How to score an instant date night WIN with 'Envy' and some cool company
Refined chuckles rippled through the balmy evening air; an odd sound, considering a man had just been killed at this party. Yes, love was indeed in the air tonight, but so was murder, and that's not something you want to face alone.
That's right, I invited my brother along to our Valentine's date-night-adventure.
Come now, pick your jaw off the floor! Three isn't a crowd, it's a party!
Don't believe me? Then read on, and let me lay out the tips and tricks that turned this thrilling escape room game into a major date-night win.
Cpl. Swatchton's amiable demeanour easily doubled the number of laughs at the table. His quiet antics and understated humour fit in like a piece of fine decor.
While this certainly created a different atmosphere to that of a candlelit dinner, it was no less romantic. As Lady Priscilla and I locked eyes after another of my brother's sly remarks, we knew, we were happy.
Remember, your aim is to host a night that your date will remember. There is something truly special about simply having fun with a group of friends.
This escape room theme is irresistibly fun to really lean into. So be fancy!
Dress up all slick and polished (bonus points for staying in character all night)
Start the music early to help people transition into the theme
Alternatively, pass around the flavour text and see who can pull off the best posh accent (the suspect list is good for this).
NOTE: Read the intro and flavour text before starting your clock. If you have the time, you may as well have fun with it!
We burst our bubble
I'll be the first to admit that, as a couple, I tend to live in my own little world where the sun only ever shines on the face of my wife.
Every now and then you need to burst that bubble, so why not do it with your brother, a tragic murder, and an unclaimed inheritance?
Plus, building strong relationships with others actually makes you a far more interesting and attractive person!
Eat snacks! Everyone is a little more comfortable when there's a hearty supply of finger-snacks and tasty drink on hand. This is a perfect recipe for more relaxed interactions and a great evening!
Flirting was waaay more fun!
What's more fun than flirting? Stealth-flirting!
Having my brother around meant that we needed to tone it down... or get creative...
My wife and I made it into a game to see how badly we could flirt without being caught. Bonus points if you can distract your date from their puzzle!
My advice - while shenanigans under the table are fun… just make sure you know who you're playing footsies with!
Flirt up a storm, and make sure your date knows s/he's not forgotten.
Find excuses to touch each other's arms and neck.
Exchange little kisses.
Give secret, smouldering looks.
Take fun, wacky selfies.
Play footsies under the table. Etc.
I watched and learned
Escape rooms are a great date-night tool to begin with, as you get to see how your date performs under this weird fun/pressure combo. But add another person to the mix, and you start to see your date's character leak out into their interactions.
My wife's fun-loving side was in full swing as she happily crushed the game. However, when the clock counted down and she hit her hardest puzzle, Lady Priscilla didn't snap with the frustration. Instead, she elegantly frowned at her paper, kept calm, and carried on!
They say that pressure exposes the cracks in people's character, but this night, the cracks in my wife looked more like veins of gold!
Make sure you leave enough time before and after the game for people to hang out. Remember, the goal is to have a good time together, not get an escape room done ASAP!
"There's only ten minutes left guys! We need to win this!"
You could feel the tension in the way we collectively frowned over the last puzzle sheet. It was do or die time, and it looked like we were going to die.
Until that is, Cpl. Swatchton flashed a full smile and attacked the answer sheet with fresh gusto.
As our clock hit only 16 seconds remaining, we pounded the table. Solved!
There's few feelings quite as exhilarating as squeaking in a win so close to defeat. And we couldn't have beaten this game without my brother's help.
There is truly strength in numbers.
Always keep communicating. When you solve a puzzle, tell everyone the answer. Read your completed paragraph out loud so that your friends know how the story is progressing. Keep your allies in the loop so they can make informed decisions.
Three is a party!
At the end of the day, the goal is to share a fun experience with your date, and adding another close friend to the mix achieves that with flying colours!
Private, romantic dates are always fun. But you'll get plenty of those. Having a blast with the people you love gives you a treasured memory to reminisce about later.
Without my brother, there would have been less laughs, a more subdued atmosphere, and a murder that would have remained unsolved.
Thanks Cpl. Horatio Swatchton! You made our Valentine's a night to remember!
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