A new form of entertainment — and opportunity to beat the summer heat — that will test one's astuteness, shrewdness, acuity, and sharpness opens this weekend, as Dare 2 Escape prepares for its initial weekend.
Located at 201 E. Adams Suite B, co-owners Cookie Donahoo and Stephanie Coston have designed a trio of escape rooms for those willing to challenge their mental acumen.
“As a family we do them a lot of times when we go out to the larger cities and Stephanie tagged along with us a couple of times and decided she enjoyed it as well,” Donahoo said. “There's not really any that are close, so we decided why not bring it to Brown County?”
An escape room is a mental and physical adventure based game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints, and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. Players are given a limit of 60 minutes.
Two rooms — the Alcatraz warden's office and the dorm — are complete and the hope is the third room — the masquerade ball room — will be finished in time for Friday's opening.
Donahoo offered a brief description of each room.
• WARDEN'S OFFICE
“The objective in this office is your friend has been accused of a crime he didn't commit and has been sentenced to death,” Donahoo said. “You must find all the clues to help him escape and expose the warden for being cruel and corrupt.
“When they come in we'll turn on a video that will give them a brief synopsis of what's going on in the room and what your objective is. They'll be some sound effects that come on, so in this room it will sound kind of life a dungeon. You'll hear cells locking and keys rattling.
“There is an open clue in this room to get you started, so you have to find that. It's a linear room so one clue leads you to the next clue, which leads you to the next, so you don't have just a whole bunch of open clues and not know what to do with them.”
“In this room an undercover agent has been sent in to a university to expose an underground human trafficking ring,” Donahoo said. “Her identity has been exposed and she had to leave in a hurry for her own safety, so we've assembled all our top agents to bring her home safely. The first 60 minutes are imperative to solving anything like that.”
• MASQUERADE BALL ROOM
“The masquerade room will be done in the dark,” Donahoo said. “It's not completely dark, there will be a flickering chandelier and it has thunder and lightning behind it, , but it's pretty dim. Basically in this one you've been invited to the annual debutante masquerade ball and someone along the way gets murdered and it's your job to figure out who did it and find the murder weapon. It's kind of like a Clue-based mystery.”
Dare 2 Escape reservations can be made online at bookeo.com/d2escape. The cost is $12 per person plus tax, and hours are 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
“We don't recommend everyone come in at once,” Donahoo said. “It's better that you book your time so you're guaranteed your time slot. If they want to do one right after the other they absolutely can if it's open.”