Mattawa Museum feeling ‘A Need for Revenge’

·3 min read

The Mattawa Museum is hosting an escape room event beginning Friday, August 12th and running until the end of the museum’s season this fall. Groups of three or four people can book a time to partake by visiting the museum’s website, and if you have trouble with that, give the museum a call for help. Tickets are $20 per person, with a $20 deposit to reserve your time slot. If you show up on time, you will receive your deposit back. If you don’t complete the escape room, you will be locked in the museum’s basement forever.

Well, it isn’t that dramatic, and it’s far from life-threatening, although the stakes are high. Mostly bragging rights and feelings of accomplishment. Summer staff came up with the idea for the escape room— “Mattawa’s very first escape room experience!,” the event’s poster proudly declares—as a fundraiser for the museum. Alex Guscott and Mia Skelling made it all come to fruition, as both wrote the storyline and crafted the elaborate clues to guide players along.

An escape room brings a small group of players into a room and a host explains the story while offering a series of puzzles to solve. Clues are provided, and if players can progress, eventually they will win the game. Stories and situations vary, and Guscott and Skelling have cooked up something special for Mattawa players— “A Need for Revenge.”

The story goes like this: a local detective was found dead, and yes, foul play was involved. As his trusted colleague, you must investigate what happened, solve the murder of Mattawa’s most famous detective, and restore justice and order to the community.

A heavy mission, indeed, and organizers have spent weeks making sure this will be an escape room to remember. Guscott detailed how they’ve “created a room within a room” in the museum’s basement, that serves as the detective’s office. There are all types of nooks and drawers to investigate for clues, but one must have the proper key, and those can only be earned by solving riddles and puzzles.

“It’s an office space,” Skelling said, “but one made specifically for the escape room experience,” and the set was designed to put players in a crime-solving mood. The difficulty of the game is rated as “average,” both organizers reassured, and for those who don’t solve the case, the host will tell you where things went south in your investigation.

If all goes well with the event, there will be more to come. “I would really like that to be the case,” said Skelling, who enjoys the challenge of creating riveting puzzles for the game. But first, the case of the murdered detective must be solved before the two decide to compose another game for Mattawa sleuths to solve.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,