Emily Harrison: HPU Libraries Host Escape Room Event


Our current HPU library family.

Escape rooms have been buzzing in the past decade. They have increased tremendously in popularity (especially with young adults) over the years.

And most people will want a review on the escape room HPU just held. And they’ll get one.

But first: upon hearing from the staff and participants, the library staff at Hawaii Pacific University needs to be thanked for all of the effort they put into the events for the students at HPU.

So, thank you to the Library Faculty members at HPU.

Thank you for putting all the effort you do into making fun events for the students, like the escape room.

The Rundown

Are you a detective at heart? Do you see things others don’t? Then perhaps you should test out this passion.

Are you good under pressure? Are you able to see past the fine print? Then perhaps you should try that skill on another level.

Although I haven’t been to an escape room, I know I’d crush it.

Our library staff have just hosted their 6th escape room event this past February.

Are you an HPU student who would like to try this? Well lucky for you it’s a reoccurring thing.

The difficulty level of these rooms was rated to be a 3/5. Difficult enough to make you think, but not to the point you’re stressing.

The clues and wordings of each step are meant to trick you, and make you think outside the box. It’s a great way to relieve some stress and focus some brainwork not on school.

Everyone who finishes gets a prize! Isn’t that awesome! That’s the only motivation I need…

A new Hydro Flask is always appreciated.

This escape room is hosted in the study rooms downtown at the learning commons.

Each team is placed inside and can come back out when they’ve finished their challenges and have escaped their hazardous environment.

A Students Validation

This semester’s theme had our students trapped in a submarine. They needed to find clues in order to safely escape the submarine.

They had a thirty-minute time limit, but they absolutely could go over the time if they needed.

A big focus on these challenges is incorporating the library database system into the escape room. This allows students (especially freshman and transfers)to get used to HPU’s library system.

The escape room involved finding an ester egg, messages in a bottle, and searching “ancient” texts.

An Vo, a freshman at HPU, has now participated in both a professional escape room and the HPU hosted escape room.

He put it into perspective for me about which he would consider to be better.

He made the excellent point that it’s not necessarily comparable, the professional escape room and the library learning commons.

Also, depending on the type of person you are, you may enjoy one over the other purely based on your preferences.

Do you like to be kept to a certain time standard? Do you like the possibility of solving problems with strangers? Do you like unnerving themes?

Then maybe a professional escape room is more your speed, and I’ll talk about that later on!

But if you prefer being able to go over the designated time, or working with a select group of friends, and having a fun, and educational themes. Not in a lecture-y way, but in a fun and cultural way, then maybe the HPU library Escape room is more your speed!

An talked about how the professional escape room put him in a group, and he wasn’t able to fully enjoy all the puzzles that were offered.

But at HPU him and his friend did it together and it was much more enjoyable and hands on for him.

“When we worked together it was like peanut butter and Jam”-An Vo

A Word From our Sponsors

I have always wanted to experience an escape room, but sometimes I do worry I’m not smart enough for one.

Do you ever feel that way?

Well fellow students the HPU library staff has made it their mission to incorporate students into learning how to use our campus necessities along with being able to experience the fun that comes with solving escape rooms.

Best part… it’s free!

The residential team at HPU has tried their best for years now to put on an enjoyable escape room for the students here at HPU, and each semester they put on a different theme with different clues. All of these themes tie in Hawaiian culture, whether that be traditions, legends, or even oceanic themes.

They make it a point to have small groups; it does make the event more enjoyable. Typically, groups are five or less and each time frame can host four groups.

There are both mental and physical challenges in these escape rooms.

But not only are the designed to help the student learn how to use the HPU library database, but it also encourages them to use the “chat” feature as well.

This program allows students to talk to a staff member online, or if no one is available, they can use the Sharky robot who is always available.

This will really help students in the long run, to be able to understand this database.

Reality Check

Now, I understand waiting for next semester isn’t the most practical thing for you to do if you’re really wanting to enjoy an escape room. Especially with spring break being here.

Lucky for you escape rooms are sprinkled all over this island. There are many quite close to the downtown campus actually.

Can’t go home after an adrenaline rush? Great! there’s more to do!

Now… I STONGLY suggest you do some of these activities in the daylight. I don’t care how skilled you are at hiking; unknown elements are out in the dark. Be safe, above all else, when you go out. 

There are a number of escape rooms lining downtown. Honolulu and Waikiki have plenty of different themes and time for you and your friends to enjoy.

Some of the themes offered included: barbershops, sushi restaurants, twisted Christmases, prisons, heists, and even more than those are offered.

Now, as a fellow college kid, I understand the meaning of being “too broke” to go out. However, I do think these prices are actually quite fair and affordable. $34- $45 per person for an hour at the escape room isn’t wonderful, but it also isn’t too bad.

All of these rooms lock you in in an hour and let you save the puzzles. Some are interactive and you can opt out of this of course but there can be “dangers’ that add to your experience. Times for these establishments vary among each, but they do range from 8 am to 930 pm.

And if you’re not done with the day when you still have that adrenaline rush hitting you, then enjoy the places that are scattered all along Waikiki and Honolulu.

Besides eating out at some nice places nearby, there’s mini golf and archery, hiking (in the daytime) axe throwing, comedy shoes, even go cart racing. For those of you who may not have had the best time in the escape room, there’s always plan b.

Waikiki also has a number of breaks in anger rooms, just for a bad night, or week, or year…

Whatever it is you’re craving to do, Waikiki and Honolulu got you.

Go enjoy your spring break and relax from midterms. It’s okay to enjoy yourself and have some fun.

Back to the Point

With all the information you’ve been given, the important takeaway is to understand that event though Hawaii offers lots of activities, so does HPU.

It may be hard with heavy school schedules, but those lucky few who have the opportunity to check out the events the library staff puts on, I implore you to do so.

Thank you again for our lovely library staff and all the events you put on for the students here at HPU.

Leave a Reply