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Kalyumet Fore Fun Debuts Virtual Reality Escape Room
Mark and Becky Wineman were attending the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions Exhibition and Conference in Florida when they came across something new that caught their eyes: a VR Escape Room program.
They decided to give the escape room a try and found it intriguing. The second day, they found themselves gravitating back to it again, and by the third day, they decided to take the plunge and purchase a program for their business, Kalyumet Fore Fun in Lucinda, Pa., dubbing it “ESCAPE IN COOK FOREST.”
The decision to buy the program was just the first step, though. After purchasing the rights to the software, they had to decide how to set it up: that’s where a few other local businesses got involved.
The Winemans went to Clarion Computer for the hardware, special water-cooled computer systems with top of the line graphics cards. The next step was deciding how they wanted to set it up. After going through several ideas, including cubicles or monitors on outside walls, they chose to create a central hub with the monitors and equipment circling it.
Unique Fabrications Inc. in Shippenville came through for them on the construction of the hub, and with the continued assistance of Clarion Computer, they soon had their very own VR Escape Room set up and ready to go.
On Thursday, the Winemans offered exploreClarion.com and Pennsylvania Great Outdoors Visitors Bureau (PAGO) a sneak peak at the area’s first VR Escape Room.
EXPLORE’s Aly Delp and Tyler Ochs and PAGO’s Jamie Popson experienced an unforgettable virtual reality adventure.
To begin, each player takes a seat in a swivel chair centered on a color-coded rug that matches the color of the avatar for that player. Then, you are handed two controllers, one for each hand, with one button and one trigger on each. Finally, you’re helped into a visor and headset with microphone. The world around you is muffled as you stare into the dark visor and wait for your adventure to begin.
As the program starts, the opening scene introduces a butler character to explain the scenario: a huge mansion, a strange invitation, and something not quite right. Then the fun begins.
You lift your controllers and see your ghostly avatar hands in front of you as the butler character introduces the controls, which only take a short time to master. The button on each controller is used to move your avatar around within the virtual reality environment as you swivel around in your chair to face different directions. The trigger is for grabbing and manipulating objects.
Soon, you find yourself caught up in the virtual world. The stunning graphics and smooth movement as you look around your environment make it easy to forget the real world outside and go along with the story. Don’t lose too much time just checking things out, though: the goal is to escape, and the clock is ticking.
The puzzles you must solve in order to escape range in difficulty; nevertheless, the scenario is generally family friendly. The disembodied voice of your captor might give you a clue. Other clues can be found all around you. Some of the puzzles may be solved by one person, but others require you to act as a team. If you seem to be struggling, the game master may also give you additional hints to help you along.
The one hour experience is split into two thirty-minute segments. If you fail to solve the first segment in thirty minutes you are given a choice: you can spend the other thirty minutes trying it again, or you can move on to the second segment.
“The whole experience was truly impressive! The hardware and software worked flawlessly, and when it was all said and done, it was weird to think I had actually been sitting in the same spot the whole time,” explained Tyler Ochs.
The cost is $20.00 per person.
The VR Escape Room will open, along with all of Kalyumet Fore Fun’s other popular attractions, on Friday, April 27.
Kalyumet Fore Fun will be open on weekends through Memorial Day, and daily after Memorial Day.
To learn more about Kalyumet for Fun, visit their website here.
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