"Alexa, turn off the lights."
Suddenly, the tight, cylindrical room my group and I were in went dark, exposing a series of glowing etchings on the wall that were hidden when the lights were on. After turning some knobs and discovering some passcodes, it was finally time to start our escape.
This was my experience with Echo Escape, a special "escape the room" game at New York Comic-Con in which the only way to make it out was to interact with Alexa via a series of Echo and Echo Show devices.
Inspired by Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, Amazon's upcoming Prime-exclusive TV show, Echo Escape challenges you and a group to solve puzzles and ultimately make it out of a mysterious bunker. And while it partially exists as an interactive advertisement for both the show and Amazon's Echo devices, it's also a fun room-escape game experience in its own right.
The game started in the aforementioned cylinder, where my teammates and I interacted with lights and fans via Alexa until the passcode to get into the next room was clear. Things got more intricate from there; we eventually had to make several calls to a special agent named "Foxtrot," who was played by a live actor who video-chatted with us via an Echo Show.
For the most part, Echo Escape was straightforward. We'd find a clue, ask Alexa a question, get a keycode, and move on. There were a few hiccups -- Alexa at one point accidentally pulled up a library of Kidz Bop songs instead of giving us a password -- but the entire exercise served as a reminder of how generally versatile and reliable Alexa can be.
Whether we asked her to dim the lights or blast some music in order to get the walls vibrating, Amazon's virtual assistant was almost flawless in getting us out.
Things did heat up eventually, though. We eventually found ourselves with our backs against the wall in a room filled with laser tripwires, meaning we had to move carefully. It certainly didn't help that one of our teammates (none other than Mashable's Lance Ulanoff, whose experience you can read about here) was suddenly tied to a chair in a locked room across from us.
Fortunately, after communicating both amongst our group and with Alexa, we were all able to make it out before the clock ran out.
As someone new to escape rooms, I really enjoyed my time with Echo Escape. I never felt an actual sense of danger (an Amazon rep accompanied us the whole time), and most of the puzzles were fairly easy, but I was really impressed by the clever ways that Amazon challenged us to use its voice assistant.
If I ever find myself trapped in a strange room with only Alexa to save me, at least I know I'll have a shot.
Image Credit: Mike Andronico / Tom's Guide