December 7, 2021
by Lydia Scofield
& the Holiday Hooligans
When it comes to improving your brain power, puzzles are a great way to go. However, jigsaws and Rubik’s Cubes will only get you so far. So, where should you turn when you’re looking for something a bit more exhilarating? Why, an escape room, of course! and Rule 3 at 650 Windmiller Drive has three incredible rooms from which you can choose.
In “The Sorcerer’s Study”, you must scour Gwyndemere Castle to find the queen’s stolen amulet. For “Shafted”, you search an abandoned coal mine for hidden treasure. The other Hooligans and I took on “Arlo’s Alternate Energy Lab” where we were tasked with finding an important invention to stop a catastrophic earthquake.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of an escape room, the gist is that you’re put in a room where you must solve puzzles to finish an objective before time runs out. (Typically you have about an hour.) The types of puzzles vary but usually you must locate hidden objects, decode cyphers and gather keys.
Rule 3’s escape rooms contain combination locks, so if you’re planning on going, make sure you know how they work.
“[Combination locks are] overcomplicated, dumb devices that require constant practice to use properly,” said my brother, Heath Scofield.
Heath’s comments came after our Hooligan team almost failed to escape “Energy Lab” because we couldn’t figure out how to open the lock. For those of you like us, to open a combination lock, you have to move it clockwise until you reach your first number, then turn it counterclockwise past the first number TWICE then arrive at the second number. Then turn the knob clockwise to reach your final number.
Needless to say, Heath is right – combination locks are overly complicated.
You may imagine that the other obstacles in “Energy Lab” required a grand amounts of expertise as well, but that’s not the case. At several points throughout the room, we overthought what the puzzle was asking.
Between me and you; you do not need any special skills or knowledge (other than how to operate combination locks) to complete the room. Everything you need to solve the puzzles will be found in the room. Any code will have a key for how to decipher it.
However, if you do end up getting stuck on a puzzle (or how to operate a lock) you can ask for hints from your Rule 3 Escapologist. Before you enter the room they will hand your group a walkie-talkie so that you can contact them as needed. Your Escapologist will also volunteer hints if they think you may be struggling.
This happened a couple times with us. Our Escapologist was Sara Lemieux and we liked her a lot. My companions described her as “kind”, “helpful” and “funny”.
Sara explained to us that she and the other Escapologists try not to give clues more than once every 15 minutes.
Sara provided us clues in different ways. Sometimes, she would give us an exact answer while other times she would give us a riddle, such as “what’s the easiest way to open a door?”.
Despite our occasional need for clues, we all seemed to come out of “Arlo’s Alternate Energy Lab” with positive things to say.
“My favorite part about the escape room was the layout. Although it was cramped, it was atmospheric and perfect to the storyline,” said Zoey Moore.
That seemed to be the general consensus.
Heath and I had also completed “The Sorcerer’s Study”. When asked which of the two he preferred, Heath answered, “The Sorcerer’s Study; it was more open and had clearer progression. It was easier since the lights could be accessed earlier.”
In “Energy Lab”, there were few light sources. This made it difficult since a few of the pattern puzzles involving shapes and colors.
Each of Rule 3’s escape rooms holds a maximum of eight people. You can purchase tickets for $25.00 per person at the shoe rental kiosk, but the rooms are popular and often sold out. Your best bet is to reserve a day and time online via Rule 3’s website.
Because we escaped the room, Sara took our photo holding signs then gave us each $5.00 arcade cards. For each dollar on the card, you get 10 arcade points. The cost to play each game ranges from five points to 25.
Rule 3 offers specials where you can get extra points depending on how much money you put on your card. For instance if you put $25.00 on a card then you receive 50 extra points.
Lots of the games award virtual tickets as prizes. These tickets accumulate on your card and then you can redeem them for candy and toys at the prize counter. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, Rule 3 has a special where if you put $10.00 on your card you will automatically receive 200 tickets. That’s enough to get one squishy frog or 20 Laffy Taffys.
Rule 3 has a lot to do in addition to the escape rooms and arcade. Bowling prices vary depending on what day/time you visit. The best time to stop by is weekdays before 5 pm when a lane rental is only $24.00 per hour. Each lane can accommodate you plus five of your friends. Shoe rental is $4.00 per pair. Everyone who plays must wear bowling shoes.
Rule 3 also offers mini bowling. During the week mini bowling is only $2.00 per person per game. On weekends the price is $3.00 per person.
We ate dinner at the Rule 3 restaurant. Heath and I both ordered personal-size pizzas. Rule 3’s pizza has won three years in a row at the Pickerington Chamber of Commerce‘s Pizza Wars.
The pizza has a thin crust and a slightly sweet sauce. Heath said that he could definitely understand why the judges would have awarded it the prize.
Rule 3 is open Sunday – Thursday: 11:00 am – 10:00 pm and Friday – Saturday: 11:00 am – 1:00 am.