You know those memes where moms have to decide what to do when they have a limited amount of free time? Often by the time that moms have settled on what to do, they’ve wasted precious minutes.
Give moms a specific mission to complete, though, no matter how challenging, they always succeed. And usually with time to spare. Enter the entertaining purpose of escape rooms.
They let moms operate in their element as they seesaw between exhilaration and apprehension while they master the art of time management.
Recently, I was lucky enough to team up with five other Fairfield County Mom contributors to play the Breathless game at Mind Factory, located in Black Rock. While we were all pumped for this event, I was particularly excited. David Hennessey, the owner and creator of Mind Factory, is my husband’s good friend. I knew how much hard work and creativity went into opening and sustaining this business.
My son had toured the Breathless game when the concept was still being perfected. My husband raved about its execution when he first played it. Based on what I saw on social media, I was beyond hyped up.
In our group of six, four members had never tried an escape room, so they had no idea what to expect. The two members who had been to other escape rooms were curious about how Breathless would compare.
David, a lifelong Black Rock resident, set out to make his escape rooms different from others in how he approaches details. Mind Factory is “geared toward providing an elevated, boutique experience for our customers” via the development of the story and its characters. He says, “Characters are what drive our games. Inside our missions, you’ll find a diverse set of characters with hopes, dreams, and fears. We think that’s what makes our games so realistic: Our customers see themselves reflected in the people that populate the Mind Factory universe.”
From the moment you step into Mind Factory’s lobby, you are immersed in the characters’ lives. Before the game begins, you watch a video with excellent graphics and foreboding music. Once the first door to Breathless opens, you become part of the scientific world filled with high-quality props like computers, hand-written journals, graffitied lockers, and massive levers. Nothing is overlooked, and your emotions are in overdrive as you try to beat the mission.
We were all pretty scared and frazzled in the first ten minutes, trying to take everything in and figure out how to divide and conquer the tasks while also collaborating to solve the different puzzles. In the end, as our owner, Michelle, proudly stated, “Moms are natural problem-solvers, so it’s not a surprise we beat the room.” (We even beat my husband’s time!)
Daria’s words artfully capture why Breathless is so memorable: “The best way I can describe it is that it was like being inside a mystery novel, experiencing the plot twists and turns, but also getting to influence the story’s direction along the way. Learning about the characters, seeing and touching their belongings, and hearing their stories made the whole game much more real.”
The realness of the characters’ stories will continue in Invasion, the new game that will open in September. David calls this game even more “exhilarating and terrifying” than Breathless. He gave us a sneak peek and let’s just say what I saw, with the lights on, was nightmarish. It would be perfect for Halloween!
All of us are so excited to come back, be it for another moms’ night out, date night, or team building event with co-workers or family members.