Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation is ready to bring the world back into the IMF fold once more, as Ethan Hunt and his team battle against The Syndicate – an anti-IMF crew bent on world instability. Though, to be fair, the Impossible Missions Force isn't exactly the most stable organization itself. No matter how many double agents they capture, or ex-agents that seem to go rogue, there's always another mole to be hunted. Thanks to Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation's escape room experience, I got a taste of the action.
I arrived at the AMC in Lincoln Square on a Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, and there it was, sitting in front of me right when I walked in. The Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation escape room wasn't a big structure, and it didn't have a roof – so the claustrophobia the name envokes wasn't a problem. Instead, what lay ahead of me, and those who joined me for the journey, was a puzzle in true Mission: Impossible style.
The room you see before you is an IMF safe room. Once we agents were secured within, the doors were automatically sealed. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, was to find the code to unlock the door. The catch was we had to do it in 20 minutes, or the room would self destruct via IMF security protocols. The reason for all of this security was the fact that another mole had been found in the employ of the IMF, and the identity of this person was hidden in the room we were in. After an audio briefing detailing the rundown you just read, the clock was started and the hunt was on.
The Rogue Nation escape room is an experience like I wish more studios would employ for marketing their films. More importantly, I wish Paramount would rent out some real estate themselves and start making more Mission: Impossible themed escape rooms, as this was a hell of a good time. As the clock wound down, and my team and I decoded the mysteries of the room, I found myself living out the stereotypical moments of an espionage thriller. Running a black light through an object that held a puzzle piece, using a map to find a combination to one of the two safes in the room, even the usual pacing while trying to figure out the clues, were all present and accounted for.
In the end, my IMF team and I made our way to the final clue – a math puzzle that was much simpler than we thought – but by time we'd figured out our next step the timer ran out. We'd discovered the mole, and followed all of the bread crumbs that lead to the final push, but we lost the one thing every good agent needs: time. I have to hand it to whomever designed this escape room experience, as it was challenging enough to keep me guessing, but easy enough that you could solve it in 20 minutes. The presence of a proctor who gives you cryptic clues as to what you need to do also helps things along, but doesn't make it too easy.
While we weren't disavowed for failing to escape, we weren't exactly recruited to become field agents. Still, for what it's worth, I wish I could do the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation escape room challenge one more time. The escape room craze is something that's taken hold in New York, and it's starting to spread like wildfire. Should they decide to do so, Paramount could have a sure fire moneymaker on their hands if they build a permanent experience like the one I enjoyed. If you're in San Francisco or Los Angeles, and you have the chance to go, definitley get to the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation room escape.
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation opens in theaters nationwide on July 31st. You can read our review here, and keep your browser dialed to Cinema Blend as we'll have more coverage leading up to the film's release on Friday.