An Immersive Experience
Immersion! People probably are tired of me saying this word, but it is super important to me.
Escape rooms started as a very simple concept of solving puzzles in a room to ultimately find a key and open a door and leave. This concept alone was enough to eventually launch them into the world wide phenomena they are today. But it was not enough for me.
Over time games have become a bit more story driven and thematic but at most places that is still an afterthought. I wanted to truly transport players to a unique time, place, or event. To make them feel like they jumped into the movie or video game where they get to be the main characters. This means you won’t find the old office carpet, wallpaper, or fluorescent lights inside of our 14th century castle. There is no TV screen on the wall giving you information inside of our 1940’s military bunker. We built every wall with a purpose and really try to craft a world where our story can unfold.
Our games are all mission based, that is you will have a specific objective you need to accomplish that goes along with the story. We find this much more interesting than simply trying to leave a room. We also work hard to create unique ways to run game timers, hints, and game master interactions to attempt to make the entire experience as immersive and seamless as possible.
Some places will give groups hints by a staff member entering the room and telling them what they need to do next after they look around. Our games have state of the art technology in them and our staff can remotely monitor all actions inside the game without having to enter and break the illusion. As an example in our Excalibur game players interact with a magical talking suit of armor left behind by Merlin as the players guide.
Going beyond immersive set design and customer interactions we also have extremely high-tech games. Don’t worry you don’t need to be computer savvy to play, it all happens behind the scenes. We worked with some pros in theme park automation to learn the best ways to bring our games to the next level. This means you won’t encounter 20 padlocks but a much larger variety of puzzles and physical interactions using all varieties of hidden tech or “magic”. We went through over 15,000 feet of wiring to get our first 3 games operational.
To give you an idea this is one of the “brains” of just 1 of our games.
This combination of immersive set design, custom game master to player interactions, and high-tech gadgetry are what truly set us apart from not just local venues but really anything in the region.
A Simple Philosophy
I also have a very different, yet very simple, approach to our games. This might sound crazy but our only goal is to make sure customers HAVE FUN!
I know, I know, we should focus more on world domination or something but for now this works.
Too often I play a game where a puzzle makes no sense even after getting hints for it. Then after we get told something along the lines of, “oh yeah no one ever gets that one it is really hard.” Ummm no, it is not really hard, it just does not make sense. It needs to be changed!
We treat our games as living things that evolve over time. We make lots of small tweaks and occasional massive ones based on watching players and feedback we receive to make sure our games are always fun and not frustrating.
Too often places get caught up in the idea of wanting to make sure 90% of people lose and they accomplish it by inserting puzzles that just don’t make any sense. It is one of the biggest complaints we get when we chat with players about their experiences elsewhere.
Don’t get me wrong, our games are still quite hard and challenging, we just try to go about it a bit differently.
We handle hints differently as well. Hints are things players receive while playing to help them most past an area where they are stuck. Many places have hard limits on how many or how often you can use hints. We do not see any purpose in this outside of frustrating people.
Every group is different. We have many that are determined to win or lose on their own and never use any hints. Plenty of others who want a more guided experience and get helpful nudges all along the way. Most groups fall somewhere in the middle using hints occasionally as they get stuck.
We think all of these are great, as long as you are having fun. It is not up to us to tell which way will be the most fun for you and your team, play how you like, we are just here to facilitate the experience for you.
For those that are a bit more competitive, we do track a leaderboard. To qualify every team is limited to a max of 3 hints to keep the playing field even.