape before the opening whistle? This adventure suits four to 10 players.
Playable for two to seven players, the Alchemyst adventure is inspired by the Harry Potter series. Your team finds itself in the study of legendary immortal Nicholas Flamel. His study contains the most powerful spell books and earth elements known to mankind. Should they fall in the wrong hands, it would spell disaster for all. Prophecy says a group of adventurers has the power to save the world. Your team will recreate the Stone of Immortality by seizing the elements, learning new spells and escaping before capture.
Date Night: The Missing Starlet is the perfect adventure for couples. The year is 1952 — Hollywood's golden age — you enter the room of a famous Hollywood starlet to discover she's missing. With her three suitors as suspects, it's a race against time to discover the clues and pinpoint the kidnapper before it's too late.
We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but Escape Room Wisconsin's adventure The Boy with a Bean tells another side of the story. The Giant has Jack on the run. It's up to you and your team to find the golden goose and get out of Jack's cottage with the magic beans before Jack or the Giant return to find you. Suitable for four to eight players.
The newest adventure at Escape Room Wisconsin nods both to the board game and the film it inspired; Mystery Manor is the classic whodunit in the fashion of Clue. You and your team assume your aliases and accept an invitation to dinner at Tudor Manor, the home of Mr. Boddy. The problem is Mr. Boddy has lost his appetite and his life. You've got one hour to discover the scene of the crime, find the murder weapon and identify the perpetrator.
On the horizon and currently under construction with a target unveiling of late-September, Contest of Kings is inspired by the ever-popular series “Game of Thrones.” In this adventure, players must unite the four kingdoms against the Zombie King.
Escape Room Wisconsin also features a room specifically designed for dungeon crawlers of all experience levels. Whether you're an experienced level 20 paladin or an entry-level wizard casting zero-level spells, this immersive interactive setup and ERW's vetted Dungeon Masters will take your quests to new depths.
Origins & Evolution
“I guess I consider myself a maker,” says David Oshefsky, owner of Escape Room Wisconsin Green Bay. “I like to build, create and bring things to life.”
If the name seems familiar, it should. Oshefsky has laid his hands to many projects over the years. Models, Monsters and Motors; Shawano Manor; the Beja Bicycle Bash and local haunt Green Bay Fear all owe much to Oshefsky's passion for creation. And it is with Green Bay Fear that his passion for escape rooms began in 2015.
Teaming up with Erick Gyrion (now of Appleton's Escape Room Wisconsin) the duo unveiled northeastern Wisconsin's first escape room at Green Bay Fear in October of 2015. Called Kidnapped and inspired by the Saw films, players would enter the attraction with black hoods placed over their heads and find themselves chained to a wall or even another player before attempting to make their escape. Despite being an 18-years-old and up event, Kidnapped was a hit.
“It booked up solid,” says Oshefsky. “When October 1st came around it was already booked for the full month.”
The success of Kidnapped led to Gyrion opening up Escape Room Wisconsin on Oneida Street in Appleton almost immediately. Oshefsky would follow suit shortly thereafter and within six months of the creation of Kidnapped, northeastern Wisconsin would see two Escape Room Wisconsin locations open their doors to customers.
While much is owed to the success of Kidnapped — which you can still partake in at Green Bay Fear during haunt season — its success may leave some with a misconception where Escape Room Wisconsin attractions are concerned.
“Nothing is scary here,” says Oshefsky. “It's an adventure but there's nothing that's going to scare you, nothing is going to jump out at you and that's why we keep the one escape room at the haunted house … That's blood, guts, gore, scary; that's going to stay at the haunted house. I don't want people to think that that's what this place is about.”
Even those with fears of being locked inside a strange room will enjoy knowing all is for fun; you're free to leave should the need arise.
“We used to lock people in the rooms but some people get anxious about that so everything we do now is mission-based,” says Oshefsky. “You have a mission, the door's not locked, you can leave it open if you want.”
Also, if you've any fears of spending an hour “locked” down with strangers, all of Escape Room Wisconsin's adventures are now private; that means your adventure team is you and your friends, family or co-workers.
And while the term “escape room” prevails, Oshefsky points out that the venue's newer games feature multiple room adventures.
“People really like that surprise,” he says. “You come in and you have to get into another room.”
Kids of All Ages
Indeed the attractions currently offered at Escape Room Wisconsin are geared for kids of nearly all ages. Oshefsky rates the attractions as PG-10 but points out that everyone is different, and one rating doesn't fit all.
“I've seen 6 or 7-year-olds come in here and do great and I've seen 18 and 19-year-old adults do horribly.”
Speaking of doing horribly, if you've concerns about getting stumped during your visit to any of the adventures at Escape Room Wisconsin only to be left standing around while the timer ticks away, forget about it. Each team is assigned a game master that monitors your progress closely both visually and audibly from an unseen control booth. If you get stumped, simply ask for a clue and your game master will set you back on the right path.
More than an Adventure
While everyone visits Escape Room Wisconsin with their sights on having a good time, some area organizations have incorporated the attraction into their hiring process. According to Oshefsky, an hour in an escape room can reveal a lot about a potential employee.
“You can see it when you're working the rooms, peoples' personalities float right to the top: how they problem solve, how they get along and work with each other. That's why these businesses use us as part of their hiring process.”
Even the Packers organization has decided to test players in the escape room experience.
“The whole offensive line was here except for Aaron Rodgers — he was a last-minute no-show. The coach put all the rookies and the veterans against each other.”
The verdict: The veterans got out with time to spare. As for the rookies, not so much.
“You could see it, the coach was angry watching them … They weren't working together. The veterans got out and got nothing but praise and the rookies got out and he just started yelling at them.”
If bringing the entire office to the venue isn't in order, Escape Room Wisconsin is happy to bring off-site team-building adventures to your home or office with mobile options that can accommodate up to 50 participants.
Room 745 asks players to solve a mystery involving a murdered detective and Pelahu Island asks parties of up to 50 to discover a treasure of unspeakable joy and prosperity before the island's angry volcano erupts.
Whether you're throwing a bachelorette or birthday party, looking to spice up a corporate Christmas party or looking to crawl through an interactive dungeon with a team of heroes, Escape Room Wisconsin has got you covered.
Private escape room adventures are $25-$30 per person. Book your adventure today at escaperoomwisconin.com.
Two-hour D&D events begin at $20 per person. New to D&D? Starter packages for up to seven adventurers include everything to get your team dungeon crawling and includes a six-hour crawl with an experienced Escape Room Dungeon Master. More details available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (920) 731-2583.
Find Escape Room Wisconsin in Green Bay at 985 Centennial Street and in Appleton at 2701 N. Oneida Street.
For the current attractions at Escape Room Wisconsin Appleton — which always differ from those currently offered in Green Bay — visit escaperoomwisconin.com.
Players under the age of 15 or young groups must be accompanied by at least one adult.