A mad professor whose research could save the world—or destroy it—vanishes. His research remains untouched in his quarters, but university officials are coming to steal his work. It’s up to you, locked in his quarters with a team of seven others, to decode the clues around the room, find the schematics and escape within one hour.

Sound like fun? Colorado’s amateur sleuths seem to think so. The Enigma Escape Rooms, which opened a location in Boulder last winter, have garnered rave reviews for their locked-room puzzles like “The Missing Scientist, Part 1,” described above.

Escape games have grown in popularity around the United States and internationally, as they combine all the fun of Sherlock Holmes with a ticking clock. The puzzles have become popular with families and friend groups, and companies have started using them for teambuilding exercises. Tickets run $28/person, with a max of eight people per puzzle. For more information, visit www.enigmaboulder.com.

—Eli Wallace