Brookhaven, GA, June 15, 2017 – by Emily Morris for The Post – Solve a mystery in a 1920s Chicago speakeasy. Discover King Tutankhamun’s tomb. Make an escape from Alcatraz. All of such adventures are possible at Time to Escape, and you can experience them without having to use a time machine, or even leave Brookhaven. Time to Escape is a local escape room business located in the Village Park at Brookhaven complex on Dresden Drive. The entrance, located on the second floor at the back of the building, may not be noticeable from street level, but climb the iron stairway to the second floor balcony, walk to the back of the building, and you will enter a place that challenges the mind and sparks the imagination.
Inside I met the events manager, Kassy, at the front desk, and owner Daniel Cleveland. While the brightly lit reception area may look modern, do not be deceived. Time to Escape houses three different escape rooms that transport the visitor into other worlds, each with a unique objective, replete with the aesthetics of a particular time in history. Based on escape room video games and role playing, escape rooms are an interactive concept. Daniel’s interest in escape rooms began after he visited his first one in Chattanooga. A history buff, he imbues his passion for the past into each room at Time to Escape.
Daniel gave a tour of the three rooms without giving away too many clues. Each room allots an hour to solve clues leading toward an objective that, once reached, will allow them to escape. The first room looked grittily realistic. With its dingy green walls and 1960s black rotary phone, its designers went through scrupulous measures to make it seem appropriately filthy. We entered Alcatraz of 1962; the year Frank Morris famously escaped what was once the strongest prison in the United States. A narrator playing Frank Morris came through the speakers, informing players that they only have one hour to escape. Players within this room replicate Morris’ struggle as they look for clues that will lead them to freedom within the small cell room. Near the end of the game, a prison guard’s voice plays over an unseen loudspeaker, heightening the suspense.
After leaving Alcatraz behind, I followed Daniel to the next game. We entered a dark room covered in ancient Egyptian murals and hieroglyphics. Some aspects of the room’s design replicate actual ancient tombs including reproductions of the paintings in tomb QV66, known as “The Sistine Chapel of Egypt,” and Daniel obtained the rights blow up a copy of a photograph from King Tutankhamun’s tomb. The darkness and background music add another level of excitement. Players uncover clues in the room to eventually discover King Tutankhamun’s Tomb, following in the footsteps of explorer Howard Carter who found the tomb of the renowned pharaoh in 1922. The setting and physical and mental challenges entailed in the game of King Tut’s Tomb made me feel as though I took part in an Indiana Jones film; certainly intriguing.
Last but not least, we entered the third and largest game room and stepped into a brick-walled Chicago speakeasy of the 1920s, replete with a bar, tables, radio, and stage area with a microphone. Daniel encourages visitors to the room, which can hold groups of up to fifteen, to dress in 1920s attire for this room, named Al Capone’s Speakeasy. One of the trials of the game involves singing a song on stage (hence the microphone) as well as gathering evidence that will lead to Al Capone’s imprisonment. Al Capone’s Speakeasy is the only escape room in Georgia that has a live actor playing a complex role; that of bartender James Mahoney. After reading the reviews, I gathered Al Capone’s Speakeasy to be a visitor favorite, reflective of Atlanta’s fondness for 1920s themed events. Cleveland refers to it as the centerpiece room.
Time to Escape presents an alternative to typical diversions and theme parks and offers enjoyment for all ages. Conveniently located within suburban Brookhaven with free valet parking, visitors can walk across the street for lunch, dinner, or a drink at one of Dresden Drive’s many restaurants and bars. Time to Escape partners with Pour Kitchen, a bistro and wine bar, to host corporate functions for offices interested in team-building events in which groups can enjoy both the dining experience at Pour and a trip to the escape rooms. Next time you feel adventurous, visit Time to Escape for an out-of-the-ordinary experience right within your neighborhood.