By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Staff
Over the last few years, the popularity of escape rooms has risen. No matter the theme, escape rooms follow the same rule of play: participants come into a room where they must solve puzzles using clues and hints to eventually “escape” before time runs out. On Wednesday, February 19, kids and their parents visited to the Dover Town Library to participate in a “Harry Potter”-themed escape room.
This room in particular was themed around the Room of Requirement, a room used as tool for the students of Hogwarts that magically provides them with whatever they need. Though the room has special meaning to fans of “Harry Potter,” knowledge of the series wasn’t required to participate and finish the room. All participants needed was to think and use teamwork to solve the puzzles in front of them.
Young Adult Librarian Angie Howes informed participants that they needed to find a wand and a spell in order to complete the room.
With an hour timer set, kids and parents got to work trying to solve the various riddles and unlock the mystery cases placed around the space. Pieces of decor in the room served as clues or reminders of what to look for, including a chessboard, a bloody message left by some Slytherin pranksters, and a potion kit. “Here’s some notes about chess moves,” observed one dad before a crowd of children followed him to the chess board.
The clues stumped many people and made for a much more challenging escape room than this summer’s rendition. “The potion one, I’m really proud of,” said Howes. “There’s a recipe and there’s only four of the ingredients actually listed on the recipe, so once they figure that out, they can figure out what numbers they have to use,” explained Howes. “I really wanted to step up the game from last summer.”
As the group approached 20 minutes into the challenge, the feeling of time running out led them to ask for their first hint. Howes pointed out two pieces of paper to observe what they had in common. After careful observation, the group determined what they believed to be a combination for one of the locked boxes.
With ten minutes to spare, the group managed to solve the final puzzle and were met with magically opening doors out of the room. “Well, that was a good adrenaline rush,” said one kid to his mom as he exited.
Despite the challenging hour, the participants left the library excited and proud of themselves for having solved such complicated puzzles. With the success of yet another escape room, it was clear that the Dover Library had a new classic event on their hands.