KAMLOOPS - You and three friends enter a parlour decorated with antiques and cat-themed trinkets. The door closes behind you, the clock starts and you hear the voice of a lady named Margaret. She tells you she has an estate, and the clues leading to her fortune are in the very room you’re standing in.
For a moment you’re in a small world with one main goal. You have to solve the puzzles with your group to achieve it. If you don’t find the fortune in time, it goes to Margaret’s cats.
Perplexed Puzzles, similar in concept to Exit in Kelowna and part of a growing national trend in games for adults, is the latest entertainment stop to hit Kamloops. Margaret’s parlour is actually in a storefront downtown and the dozens of riddles are designed to keep you on your toes for 45 minutes while your group works together to scour the room for clues and, hopefully, treasure.
“Everything that’s not bolted down is fair game,” owner Katie McArthur says. “You have to complete a sequence until you get to the next step."
Because of the number of clues in the room, McArthur requested no pictures of the parlour.
The room is obviously fake, but the cat-lady character Margaret isn’t.
“My great-auntie Marge passed away recently. She left her estate to her cats. So, that’s legit. She was a widow and she didn’t want to leave it (the money) to family which is cool in my books so her ten cats get a large portion to get taken care of. Power to ya, leave it to who you want,” McArthur says with a laugh.
McArthur developed Perplexed with her brother after tiring of a corporate career. The two sat down with some drinks and created the puzzle sequence blueprint.
“You have a few drinks and you sit in a circle and you talk it through. I came up with the theme and the ideas and we talked about making the puzzles. I’ll be completely honest… this puzzle room was 100 times harder in the beginning and we learned that because we think something is easy doesn’t mean that it is,” she says.
Margaret’s parlour is one of two rooms at Perplexed. The second, which is still in construction, will be called Bob’s Bunker. The theme is Bob, a creepy man who lives in the woods with no friends, tries to keep you in his home.
Because the walls are interlocking, McArthur says she plans to have different rooms in the future, or maybe even take the show on the road.
“We might pack it up, clean out the interiors and create more games for here. It all depends on the excitement level we get from Kamloops,” she says.
McArthur says the fun can be for groups of friends, families or corporate team-building. The age demographic is 24 to 35. Even though a group of two can take on the room, McArthur found out the group of four works best after getting couples to test the room.
“Spend the time being a team working together. If you follow the sequence (of the puzzles) you’re gonna be just fine,” she says.
The location at 290 Lansdowne by the Scoopz ice cream shop hopes to open tomorrow, July 17 with the hours of 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends. For more information on the location or how to book your visit, follow Perplexed Puzzles on Facebook or go to www.perplexedpuzzles.com.
Perplexed Puzzles co-owner Katie McArthur and her daughter Alexandra
(GLYNN BROTHEN /InfoTel Multimedia)
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