Matlock’s leisure scene will get a bamboozling new addition this month when doors open to an escape rooms - then lock game players inside.
The Deception Escape Rooms has taken over a former retail space at 23 Firs Avenue, and promises a challenging adventure in which players must work together to solve clues and find their way out.
The business is a new venture for primary school teacher Sam Smith and her partner Tina Rogers.
Sam, 36, said: “We first came across the escape rooms concept while we were travelling in Australia.
“It really grabs you psychologically, and brings you into a different world. Once you’ve done one, you can’t stop, it’s addictive.”
The pair moved to Matlock from Yorkshire in March to be closer to family and dog-walking country, but also had an eye on the business potential.
Sam said: “We’ve wanted to start something for a while, and were looking for the right opportunity.
“The escape rooms was top of the list, but you need the perfect premises - and luckily this site became available so we decided to take the plunge.”
She added: “Hopefully the tourism trade will help it along. It’s something different for people to do while they explore the rest of the area.
“But I think it will be good for the residents too. Everyone we’ve spoken to about it so far has been quite excited, even if they didn’t have a clue what it was to start with.”
The first floor space was previously used as a bridalwear shop, so Sam and Tina have been hard at work converting and furnishing it.
Sam said: “It’s very satisfying putting it together. I can’t give too much away, but we’ve had a good time designing all the ideas, building things and sourcing all the props.”
Players can take part in teams of two to eight people, and choose from four escape experiences taking place within a single room or moving through them in sequence over the course of one hour.
Sam said: “One of the things we’ve loved about it when playing them in other places is that each room has its own theme and different challenges.
“One could be more of a physical test, others require more thought and strategy.”
She added: “There could be a scary one which frightens the pants off you, or it could be an adventure like a treasure hunt.
“The clues are the most important part in any game though, they underpin how much people will enjoy it. You have to build up the excitement as people make new discoveries.”
The business is officially opening on Saturday, October 28, but online bookings are already flooding in with games costing £20 per person.
To find out more, visit www.deceptionescaperooms.com or find them on Facebook @DeceptionEscapeRooms.