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Friday, June 09, 2023 — Houston, TX

Review: Rice Escape offers an engaging, escape room experience on campus

Ben Baker-Katz / Thresher

By Savannah Kuchar and Morgan Gage     2/15/22 11:48pm

Among the many escape rooms littered throughout Houston is Rice Escape, a student-designed and operated escape room located in the Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen. The Thresher had a chance to visit Rice Escape and found it to be a great and convenient way to spend an afternoon with friends.

Our group of four had different levels of experience with escape rooms, with two members of our group having never done one before. But even with these different backgrounds and comfort levels with puzzles, each of us did our best to find a way out in under an hour.

While the puzzles were engaging, they were not especially difficult, making this a perfect escape room for those without much experience. The straightforward nature of the room does mean that more experienced escape room visitors might not find themselves challenged, but the experience has a built-in side challenge beyond finding a way out of the room that adds an additional, unique layer to the experience. 

There was a sense that the escape room had been constructed in a space not originally designed for such an activity — probably because their location, nestled in the OEDK, means this is in fact the reality. The space in the OEDK, while contributing to the futuristic, sci-fi theme of the room and mission, has features that do not fully adapt to accommodate the escape room such as a giant pipe that we were strictly warned ahead of time not to touch. Additionally, not all of the decorations and surroundings were fair game when solving the puzzle, a distinction from more typical escape rooms.

As a group from the Thresher, we got a special kick out of seeing a mock issue of our paper reporting from the future featured in the room. It was nice to think that we (and the umpteenth clone of incoming president Reginald DesRoches) will be around that far into the future, and we appreciated the detail.

With the resources that were available, the student-built room was a well created and enjoyable way to spend an hour with friends. The on-campus location makes it geographically accessible to students living on and around campus; it is financially accessible as well, with no entrance fee, simply a request for donations if you are able to contribute. If not just for these two reasons alone, we think it’s worth a visit for any student looking for something new to do at Rice.

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