State College

State College’s first escape room opens for business

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.”

Escape rooms are becoming more popular across the country. Usually themed, they challenge players to decipher clues to either escape or complete a mission.

Family members take the challenge of escaping from a locked room within one hour at Escape Room KC.

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.

Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy