Escape rooms come to C-U this October with C-U Adventures


Mark Snider

Upon walking into the first escape room at Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space, teams will notice the professor’s typewriter and copy of “Hidden Treasures in Literature; Book One.” C-U Adventures challenges players to “save the world.”

By Mark Snider


Local filmmakers Chris and Anne Lukeman bring scenarios like these to life at their new business, Champaign-Urbana Adventures in Time and Space.MD Located in downtown Urbana at 123 W. Main St., C-U Adventures is bringing the escape room phenomenon to the area this October.

Escape rooms are a real-life gaming experience, and the industry has seen rapid growth since 2012. Teams of players have 60 minutes to find clues, open secret doors and find a way to escape to “save the world.”

“The (escape rooms) are essentially a movie without the cameras and a theater without the actors,” Chris said.

Teams of two to eight players fill those roles by searching for clues, doors and rooms. The players are immersed in a “movie-like” experience and must use critical thinking, teamwork, communication and wit to succeed. The team pieces the information it finds together to solve the puzzles, and ultimately, the main mystery.

According to Chris and Anne Lukeman, C-U adventures aims to provide an experience with an exciting story line and challenging puzzles.

“In a post-internet world, people spend so much time in front of their smartphones, computers, consoles and TVs right now,” Anne said. “People are craving tactile, real-life experiences where they physically interact with the gaming environment.”

The first escape room is titled “Office Hours.” The escape room theme is set in the 1930s, and students must investigate the supernatural death of their professor.

Chris Lukeman describes the room as, “Indiana Jones meets H.P. Lovecraft, with a bit of the ‘90s TV show, ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ for good measure.”

Last weekend, Pat East, University alumnus, tested out this escape room.

“It was thrilling to feel fully immersed in the puzzles and working with a team to solve them,” East said.

The owners said that the rooms will change throughout the year to offer new challenges. Plans for future rooms include a horror, medieval and spaceship-themed room.

Those interested in trying out C-U adventures will be able to reserve a time slot at, once booking goes live.

“The most exciting thing about starting it (in Champaign-Urbana) is not only being located by University of Illinois and the young student body, but also the technology connections so we can create more interesting puzzles for the future,” Chris Lukeman said.

[email protected]