Kutztown’s newest attraction won’t just have patrons racing to the doors to get in; it will have them racing to get out.
Escape Kutztown, to be opened at 13 E. Main Street Oct. 11, will be the first escape room established in Kutztown. The project is headed by Gary English, along with his father, Bob Trotta.
“An escape room is a live-action game, much like computer-based games where you enter a room and suddenly you’re trapped, and you have to find clues and answer puzzles in order to get to the next step,” English said, adding that the end goal is to successfully move through each room “to get all the way out.”
English’s version of the escape room will consist of three interconnected rooms centered around the theme of a laboratory. Players will rely on problem-solving and teamwork to complete puzzles and challenges to move from one room to the next.
“A lot of escape rooms today are very high-tech,” said English. “They have lots of flashing lights, sounds, and electronics, but this is very low-tech. It’s where you use your mind.”
After being plunged into near darkness in the laboratory, players will have one hour to move through the rooms, collecting clues and unlocking doors with the goal of unlocking the final door before time expires. Video and audio recording will be used to document the participants’ activity, and walkie talkies will be available to communicate with the directors. Players will have three free hints available upon request, but after these have been expended, additional questions will count against time to escape.
The project has been in progress for a few months.
“My dad and I started doing some escape rooms and we fell in love with them,” English said. “This is really just a work from the heart. My dad and I sat down and figured out puzzles and we decided to do something different.”
While the target audience is high school and college students, Trotta assured that the game is a fun time for anyone who chooses to participate.
“This is designed for you to sit down, have fun, and relax with your friends,” said English.
English’s escape room will currently share space in the same building with Shuto Karate Club, Trotta’s karate school.
“The front of the business is my dad’s dojo,” said English. “We just shortened it in half so that we could use the back portion of it. We decided that if people like it and it becomes more than just a hobby, we’re going to expand into another building and then we have ideas for several more rooms.”
Scheduled to open Oct. 11, English’s goal is to see if people like it and to “just have to little bit of fun.”
Escape Kutztown is located at 13 E. Main Street in Kutztown. The event accommodates from four to six people per showing, and groups can opt to reserve an entire showing for themselves. Bookings are being accepted now. Showings will be up to four per week night, and daytime showings are scheduled for weekends.
Visit escapekutztown.com or call 484-648-0225 for more information.