Serial Mysteries in Bellevue separates itself as an escape room experience by challenging players’ intellect instead of going all out on elaborate set production. Serial Mysteries’ escape room is 75 minutes of game play — 15 minutes longer than most escape rooms — and it occasionally hosts reality-show inspired games: Serial Games Unity and Serial Games Deception. Deception pits every player against each other for one ultimate winner, and Unity splits a group into two that wins or loses together.
Owner Ralph Ahn said when Serial Mysteries opened a year ago, he didn’t realize how many corporations would want to host team building events at the venue. The 4,000-square-foot escape room is adaptable with different paths that accommodate the size of the team. Fifteen people is ideal, but a clever group of two or three people can beat the challenge. A new pathway launching in October is ideal for 30 to 40 people, perfect for a corporate group or birthday party. It was created to fit the interest of companies like Microsoft and Boeing, who want to host an event there.
Many escape rooms are centered around a theme, several of which are horror or adventure, but the puzzles are typically weak, Ahn said, as most of the attention is focused on set development. Ahn wanted to see how well Serial Mysteries would do in the market by focusing on mind-bending puzzles, and it’s been very successful. Even though the production level is lower, he said, the company’s ratings are positive.
“A lot of 20-somethings and up have grown up on video games where you have to escape something,” he said. “We’ve hit that niche of people that want to prove they’re smart. I think that’s why people like it. They get a feeling of accomplishment.”
Do you have what it takes? Check it out for yourself. For more information and reservations, visit Serial Mysteries online.