How would you break out of a darkened, locked room?
Canberra's first escape room game has just opened in Franklin - and you'll be able to test your ingenuity doing exactly that.
The Riddle Room is up and running and founders Chris Krajacic and Jesse Mount are ready to lock people into a room, forcing them to solve problems and find clues in order to get out in less than an hour.
"You've got 60 minutes to open locks, find keys, solve puzzles and do heaps of different things to progress through the storyline and find your way out," Mr Mount says.
Escape rooms - where people are locked into a specially designed room or a set of rooms and have to figure their way out through a series of puzzles, challenges and keys - are a relatively new form of adventure game.
But they've quickly become popular around the world, played by group of friends or as a team-building corporate exercise, and have elaborate themes and storylines.
The Riddle Room has a "nightmare fantasy" theme - dropping players into a fantasy world inside a woman's dreams, a little like a Gothic horror version of the movie Inception.
It came about after Mr Krajacic's partner Siobhan Hynes made him take part in an escape room game.
"I thought it was the greatest thing I'd done in forever," he says. "And we didn't have it in Canberra. I did heaps [of escape rooms] in Sydney and then came back and said, 'Jesse, we've got to open one in Canberra.'"
In June, Mr Mount, Mr Krajacic and Ms Hynes launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund the Riddle Room - aiming for $30,000 to create four escape rooms in Mitchell.
They didn't get enough funding to launch - they only raised about $5000 - but were determined to make the escape room into reality.
"In the end we decided to fund it ourselves," Mr Mount says. "We just started building it."
They built the prototype in Mr Krajacic's garage (the house is owned by his father, who didn't mind them constructing an escape room out the back) and designed all the challenges themselves.
Each challenge leads to a key or another clue, eventually leading you out of the Riddle Room and into freedom.
The Riddle Room is designed for groups of two to four people, and Mr Krajacic and Mr Mount recommend it for people aged over 16 (kids can participate but they must be accompanied by an adult). You have 60 minutes to complete the room and can receive clues and hints if you get stuck.
And if it all becomes too much, don't worry - you can always open an emergency exit and get out. Or you can stop the game at any time.
"But if you do leave it does count as a fail," Mr Krajacic says.
Your time starts now.
The Riddle Room is open now. Tickets $35-$39. See riddleroom.com.au