By Janee Law
In the peaceful hamlet of Northport Village lies a space filled with wonder and excitement, CryptIQ Inc. Those who venture to it can exercise their skills and race against the clock to escape the room.
Owners Kelly and Jim Clark have been playing room escape games for the past four years and enjoyed it so much that they decided to open up their own place in June 2015.
“A whole bunch of things fell into place, we found a space on Main Street, we built a website, we designed all the puzzles, we outfitted the room with a set design and then people came,” Kelly Clark, 47, of Northport, said. “They’re clamoring for more different themes and more different puzzles and we’re just trying to keep up with all that.”
Located at 256 Main St. in Northport Village, the room escape experience is part scavenger hunt, race, riddle and mystery game that requires teams to solve the puzzle in a time limit of 60 minutes in order to escape the room.
With a variety of themes throughout the year, Clark said its current theme is grandma’s basement.
“You go into the room and you have to rummage through grandma’s basement, solving a series of puzzles, looking for keys and combinations that will ultimately lead you to find her will, and then find the key to escape,” she said. “You’re doing all that under pressure of the time crunch to accomplish your goal.”
The game can be played by a minimum of six people and a maximum of 10, starting from age 12 and up. Groups with children ages 12-15 must be accompanied with an adult. All reservations can be made online through the website, where tickets are sold at $25 per person.
Clark said the inspiration for the set design comes from her husband, who works tirelessly in creating each theme.
“We come up with a unique theme and all the puzzles are based on that,” Clark said, adding that they are not a franchise. “This is all original and you won’t find these puzzles anywhere else.”
Along with not being a franchise, Clark said they also stand out because of the location.
“We were able to find a space on Main Street, which we think makes us different than a lot of other room escapes that are popping up now,” she said. “When people come by, they can also walk around, shop, and go to dinner or lunch, so I think we’re delivering a whole experience for them. We’re bringing a new business to our town and adding to the ambiance of Northport.”
While operating the family, friendly experience, Clark said she enjoys getting people involved in the game and watching people laugh.
“The room escape concept it is so much fun and to be able to bring it to the people in Northport, it’s been a blast,” she said. “This is a good experience and it’s a lot of fun to share our enthusiasm for this game with more and more new players.”