Let’s be honest – we all have a little part of us that kinda wants the Zombie Apocalypse to happen.
Not the super depressing Walking Dead version, but the Zombieland version where you figure, “what the hell – let’s roll with this,” get a team of quirky misfit badasses together and chill with Bill Murray.
Now, there’s a place where you can live your zombie dream (minus the Bill Murray part) because Chicago is home to the game ‘Trapped in a Room With a Zombie.’
The game is exactly what it sounds like – you and 11 other friends or total strangers are stuck in a room with a zombie chained to the wall, and you have to go through a bunch of clues to get out before the zombie gets you. In the hour you’re in there, the zombie’s chain gets longer every 5 minutes.
If it seems like a zombified Clue meets games like The Crimson Room that we all played in high school when the internet was getting really good, that’s because it pretty much is. The creator, Marty Parker, wanted to merge Murder Mystery Dinner Theater and the Room Escape concept, according to Executive Producer of Bucket List Productions, Maren Rosenberg.
“Mr. Parker wanted to create an interactive theater show that, when you bought a ticket, you became the protagonist in the show where you determined your own fate.”
You’ve heard of the zombie 5K where you’re literally running for your life and zombie paintball, I’m sure. But if you’re like me and would probably die first in the zombocalypse because you’re a thinker not a sprinter, ‘Trapped In A Room With A Zombie’ is for you.
Hosted in Fine Arts Building on Michigan Avenue, Chicago’s ‘Trapped in a Room With a Zombie’ opened up in December of 2013. And its ‘sequel’ – ‘Trapped in a Room With a Zombie II: Still Hungry’ – opened up just last November. But ‘room escape adventure’ games started getting popular in East Asia (again, of course) about four years ago before spreading like a zombie virus to Europe and finally making its way here.
Unlike those room escape adventure games of our high school days, this room escape actually gives us the satisfaction of a backstory:
“While world renowned brain surgeon Dr. Oxy was working diligently to find a cure for a virus mutation, an accidental prick of the needle infected the Dr. with the mutated strain. In the Doctors last moments of conscious awareness they quickly threw together a room and locked themselves inside, in order to save the rest of humanity from the zombie virus. The Dr. attached chains to their wrists and attached those chains to a wall. The genius Dr. hid the key to the room so their zombie self wouldn’t find it and then set up a bunch of clues and riddles to find the key in case they came back to life. But this is not the case, today, ladies and gentlemen you are about to be Trapped in a Room with a Zombie”.
But the origin of the mysterious zombie and room isn’t the only story this adventure has spawned. It’s also led to some Rom-Zom-worthy moments.
“In Chicago, I had someone email me to let me know that his girlfriend and his first date was to ‘Trapped in a Room With a Zombie.’ Now one year later, they wanted to join us for the ‘Still Hungry’ show to celebrate their anniversary,” Rosenberg told me. “We have had people approach us about proposing in our room.”
So whether you’re a Chicagoan wanting to live the zombocalypse dream, a tourist wanting to avoid touristy stuff, or just got a ‘Trapped in a Room With a Zombie’ Groupon and wondering what the hell to do with it – it’s totally worth checking out.