Escape Rooms are an exciting and challenging real life experience that enables small groups of people to use clues within and sometimes beyond the room to solve puzzles that allow them to escape the room.
Xcapade is the first suite of escape rooms in Australia to have linked all their game rooms together with an exciting, coherent theme, like blockbuster movies. Each room is uniquely different in its puzzles and decoration but are linked by the same intriguing story.
We had a chance to speak with Xcapade founders Nick and Benson, who are partners in both business and life.
Xcapade offers a unique thought provoking experience for its participants. How did the idea of building escape rooms come about?
Escape Rooms have been around for 4-5 years and we first heard about it 4 years ago, when we went back to Malaysia for a holiday. I’d been told about escape room and I was eagerly wanting to try them, whilst Nick, being a typical grumpy old man, thought the whole idea of paying someone to get locked up was absurd. A year later, we had another chance of going back to Malaysia and this time. Nick agreed to come with me for the experience, and oh boy, he had one of the best experiences of his life getting locked up. On our way back to Melbourne, he was talking nonstop about opening up an escape room in Melbourne. After a year of planning, we finally opened the doors to the public, and we’ve now been offering fun escapes for the past two years.
What kind of different escape room experiences do you offer at Xcapade?
Escape Rooms around the world including those in Australia, usually have a theme or story behind each room. Our three rooms have similar types of puzzles, but the thing that we do that is a little different compared to other escape rooms around us is that we linked our story across all three rooms. So it’s like watching a movie where you get immersed in a big story arc, and you get to experience how Sherlock outsmarts Frankenstein and defeats a secret department of ASIO.
Both Nick and yourself (Benson) are partners in your personal life, as well as business. What inspired you to start Xcapade together?
Nick was on the verge of semi-retirement, but he says I presented him with the sort challenges that helped keep him young(!) and he was looking for a fun thing to do with his leisure time and I really wanted to work for myself. So, since his overnight conversion to a puzzle solver and creator (he designed the rooms and puzzles), we went ahead with our rooms.
What was it that drew you and your business to GLOBE?
We first heard about GLOBE on Joy radio earlier this year and we decided to be part of the network and offer something back to the LGBTI community.
What does the future hold for Xcapade?
We are different to many traditional businesses. Once a customer has completed all of our rooms, they won’t be back until we have something new to offer, so we will be retiring the rooms one by one, and are already designing new games. So when the time is right, we will expand our business and be one of the top escape rooms in Melbourne.
We are also looking at getting a limited Liquor Licence and are planning that one night a week be devoted to a new concept, ‘Great Gay Escapes’ where people, not necessarily known to each other, join together to solve puzzles and escape into a fun night. We will be promoting this event at Midsumma 2018.