CU Adventures offers unique escape rooms, prepares for new rooms in 2022

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Photo Courtesy of CU Adventures in Time & Space website

The exterior of CU Adventures in Time & Space is shown above. CU Adventures has several escape rooms to choose from currently and is launching a spaceship-themed escape room in 2022.

By Raina Kutliroff, Staff Writer

Located in Urbana, Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time & Space is an escape room with a unique twist. Instead of locking visitors in the rooms and challenging them to escape the room, visitors are told they need to “save the world” within an hour.

Owners of CU Adventures, Anne and Chris Lukeman, use their professional technology experience to create fully immersive escape room experiences where visitors feel like they are really in the scene.

“In a totally themed space (like a movie set!), players look for clues, solve puzzles, open secret doors and solve a final mystery to ‘save the world!’” Anne said. 

There are currently three rooms available for booking: The Wizard’s Curse, a medieval-themed room; Revenge of the Cabin, a horror-themed cabin in the woods; and Calling All Villains, a superhero-themed room. There are also virtual escape rooms available on their website.

“The C-U community is 100% the reason we live here and the reason a concept like CU Adventures can work,” Chris said. “The community is so supportive of what we do and really appreciate the creativity and effort we put into the games.” 

The owners are particularly grateful for the ability to keep their business alive during the pandemic.

“Our favorite part of being in the C-U area is that it’s large enough to have an awesome diverse community with lots of people doing really cool, interesting things, but small enough that you can actually get to know and work with the people who are doing all these cool things!” Anne said.

The owners explained their diligent process when designing an escape room. 

“Our design process is very holistic,” Anne said. “We don’t come up with the story first or puzzles first. We start with a genre and develop the story and the main puzzles at the same time.”

The Lukemans said it’s important the escape rooms make visitors truly feel immersed in the scene.

“We usually create an outline with a three-act structure (our background is in filmmaking), with clear ideas of what the general story is and what the more major puzzles and interactions will be as the players have through the space,” Anna said. 

Next, the designers walk around the space and determine what types of puzzles and fun can be added to the rooms. 

“There are just some things that you won’t think of until you’re standing where players will be standing,” Anna said. 

In addition to the physical and virtual escape rooms, CU Adventures has created escape T-shirts as part of their SOLVE OUR SHIRTS line. These T-shirts act as an escape room on a T-shirt with a wearable puzzle game, and people can use different details and aspects of the shirt to solve the puzzle. 

CU Adventures just released their newest T-shirt, a pirate-themed escape shirt called The Treasure Trove of Pirate Cove, now available in store or via their online shop. 

Next up for CU Adventures is their newest spaceship escape room set to be released in early 2022, and the owners said they couldn’t be more excited. 

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