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Teamwork necessary for surviving ‘sinister’ escape room

Buckeyes looking for a scare in 45 minutes or less can find it at the Redemption Escape Room.

In celebration of its continued success and in preparation for this year’s Halloween season, Columbus’ The Chamber Escape Room has opened its doors for participants to experience its newest attraction, the Redemption Escape Room. Since opening night on Sept. 18, the new room has received many positive reviews, staff members said, providing Buckeyes with an alternative to their normal evening activities.

The Redemption Escape Room is a live game in which a team of up to 12 people must find its way out of a trapped room within 45 minutes. Team members must find hidden keys, solve challenging riddles and use numerous amounts of planted clues to lead them to freedom.

Teamwork is essential for success, with about 30 percent of teams escaping within the time limit.

Daniel Hutchinson, owner and founder of The Chamber Escape Room, said he is excited and greatly pleased with the turnout the room has seen and is glad the idea has taken off in Columbus.

“We have had an incredible amount of success. Escape rooms fit in great with the Columbus scene. Buckeyes are adventurous and love to try new experiential activities,” Hutchinson said. “We are normally booked weeks in advance, and I feel that is a testament to the quality of the room and the professionalism of our staff.”

The room has a sinister theme, as it was designed with a Halloween scene in mind. This drives participants to escape before they meet their fictional demise. Hutchinson admits that it is a bit creepy but that it’s definitely not a haunted house. Attendees participate in a back story that the owner wishes to keep secret until participants are actually in the room.

“We have had nothing but positive reactions from our customers. By nature the room is designed to make you think outside the box and give you a different level of stimulation than you are normally used to,” Hutchinson said. “Normally our customers leave with a huge smile on their faces and even send us emails about how they are still talking about it weeks later.”

Brittney Sarnes, actress and receptionist for the Redemption Room, has been with the company since it was created in May.

She said it’s exciting to have upfront contact with groups that come through because she can give them an experience they will never forget.

“I’ve been playing escape games online for a while. I think it’s awesome that not only can we bring this experience live to players, but that nearly everyone leaves with a smile on their face, even if they don’t escape within the time limit. It’s awesome to watch them work as a team to solve the puzzle,” Sarnes said.

Andrew Repp, a spring 2015 Ohio State graduate in English and history, finished the room with his group and escaped with time to spare. Members of his group excitedly shared the experience and talked about their thought processes after solving the puzzle.

“It really is a fully immersed experience. There are little hints everywhere that make you use your brain and force you to investigate how everything is related to each other. There are even some hints that are meant to lead you off the trail. Thankfully we could work together as a team, see through the distraction, and we made it through with a little more than five minutes left,” Repp said.

The war veteran-owned company relies on support from the OSU community and plans to ride the success and momentum from this season and further expand to new rooms for next year.

“Thanks to everyone’s support, we’re excited to announce that right now we have plans in action to open more rooms starting at the beginning of the year,” Hutchinson said.

Reservations are necessary for The Chamber Escape Room, located at 1415 E. Dublin Granville Rd., and it is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings. Individual tickets are $29 per person with group rates available.

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