This week I’m going off topic to talk about one my favorite hobby’s and that’s playing escape rooms! Ever since the concept of escape rooms came to the Netherlands, I wanted to try it out. Basically, the concept involves being locked up in a themed room that could be anything from robbing a bank to figuring out a mystery. Your goal is to solve puzzles and look for clues and keys opening locks etc, trying to escape the room before your time limit is up. Until now, I have only tried 10 escape rooms. I enjoy playing the rooms because it really tests my limits of critical thinking. I’m also extremely competitive so I have to escape the room within the time or my night will be ruined obsessing over the puzzles that stumped me. For those of you who have the urge to try one out or add another to your list, here are my top suggestions for the escape rooms in The Netherlands you have to try.
     This was the first escape room I ever tried. I didn’t know what to expect and besides that, I was terrified because of the scary story. It was about solving the mystery about Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary is a real-life escape game where you and your partners have to race to beat the clock and escape within sixty minutes. It’s a place where all reality does not matter and escaping is your only priority. You’ll get twisted into an exciting plot, where you have to work together as a team to escape. A series of head-scratching clues, puzzles and  visual props placed in space help you to unravel the solution of the mystery piece by piece. Not only was it super difficult, it was very scary for me because of the special effects and crazy noises I heard.
#2 Gascape
     This escape room was so much fun! You can play up to 8 friends and can be played with young and old. Plus, this escape room is not so scary as most. The escaperoom starts in 1999, just before the new year. The goal of this escaperoom is to steal the safe of an abandoned gas station. What I really enjoyed from this escape room is that the atmosphere was really authentic. It feels like you’re really at a gas station, in combination with difficult puzzles and the interactiveness of the rooms. And you have only 60 minutes to solve this room, meaning you will have to stay sharply focused to make your way through the whole room.
#1 Catacombs
     Wauw! That was a hell of an experience that was not so much of an escape room, but a journey where you and your friends have to solve the mystery of the catacombs. Located underneath an old church in the middle of the city in Amsterdam, this room will fill up all of your horror needs. Before playing this room, I read the reviews and experiences of other people and I knew this room was horror and thriller themed. I also read some reviews that really prepared me for the worst, death-defying situations imaginable. But when I actually started the room, it was beyond what I expected. The experience was INCREDIBLE! There are immersive special effects, music effects, and smoke. Also, get ready to be in tight places and get shocked. Following the catacombs vibes, there is a lot of tight, dark spaces, adding to the terror of the trip. Besides from the fact that I am easily scared, the experience was amazing and I have yet to find any escape room that has topped this experience.
     I hope a couple of you are willing to go out with some friends and try one of my suggestions or any other escape room. It is a great hobby for those who like gaming together or enjoy trying new things. And I am always looking for the next great experience so if anyone has any other great room suggestions leave them in the comment section below.

-Nancy Deremer