Leeds welcomes ‘unique’ new escape game

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A new ‘escape room’ promising game show-style thrills and brain teasers is to open in Leeds this weekend.

The Great Escape launches on Saturday in premises at Atlas House on King Street. The concept has been created by enterpreneurs Hannah Duraid and Peter Lacole, who run a similar venture in Sheffield.

The three unique, fully-immersive escape rooms will be targeted at corporate clients for team bonding exercises as well as groups of friends looking for a fun activity.

The Great Escape is based on popular game show Crystal Maze, and fuses scenarios from horror movies and detective dramas with the challenges of live theatre and video games. The Sheffield site attracted 27,000 visitors in its first year, and it is hoped the Leeds site will top 50,000 players.

Sixteen new staff have already been taken on at the Leeds centre, and up to 40 could be employed as new rooms are added under ambitious expansion plans.

Managing director Hannah Duraid said:-

“This week sees the soft launch of our three amazing new games unique to the industry, which will bring the next level of immersive experience to Yorkshire. Created through hyper-realistic theming, these games take the puzzle room concept to a Hollywood level. Having studied games all over the UK, we believe we have created one of the most technologically advanced escape games in the country. The room hosts amongst our fantastic new staff are excited to share their passion for these games with our customers.”

One room, King Arthur’s Secret, is a journey back in time, where players must reveal the secrets hidden deep inside King Arthur’s castle. Underworld is a conspiracy game spanning 1,000 years which promises fast-paced action for adrenaline junkies, and The Devil’s Playground focuses on torments, traps and trickery as players confront the Devil himself.

Later in October, a bar and corporate room will open and nine more games will also be added to the 6,000-sq.ft former office site.

Peter and Hannah discovered the exit room phenomenon while travelling around Asia, where the concept originally evolved.

“We have come through our first year in profit, which is being ploughed back into the business, and our aim now is to expand. Leeds was the obvious choice as it already has two escape games and understands the concept, plus we are in the Leeds Entrepreneurial Spark hatchery - part of the globally-run free growth accelerator programme,” added Hannah.

Discount tickets are available for the launch until October 7. Visit www.thegreatescapegame.co.uk/leeds.

Gary Barlow

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