What’s an escape room, anyway?

At least insofar as we do it at Hatch, an escape room is an interactive narrative experience in which a team of players attempts to solve a series of puzzles and mysteries in order to accomplish some clear end goal.

You seem to be implying your rooms are “different” at Hatch? Is that true, or are you just being pretentious?

We believe that escape rooms are a new art form just beginning to blossom. Though there are lots of great rooms all over the country, we do hope to take the form to a new level, particularly as regards story. All our rooms will have a clear narrative arc, and won’t just involve solving puzzles for the sake of solving puzzles.

Hold up. Why is it called an escape room if you aren’t always escaping from a room?

Great question! The first escape rooms were simple computer games in which you did, in fact, try to escape from a single room. But as the phenomenon has transitioned from the digital to the physical space, it’s grown more a lot more interesting. There are rooms where you need to save a magical kingdom, or cure a zombie plague, or prevent a nuclear war. Our current room does involve a literal escape, but it takes place in many rooms. So I guess it’s an escape rooms?

So tell me about your escape room, “Lab Rat.”

That isn’t a question.

Good point. What’s the deal with your “Lab Rat” room?

Well, we don’t want to give too much away, but you know how there are laboratories out there where scientific experiments are performed on rats?

Sure. I think they’re really questionable, from an ethical standpoint.

I know. Here’s the PETA website if you want to get involved in protesting animal testing. But that’s sorta irrelevant. “Lab Rat” takes place in a laboratory where giant rats are doing experiments on humans (i.e. the players). As part of a rat grad student’s dissertation on human intelligence, you are tasked with completing a series of tests and puzzles. But maybe you can do more than complete the tests. Maybe…just maybe…there’s a way you can escape. (SPOILER ALERT: There is.) If you want to read a slightly longer description, go here. [Dafna link to room description.]

That sounds scary. I worry this will scare my kids. Okay, to be honest, I don’t have kids. But I’m worried it will scare me. Will it?

Definitely not. The scenario is played for laughs. There aren’t even any jump scares. You could bring a baby to “Lab Rat” if you wanted. But I wouldn’t, because babies are terrible at solving puzzles. My point is that nobody will be scared by this.

What if I like being scared?

Then I suggest you watch “A Nightmare on Elm Street” before you come to our room. Or think about climate change.

Can I really bring a baby?

No. Minimum player age is 8.  Kids 13 and under need an adult supervisor to solve with them.

I’m claustrophobic. Am I really locked inside your room for the whole hour?

No. You can get out at any time. We don’t even do that stupid thing where if anyone leaves the room, the whole thing stops and your game is over. (Believe it or not, a lot of escape room companies do this. We have no idea why.)

Does every group get the room to itself, or will we be placed with strangers?

We at Hatch will never place you with strangers. However, tickets will be slightly more expensive if you’re only coming with one or two friends. We also recommend you try to find a larger group, as our puzzles can be quite devious.

Can I get hints?

Absolutely. We have a whole system to get you out of any jam you might encounter. That said, nothing beats the satisfaction you get from solving a room without any help. Except the satisfaction you get from popping bubble wrap. That wins, hands down.

Does Hatch serve food or alcohol? I’d sure love to get my drank on.

We do not. Also, we reserve the right to refuse entrance to anyone who arrives plastered, smashed, sozzled, or soused. Throw up somewhere else, ya lush.

Do I need to speak English to solve your puzzles.

You will probably want to have at least a couple of people in your party who are fluent in English. If none of you speak English, you’ll have trouble. Then again, you’ll also probably have trouble reading this FAQ.

How early should I arrive?

We need some time to check you in and show you the ropes, so please arrive no less than 15 MINUTES before your official start time. If we end up starting late, we’re gonna take it out of your hour, because we are cruel and heartless masters.

Is there parking at Hatch?

Oh yeah. We’ve got you covered. Our parking lot is accessible through the alley that runs between 3rd and 4th Avenues, behind the building. Just tell Mike you are “Here to buy drugs.” He’ll know what you mean, because he’s definitely not a plainclothes cop.

How many people do we need to solve a room?

Two smart people could conceivably solve our room. Eight dummies could conceivably fail. Mileage may vary, but in general, the more people you have, the easier it’ll be.

What if I have to cancel?

Cancelling up to 24 hours before your start time is all good. Cancellations within 24 hours are subject to a $50 restocking fee. We don’t actually have to restock anything, but we’ve always wanted to have a restocking fee. (But seriously, we will keep $50 of your payment if you cancel within 24 hours.)

So who are you Hatch guys anyway?

We’re a bunch of escape room enthusiasts, designers, marketers, tinkerers, and writers. You can read more about us over here. [Dafna, link to the other page here.]

Are you planning on opening more rooms?

Indeed we are. One day, we hope to fill the entire building at 1919 3rd Avenue with escape rooms. For now, we just have the one. Oh, and there’s a great immersive theater piece from East-West Players and Rogue Theater on the top two floors opening October 5th. It’s called Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, and it takes the audience through 100 Japanese ghost stories. It’ll be real scary. You should buy tickets.