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IU alumni to open escape room in Bloomington



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Founders Kate and Alex Burch pose with a puzzle box they made. The Code and Key Escape Rooms is the new escape room located in Fountain Square Mall. Victor Gan Buy Photos

The new escape room opening in Bloomington, The Code and Key Escape Rooms, allows players to experience scenarios like recovering a stolen artifact or acquiring a top-secret encryption.

The Code and Key Escape Rooms are the creation of Alex and Kate Burch, a married couple and 2014 and 2015, IU graduates, respectively. 

The couple said they had been to a few escape rooms and found them interesting, so they decided to move back to Bloomington from Washington, D.C. to start their own. By their definition, an escape room is an interactive game.  

“It’s a lot about being in an immersive experience that is outside of your daily life,” Kate said. “It’s a lot like being in a movie.”

“You have a mission or goal of some kind,” Alex said. “Ours is actually not to escape the room but to complete the task you have been given, like finding confidential secret documents or to find something that has been stolen.”

They said the escape room experience spoke to a lot of their interests, like strategy games and group bonding activities. After experiencing a few rooms, they said they were able to identify things they found fun about the different rooms and incorporate them into their own designs.

The Escape Room will be located in Fountain Square Mall, and they said they are excited about the accessibility of the location.

“We are excited about that location because it is really close to downtown and walking distance from campus,” Kate said.

In hopes of attracting larger groups, the escape room is made for up to six people, they said. They will also be working on some mobile escape games, like puzzle boxes. 

“We will take these boxes to a location,” Kate said, “This way, a party or business can use them for team building.”

Alex and Kate said they have many dreams about how the room will affect the community, especially inter-generational groups.

“Different ages will notice different things,” Alex said. 

“You’re not going to take your grandma to laser tag, so this is an activity that is accessible for all ages,” Kate said.  

Kate and Alex said they think that there is not one type of person that is great at escape rooms because everyone processes them differently. The Code and Key Escape Rooms does not currently have a specific opening date, but the couple said they are hoping to have it ready in late September or early October.  

"There is so much to do in Bloomington, but we think puzzles and problem solving is great new way to connect people in a way that they have never been connected before," Alex said. 

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