We’re health inspectors trapped inside a sweets shop, and we only have an hour to figure out what’s so suspicious about the specials.

Our quartet wasn’t exactly mired in a life-or-death predicament—the biggest bummer was that said sweets weren’t edible—but it set our pulses racing and our endorphins rushing just the same. It’s all part of Englewood’s Epic Escape Game, one of numerous local businesses that are capitalizing on the problem-solving gaming trend.

For about $25 per person, with discounts available online, we played Epic’s “Sweet Dreams” room on a recent Friday evening. While you don’t need to have spent your adolescence nerding out over Dungeons & Dragons, or your post-adolescence glued to StarCraft, such experience doesn’t hurt. (Our group’s MVP was just such a gamer, but the rest of us were newbies.) Epic’s rooms—four total, in varying degrees of difficulty (including kid-friendly options)—use sequential riddles, quizzes, and puzzles to help participants crack codes, open locks, and solve the mysteries that move you through the space until, about 40 minutes in, Victory!

Whoops, nope: There was a whole other room we now had under 20 minutes to decode, and this one’s brain-teasers were considerably harder. By this time we were in the groove and working well together, though we did use each of our three allowable clues. We cleared these last hurdles quickly, which included returning to props we thought we had finished with, and we finally emerged for real—with just 33 seconds to spare.

After posing for a group photo, we left proud and exhilarated, feeling extra smart and looking forward to our next mind-bending challenge.

Visit: 37 W. Floyd, Englewood, 303-927-7769. Reservations required; epicescapegame.com

Follow 5280 editor-at-large Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.