On Friday, October 13 an exciting new venue opened. Solutions Lounge & Restaurant featuring Escapology® is the newest escape room experience in Denver and is the only one in Denver that has a restaurant and bar. If you are into escape rooms, then Solutions Lounge & Restaurant featuring Escapology® is the perfect place for you to be puzzled and tested.
The new 6,100 square foot space is also steampunk themed, for all of you neo-Victorian nerds out there. But more than half of that space is dedicated to the bar and restaurant so don’t expect Solutions to skimp on the food and drink.
The Food and Drink
The restaurant and bar — which is also available to those who are not attempting an escape room, will feature a cheese-centric menu. This includes a fromage raclette experience melted right in front of you, savory items like bacon mac-and-cheese, artisan cheese plate, curried potato sammies and more. Darian Blackwell will be the executive chef at Solutions Lounge & Restaurant Featuring Escapology®. Blackwell is a Denver native who has worked in local restaurants as an executive and sous chef.
The owners, Vic and Tina Ronder, are behind the ingenious idea to combine food and booze with the excitement of escape rooms. “It’s not just an escape room,” Vic Ronder remarks,“that was the idea my wife, Tina, and I had when we envisioned this venture. We enjoyed our experience in escape rooms in Denver and other places, but we felt that something was missing — and that was food and beverages.”
Specialty cocktails and mocktails that coordinate with each game experience are available at the bar and are a must when checking out the place out. Each cocktail and mocktail has a corresponding name with a specific game room. For example, you can order Cuban Crisis ($9) made with white rum, dark rum float, lime, mint and turbinado sugar to go with the Cuban Crisis scenario.
The Escape Rooms
There are currently five different escape rooms to choose from: Arizona Shootout, Cuban Crisis, Th3 Cod3, Antidote and Shanghaied. Two more escape rooms, Budapest Express and Under Pressure, are to be added at a later date and are said to be much more difficult than the five that are already set in place. Each game scenario has its own unique story and clues that you have to figure out in order to solve the puzzle and win the game.
Every room starts the game with a video briefing. This video describes the time period, location, characters and of course, the problem that you have to solve. You will have 60 minutes to find the clues, unlock items, figure out names and win the game. If you do not solve the puzzle within the 60 minutes, you lose. If you make a new record winning time, you get to be on the hall of fame wall and also get a prize. However, don’t feel too pressured to get out too quickly, as it can sometimes create more problems for you and your team.
If you need a little help during the game, the game master and others outside of the room can give you some free clues along the way. However, there are only three free clues, so choose wisely if and when you use them. While there is no minimum number of people to play, two or more are recommended. Six to eight players are ideal to have the best escape room experience.
Arizona Shootout is set in the wild-wild-west and deals with a guns-a-blazing shootout with some outlaws that ends in a death and two injuries. After you assess the injuries, you find that the outlaws have disappeared. Your job is to find those outlaws before they make it across the border into Mexico. The game is rated with a difficulty level of 8.1.
Cuban Crisis is set in Havana, Cuba, in the ’60s and deals with a potential nuclear fallout between the US and communist Cuba, which is in cahoots with the Soviets. Just as things seem as bad as they can be, an American spy plane is shot out of the air right above Cuba and it just got worse. The President needs your help to find out if it was an accident or find out who shot the plane down. You are in Fidel Castro’s office and need to get the information needed to solve the crime before Castro’s goons find you. The rating difficulty of this room is a 7.2.
Th3 Cod3 is set in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2015 and pulls you in the world of computer coding. Nitr0 a genius hacker has successfully hacked into 100 million U.S bank accounts and plans to drain them of their cash with a virus. Your job as a new FBI agent is to get to Nitr0 before he lets the virus out. You follow a lead to an apartment in Cambridge, but alas, it was a trap. You have to find the kill code for the virus and get out before the rest of the FBI finds you in the apartment and you take the fall for the cybercrime. The game has a difficulty level of 8.2.
Antidote is set in the Nevada desert in 2015 and gets into in the dangerous world of chemical warfare. Dr. Walter Brandt, a genius in the field of chemical weapons has gone rogue from his government job. Foreign powers have hired Dr. Brandt to disseminate his deadly concoctions. You and your team of assistants are in his abandoned lab, searching for the Antidote and accidentally spill some of the chemicals. Not only are you contaminated, but the lab has also been alerted to decontaminate and self-destruct. You need to find the antidote and override the system before you all explode. This game is the easiest of all of the rooms at a level 6.9.
Shanghaied is set in Hong Kong in 1848 and leads you into a dangerous journey on a ship in the middle of the ocean while vacationing during Christmas. A mysterious man befriends you and buys you some drinks. In the morning, you find yourself on a ship, forced to work for Joseph “Bunko” Kelley, the King of Crimps. After weeks of being at sea, a storm forces the ship to anchor at a small island, and this is you and your friends chance to get free. You have one hour to make it past Captain Charles Alfred Kellett, find a map and get off of the ship. Shanghaied is currently the most difficult game room at the venue with at a level of 9.1.
Solutions Lounge & Restaurant featuring Escapology® will also present a Halloween Steampunk Party on Friday, October 27 from 8 p.m. to midnight. If you wear a costume you get a free drink and get a two escape room games for the price of one.
The prices for the escape rooms for ages 12 and up are $30 per person Monday through Thursday and $34 per person on weekends. Solutions Lounge & Restaurant featuring Escapology® hours are Sunday – Thursday, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – midnight.
All photography by photography by Kenneth Coles, unless otherwise noted.