TAMPA — Interactive escape rooms where guests have to discover clues, solve puzzles and use critical thinking skills to escape themed rooms in 60 minutes have been sprouting up all over the world.
Originating in Japan, they quickly became popular in Southeast Asia, Europe and the United States. Here in Tampa, it's no exception.
In February, the Great Escape Room set up shop in downtown, followed by September's opening of Rabbit Hole Escape Games in Seminole Heights.
Later this month 4536 W Kennedy Blvd. will be the home of the latest concept to come to town, Escape Countdown.
CEO of Houdini Partner Group, Brent Alexander traveled to 12 countries and played more than 50 games, conducting research for his new business.
"Last summer my family and I took a trip through Southeast Asia and stumbled across it," Alexander said. "I have two kids, and it can be difficult to bond sometimes, but we were able to come together as a family and accomplish one goal."
After the great family experience, Alexander decided to share it with the community.
"I think people are yearning for real live experiences with real people," Alexander said.
Escape Countdown will initially feature two themed rooms, Mad Hatter and Jail Break.
"Our goal is really to go off the environment," Alexander said. "For that one hour time that you have with us, forget about work, bills and whatever is bothering you," Alexander said of the realistic set designs.
Alexander is developing a spaceship-themed room for the future. "We want to be more than just a room with four walls. We want to transport guests to a new place."
A soft opening is scheduled this month. For more information visit, escapecountdown.com.