The pressure is on to pull off the heist.
State College’s first escape room opened Friday, and its inaugural game, Stealing Mona, turns players into international art thieves. Pittsburgh-based IQ Escape is the mastermind behind the group-building, problem-cracking experience, located at 278 W. Hamilton Ave. in the Hamilton Square Shopping Center.
Co-founder Eric Lloyd, a Penn State graduate, said in December that bringing the company’s second escape room to State College was a natural fit. His team had originally planned to open in December, but were delayed due to construction.
“State College is near-and-dear to my heart,” Lloyd said in December. “From 1920 until about 2014, the line of thinking was ‘alright well it’s dinner and a movie.’ We’re now providing an alternative to that, one that requires you to use your mind and engage with other individuals.”
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Escape rooms are becoming more popular across the country. Usually themed, they challenge players to decipher clues to either escape or complete a mission.
The State College room will feature two additional games, which are in the process of being built: Contagion and Time Shift. The former tasks players with stopping a deadly outbreak, while the latter imagines a world where time travel threatens existence. A fourth game, based off of the Lewis Carroll and Disney classic, “Alice in Wonderland,” is also planned for the location, Melissa Redman, a company administrative assistant, said.
According to IQ Escape’s website, two to 10 players can play a room at a time. Interested parties can book times through the location’s website.
While no hours have been posted, booking times range from 10:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m. on the weekends and 3:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. on weekdays.