Local escape room to offer virtual experience at home

Escape the room virtually?

Sarita Patel

With COVID-19 guidelines urging people to stay home when they can, one local business is trying to meet their customers there, virtually. 

Xperience Kelowna has unveiled the province’s first online escape room where up to six players can play from the comfort of their own home.

Jimmy Tan, owner of Xperience Kelowna, says he's been trying to figure out a way for the public to enjoy games such as escape rooms from home.

The new virtual game has videos, pictures and sounds where you and up to six friends can interact with the game master to escape the virtual room. 

He says they have used 360-degree imaging to re-create one of their local escape rooms, "so that people can play this game with their friends and families. You can play with someone from Nova Scotia or Vancouver at the same time."

“You can actually play with people that you don’t really see in real life, even when there’s no COVID.”

Tan says their physical location in Kelowna was hit hard during the start of the pandemic and closed, but have since reopened at a reduced capacity. 

“We did a lot of the COVID measures and illuminated a lot of the interactions which is a deterioration I would say in terms of gameplay,” he adds, referring to the in-person experience.  

The virtual room will see the business offer a different puzzle every month and uses Zoom screen sharing to allow players to work together to escape. 

We will play a video story for you, so each room will have its own story as well. Once all of that is done, the game master will keep silence and you will start the game with your friends," adds Tan. 

There is a one-hour limit and you can request hints from the game master who will be on the live-stream monitoring the game.

Xperience Kelowna will remain open throughout the Christmas season barring any government-mandated closures. The new online game will be released on Dec. 1, but bookings are now open. 

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