Are you prepared to make your ‘Escape?’

By JEN CARDINES

STAFF WRITER

Escape rooms are the newest trend in date nights, family nights, social gatherings, and corporate team building. Locations continue to appear across the map, the newest being right here in Plainville.

Forbidden Escape opened its doors last month at 442 East St., offering a physical and mental adventure for all who enter.

Connecticut is home to more than a dozen escape rooms, where players have 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and unlock clues in order to escape the room they are “trapped” in. Every location is unique and the rooms contain different storylines to follow, but Plainville owners – and siblings – Dave Martin and Sue Peters took a horror-based approach. After working in the IT industry for 25 years, Martin said he found a new passion with his escape room business.

“We’re very confident in what we’re doing here,” he said. “It worked out really well the way we did it.”

The siblings started working on the room in November and after completing all of the necessary tasks that come with opening a business, they premiered the final product last month. They grew up in Southington just off of Route 10, and said they are glad to have their business in a familiar area.

Upon entering the building, visitors are greeted by a haunted skeleton swaying back and forth in a creaky rocking chair. Players will soon find more haunting images as they enter the escape room, where they will be stuck for 60 minutes, or until they escape.

Titled “The Basement,” the escape room is set in the basement of an abandoned theatre where people often go missing. When a group is trapped, they have one hour to find their missing friend and get out of the haunted theatre.

The main objective is to solve riddles, puzzles, and clues, which will eventually lead to unlocking the closed room.

“We have a lot of unique puzzles because we built them,” Peters said.

Meanwhile, Martin is in an office overseeing the players through a series of cameras. He offers hints when they get stuck, and sometimes brings out a voice changing microphone for added fun.

“Our room is on the more difficult end,” Martin said. “It has about a 10 to 15 percent escape rate, which is what we want.”

Peters said that they want people to enjoy the room and be able to solve the puzzles, so if a group doesn’t make it out in time, she will walk them through it and show them what they could have done differently.

“It’s a nice safe, healthy, fun activity for people,” she said.

While “The Basement” is the only operating room at the moment, Forbidden Escape is scheduled to offer more by the end of the summer.

“We’re working on a second room, which is going to be a continuation of ‘the basement,’” Martin said. “The Backstage” will provide clues and steps closer to the final answer of the missing person’s whereabouts and is expected to be ready sometime in August.

A minimum of two people and a maximum of eight people can go through a room together. The owners said that the experience is best for ages 10 and up, but no one under 13 can participate without a guardian.

For more information or to book a time slot, call (860) 222-7563 or visit www.forbiddenescape.com.

Comments? Email jcardines@SouthingtonObserver.com.

Dave Martin, owner of the new escape room in Plainville, Forbidden Escape, behind the scenes at the venue on East Street.