Perfect for any bachelorette party!
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
Hundreds of women flocked to Epic Escape on Granville Street to test their new terrifying escape room.
“We have Escape from Dracula’s Castle, Escape from Haunted Asylum, and Escape from the Plague,” Simon Hoppersien told Other Press reporters. “But this one really is the scariest of all. It’s Escape from a Man Who Has Kidnapped You and Probably Intends to Torture and Kill You and There Is Nothing You Can Do About It.”
Hoppersien, who helped to program the game, said he based it on the “harsh realities of human existence.”
“Most women live in fear for their safety and wellbeing,” he said. “I thought, why not capitalize on that?”
With the help of technology, the simulation takes women to a bar far from their neighbourhood in an area they don’t know very well. After a couple of drinks, players “wake up” in a trunk with their hands zip-tied behind their backs.
“The challenge is to escape the trunk before the kidnapper comes back,” Hoppersien says. “Players have an hour time limit, but in real life, they probably only have a scant handful of minutes before being assaulted by someone bigger than them.”
Hoppersien assured Other Press reporters that the game was fully immersive.
“Women are encouraged to wear as little clothing as possible to the escape room so that they can 100 percent feel that being kidnapped was their own fault,” he said. “And for a $5 fee, we can edit the kidnapper’s face to a picture of a friend or loved one that the player provides, as most attacks come from someone the victim knows.”
Reporters spoke to women who played the escape room for their reviews.
“I’ve been told my entire life to be careful of what I say, do, eat, drink, how I dress, who I smile at, how I walk down the street, and so much more,” Eliza Luppi told press. “Finally, I can channel all that fear into something that I feel like I’ve unjustly earned.”
“This is good practice for when I’m inevitably actually kidnapped,” Jessica Smythe said.
“When my friends and I got scared and asked to leave the room early, the staff said no and made us wait it out,” Jenny Blake said. “It really made us feel like we had no control over the situation, just like in a real assault. They really went the extra mile.”
What happens when men try the simulation? Reporters talked to Karl Senna, who tried the escape room for himself.
“It’s weird,” Senna said. “I went to the bar in the beginning, but instead of kidnapping me, the guy and I just talked at the bar for a really long time about the 76ers season and where we think the team is going to go next year. After an hour it ended and I just walked out of the room. He was a really cool guy. Wish he was real so we could really hang out.”