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Race against your friends at York's new escape room

You’ve raced against the clock. Now, race against your friends.

Escape Games Live in York is taking the escape room experience to a new level with the recent opening of “The Showdown,” a new room that pits groups of friends against each other in a cops vs. robbers-style game.

“We’re always getting requests for larger groups,” Escape Games Live owner Michelle Hill said. “So, we decided to make a room where people could all play together and against each other.”

Rather than working together to escape from a locked room in 60 minutes or less, players will split up into two teams – outlaws and deputies – and compete to see who can get out first.

The storyline behind “The Showdown” is that the outlaws have lured the deputies into a neighboring cell, Hill said. Both teams are trapped in a western-themed room, separated by a set of jail bars, and they must work with their teammates to solve a series of puzzles and group challenges – like “rope races” and “slingshot blackjack” – as quickly as they can to escape first.

The catch? Sometimes, teams will need a clue from the other side of the jail cell, and the only way to get to it is to barter with the other team for information. The other team might tell the truth, or they might give false information, Hill said. But teams will need both cooperation and a competitive edge to get out.

The experience, which takes about 90 to 120 minutes to complete, is currently available for booking. “The Showdown” costs $250 for 12 adults and $15 for each additional person up to 16 people.

“The Showdown” is the fifth room Escape Games Live has opened in the last year, and it won’t be the last.

The business purchased a second escape room last week in Lemoyne called Puzzled LLC, Hill said. Puzzled is currently up and running with two escape rooms, Mad Doctor and Jungle Treasure, which will be reworked in the coming weeks to be consistent with Escape Games Live’s brand.

Hill also plans to open the region’s first scary escape room, “Pharoah’s Tomb,” by the end of summer at either the York or Lemoyne location. By the time both locations are finished, Escape Games Live will have six rooms, and Puzzled will have three.

The escape room phenomenon has also grown in popularity in other areas of central Pennsylvania in the last year. Escape rooms are now open in Lancaster, Lititz, Harrisburg, Mechanicsburg, Annville and Hershey.