(credit: Thinkfun)

Welcome to Ars Cardboard, our weekend look at tabletop games! Check out our complete board gaming coverage right here—and let us know what you think.

Who knew being locked in a room would become so popular?

"Escape rooms" are so hot that even my sleepy Chicago suburb has one. Just plop down 30 bucks, and you too can be locked for an hour inside a foam-stone medieval "dungeon" located right next to a butcher shop. Each group of ten guests has to find a way out of the room before the hour expires. This generally involves solving cooperative puzzles, parsing clues, figuring out a mystery, and popping open a giant lock.

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