+ Is this a real thing, in a real location, with real people?


+ How do I become an escapist?

You sign up (either with others or alone); then show up, put your thinking cap on, and do everything in your power to beat the clock.

+ Is it safe?

Completely. While you play, the venue is being constantly monitored by a trained Operator, and an emergency exit is always available in case of discomfort or actual emergency. You are never locked in a room.

+ Is it scary?

It's not meant to be! The lights may get dim at some points, but there's no (intentionally) spooky music or sounds, no frightening pictures, and certainly no one is going to jump out at you.

+ Am I smart enough to play this?

Yes. Don’t get us wrong, it’s hard — very few teams succeed. But it’s really a win-win: If you finish in under 60 minutes, you are rewarded with eternal glory; and if you don’t make it out, you get a solid hour’s worth of fun. (And it is fun, whether you escape or not!)

+ How much does this cost?

Adult tickets are $26, but we offer a 15% discount for students and active miltary! Full-venue bookings are also available at a discount to non-profit groups.

+ Are corporate/full venue bookings available?

Yes! Escape games are great team building events. Full-venue bookings are available on weekday mornings and afternoons, and some evenings. Get in touch to schedule your booking.

+ Are there restrictions on who can play? (Age, etc.)

Just a few. You have to be age 10+ to play. If you’re under 15, you have to play with a responsible adult; and if you’re 15-17, you can come alone but you need to bring a waiver signed by a parent or guardian. You also can’t have landed on our Prohibited Players List due to lateness, disruptive behavior, etc. Finally, if you are repeating a scenario, you must either be in a group of other “second(+) timers,” or have booked a full scenario with a group of friends who are all aware that you have already played once. (Otherwise, this would be unfair, and un-fun, for your teammates.)

+ Is there a min/max number of players per scenario?

Yes! The Study and Ex Machina accommodate 2-6 players each and the Gallery, 2-10. You’ll have 48 hours’ notice if a game has to be cancelled due to under-booking. (This almost never happens.) Note that you can choose to book all of the tickets in a given game if you want to make it private; otherwise, you will be meeting some new teammates!

+ Do the puzzles ever change?

Every few months, we retire one escape room and introduce an entirely new one — new theme, new puzzles, the works. Keeps us busy; keeps the people happy. Unfortunately, this also means that each scenario has a limited life span — 9 months to 1 year. Play them before they're gone!

+ What is the difference between The Study - Red and The Study - Blue?

These rooms both contain the same game, "The Study." We have one copy with red walls and one copy with blue walls, but other than that, it doesn't matter which you choose. We run these games simultaneously because some 8-12 person groups like to come in and play it at the same time - we've had family reunions, birthday parties, and corporate groups enjoy this competitive approach to escape games!

+ How do I get there?

We are located right in downtown Durham! Detailed directions are here.

+ I'm not in the Triangle; can I play games like this anywhere else?

Baltimaze Escape in Baltimore, MD, Fort Worth Escape in Fort Worth, TX, and Escape Rhode Island in Providence, RI also have awesome games for you to check out.


Alicia Hetrick is the co-founder and manager of NC Escape. She recently separated from the U.S. Army after serving as an artillery officer, deciding that it was time to pursue her interest in opening a business. She holds an MBA from Indiana University and a BA in English from Cornell University. She's excited to bring her experience and love of puzzles and games (everything from Myst to Settlers of Catan to the Sunday crossword) to new room escape games in the awesome community of Durham.  She also owns Augmentality Labs, a virtual reality arcade 2 blocks from NC Escape.




DJ Doura is an operator at NC Escape.  In his day job at Pepsi-Co, he works as a PLC Technician/Operator, but he enjoys escaping from that with escape room operating on his weekends.  He holds a BA in Criminal Justice from UNC Pembroke.  He's glad to be bringing his love of strategic card games like spades and his hands-on building expertise to NC Escape.

Jami Holsapple is an operator at NC Escape.  She also enjoys her work at a local veterinary hospital.  Jami moved to Durham from Wisconsin a year ago with her husband, and is glad to be a part of the Durham community now.  She enjoys playing trivia, real-time strategy, and resource management games in her off time, and she also has fun checking out other escape games!

Kelly Martin is an operator at NC Escape.  She brings a love of the amusement industry from time spent working at Disney World, and moved to Durham about four years ago from South Carolina.  She enjoys cross-stitching, hanging out with her two dogs (a pit bull and a Pomeranian), and playing Guitar Hero and puzzle games of all kinds.