Escape games seem all the rage lately, and we’ve got our share in the Chicago area. WCG’s favorite? One of the best-rated in the city, The Escape Game Chicago, at 42 E. Ontario St. downtown.

The Escape Game features four different scenarios to choose from, which range in difficulty. Bring a group of up to eight into each hour-long game, find your way into additional sections, and then get yourself out by solving puzzles, testing your wits, and teaming together. The staff will give you a few hints if you need them!

Prison Break – Rated the most difficult at 9/10, this scenario takes place in 1955. You’ve been wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to prison. Actually, you’ve been put into a cell that seems like it falls under cruel and unusual punishment, given that the previous inmate disappeared without a trace, and you might very well meet the same fate. Unless you escape.

Mission: Mars – You’re on an exploratory mission, but your ship had problems upon descent. In addition, a fatal amount of cosmic radiation is coming your way. If you don’t fix your ship and launch in time, you’ll be trapped on the red planet. Rated an 8/10 in difficulty, this game costs $5 more than the others.

The Heist – Art theft! A famous Monet work is missing, and it’s up to you to recover it. The suspected thief is a mastermind known as The Curator. Your mission is to go into his private gallery, to see if you can locate the famous piece of art and get out with it. But there might be surprises along the way. Rated 8/10 in difficulty.

Gold Rush – An old California prospector named Clyde Hamilton has disappeared. You and your group have been tipped off to where he stashed his gold, so you go to his house where he’s left clues as to how to find it. But the mob is after the gold too, and you’ve got one hour before they show up. Rated an 8/10 in difficulty.

Don’t worry, you can get clues to help you if you get stuck. Also, the employees are watching you, and can give you some extra assistance at their discretion, for example, if the players are young (games are suggested for 12 and over).

You can bring a couple of friends and join other players, or you can book a private game by buying the maximum eight spots for that game room. Booking in advance is recommended, if you’ve got your heart set on a particular room, but you can also walk in and see what’s available. Arrive 15 minutes prior to your game, as you’ll watch a video first and get instruction.

The Escape Game is a company based out of Nashville, where the games are created. There are currently six locations, started by three guys who researched and played games all over the world, then brainstormed and tested them. A new one opens at the Mall of America this summer. This is a great team-building activity, perfect for friendly get-togethers (like a bachelor party, perhaps?).

Games cost $34.99 per person plus tax. Mission: Mars costs $39.99. The Escape Game is located at 42 E. Ontario St., and is located online at Please note that several other escape game companies are based in the same building – which may be confusing if you’ve booked ahead, but gives you more options if you’re in the area and just walking in.


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