A local business tailoring to groups of friends and co-workers has introduced Kitchener-Waterloo with an entertaining activity that puts laser tag to shame.
Adventure Rooms, located near downtown Kitchener, offers a unique experience for groups of two to seven people in a race against the clock.
“The basic idea is that you are locked into a room and inside the game there are hidden elements. So you would be looking for things like codes, clues, keys, hints. You may use objects in very strange ways,” explained Lisa Thomas, owner of Adventure Rooms’ Kitchener location.
Players then have to use these tools to get out of the room in 60 minutes or less.
“Right now we have two games. So the original game has been here since we opened in October. We just opened the second game at the end of March,” Thomas said.
According to Thomas, a third game may eventually be added as the response has been overwhelming so far in southern Ontario.
If you’re unable to finish the game in the 60 minute time limit, she explained that it’s possible to try it again.
“Some people do. We generally have a rule that if you have made it less than 75 per cent you can return.”
The record for the first game is around 21 minutes remaining and about 15 minutes remaining for game two. Only about 20 per cent of groups complete the games.
Adventure Rooms originated in Switzerland by a physics teacher who created it as an exiperiment for his students, Thomas explained. She took the concept and adapted it for a Canadian audience.
The response was overwhelming.
“They absolutely loved it … It snowballed from there.”
What brought the idea directly to Kitchener was Thomas’s own participation during a trip she took to Europe.
“I went over as a tourist and I played the game. I also loved it,” Thomas said. “I contacted them when I returned home. I asked them if they would be interested in franchising. At the time they had not even considered it.”
Kitchener’s Adventure Rooms —open since October 2013 — is the only official franchise in Canada and one of two in North America, along with a Hartford, Connecticut location. There are also several locations across Europe.
“Really it appeals to everyone. We have people who come that are eight to 10 years [old]. We generally recommend 11 years old up to 77.”
And while their target audience is corporations, they still have groups comprised of family or friends.
Thomas also added that the game is playable by those with English as a second language as well as people who have claustrophobia as one can leave the game at any point. There is no scare factor to the game at all. It’s all about problem-solving and using logic to find your way out.