'Wow, Bundaberg needs this': new business offers a challenge
Bundaberg contenders of all ages are stepping up to take on a new challenge.
New local business Escape Grid is said to have left participants "buzzing" after putting their wits to the test in a unique escape room experience.
Owner Beth Scott said she came across the concept in early 2018 and after taking the time to research it she discovered a whole new world.
"I had no idea what escape rooms were but after looking into it I found people travel all around the globe for the experience and to rate them on a world register," Ms Scott said.
"Straight away I just thought 'wow - Bundaberg needs this' and thought it would be really wonderful for families and the tourism industry."
Going about to fulfil her dream Ms Scott imagined she'd be open within six months but that quickly turned into three years instead.
"When you're doing something creative it always takes way longer than you imagine it will plus you have to depend on other people, their time schedules and the right resources so it's a bit of a waiting game," she said.
"It took me a year to find the right premises and I signed a lease in May 2019 but now feels like the right time to open - after last year vanished I think people are keen to get out and do something different."
Featuring two escape rooms with the third set to open over the next few weeks Ms Scott gave the NewsMail a tour of the new premises but not wanting to spoil the surprise, what lies in each room remains a mystery.
"Some businesses have the same games in different countries but ours are not generic - they are totally original, unique and I can promise you that you will not find these grids or puzzles anywhere else in the world," Ms Scott said.
"We wrote all the scripts, built all of the rooms and designed all of the puzzles and props ourselves … all I can say is that it's like going into another world - we had people come through on Saturday night and they were just buzzing from the experience."
Overall the experience goes for an hour an a half which includes a briefing, the hour-long game, photos and a debrief.
Designed for groups participants will need to work together and combine their skillsets to complete many puzzles, unravel riddles, find clues and solve problems.
Suited to families, friends, schools, workplaces and events each game serves as a team building exercise and allows groups to debrief in the conference room afterwards.
"Everyone comes in with different abilities, skills and ways of approaching and seeing things so groups will need to work together and bounce off one another to crack the codes," Ms Scott said.
"The focus isn't to finish the game - it's more about enjoying the experience and then coming back to do it all over again so they can finish it.
"Even if people are highly skilled or do this all the time the Gold Mine is a very complex game so I'm not sure anyone would finish that within the hour but it's still so fulfilling."
Ms Scott said the more participants immerse themselves into the stories the better with the option to dress up in costumes and role-play.
Originating in Japan in 2004, Toshimitsu Takagi created the concept of a virtual escape room which came in the form of a video game.
Three years later Takao Kato took the idea a step further and developed the first real-life version.
Growing in popularity of the years the escape room trend expanded across Asia, Europe, the U.S. and Middle East before eventually arriving on Aussie shores.
Escape Grid plans to open its onsite art studio for regular workshops soon and is also working on developing a fourth escape room game.
The business is at 44 Princess St, Bundaberg East.
Ticket prices vary but becomes cheaper the larger the group is with a maximum capacity of eight people per session.
For opening hours and more information phone 0466 744 484 or book online at escapegrid.com.au