Solving puzzles, breaking codes and opening locks to get out of a room in less than an hour are the basics of playing an escape room game.
Instead of going to an office complex or repurposed warehouse, Salli Renz and Jacob Renz will bring the escape room to you.
The mother-and-son team from Spring Grove launched Eureka! Escape Games on Oct. 1.
“We are just coming out of (COVID-19), and people are staying in more than going out,” Salli said.
They wanted a business idea where they could bring the party to customers instead of the other way around, she said.
It was Jacob’s enjoyment of escape rooms that got the idea going, Salli said.
“The idea sprang from that and escalated from there. We took it to a different level with a portable escape game,” she said.
So how does a portable escape room that isn’t actually a room work?
The Renzes worked with an escape room design company that built them three portable units. About the size of a large office copy machine, the games can sit on a coffee table or dining table.
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The game includes the parts of escape rooms that people expect, including solving clues to open the next portion of play, Jacob said. Each game has 14 different puzzles to solve to defeat the game.
“They are a game unit. They are sizable units with hidden drawers, codes and puzzles and video technology in them. It is similar to the high-tech escape rooms you go to,” Jacob said.
The units are small, compact and movable.
“It is a game that you play and the elements are similar” to traditional escape rooms, Salli said.
Jacob is the game master — going to the location, setting up the game and walking players through how to play.
Like a normal escape room, Jacob can provide hints and help players so they “don’t get caught up on a puzzle for too long,” he said.
Right now, they have three different game setups, Salli said: The Jungle, Deadly Hallows and Bomb Disposal. She wants to add a fairy tale-themed game in the future.
Groups can book the service online, and Jacob brings the game to wherever people are gathering, Salli said.
The games are challenging and have some more mature themes, Salli said. They recommend players be in junior high or older.
For more information, visit www.eurekaescapegames.com.