A series of text messages from unrecognizable numbers appeared on my phone the day we were scheduled to visit PARADISO: Chapter 1, including a particularly ominous one warning, “They say it’s an escape room—they’re lying. Do your homework—know what you are getting yourself into.”
At a bar in Korea Town later that evening, a representative from the “Virgil Corporation” greeted us and handed out waivers for us to sign before leading us to the room where our game was to begin. The adventure, PARADISO: Chapter 1, is a one-hour immersive theater experience where guests are given a series of puzzles to solve in order to progress through rooms and ultimately “escape.” The show is produced by Immersive Escape Productions, LLC, a partnership between Jennifer Worthington and Michael Counts, who have combined their background in theater and film to create an exciting and challenging experience for guests who are brave enough to give it a go.
Shortly after the game began, it was clear the game wasn’t suited for anyone with claustrophobia (or severe anxiety, for that matter). We had to navigate through a tight, dark space and keep our problem-solving skills in tact under the incessant pressure of the clock. Though not very scary, the experience had a fast, fun pace and entertaining theatrics that would make for an excellent team-building exercise for co-workers or a fun night out for a group of friends looking for something new to try for Halloween. Either way, it’s probably more fun to go with a group of people you know, because the strangers and stress combo feels way too much like the daily commute.
Ticket and schedule information for PARADISO: Chapter 1, including Halloween show times, can be found at: www.paradisoescape.com