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Escape Room team create an online group game

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The entrepreneurs behind the escape rooms at Royal Naval Dockyard have launched a new socially-distanced online game for group play.

Nathan Swan, co-owner of Locked on the Rock with Iain Redford, said “High School Hijinks” is aimed at large groups as a way for work colleagues, friends, or family members to play a game together.

The “online escape room experience” sees participants trying to solve clues so that they can gain access to the staff portal of a school website “to try and resubmit the grades that you prefer your parents to see”.

Mr Swan said High School Hijinks was launched in April as a game for one to two players, but he and Mr Redford have figured out how to expand participation to groups who can split into teams and play in real time against each other.

He said the game, which can accommodate up to 100 people, is mainly geared to corporate groups for team-building.

Mr Swan added: “We have done one for RenRe already and it was a big success.”

He said: “We think we have created a pretty immersive and interesting game that captures the spirit and general feeling you get in an escape room, but in an online setting.”

Mr Swan said participants need a computer or laptop, internet connection, pen and paper, and time.

The game is played over the Zoom platform.

Mr Swan acts as a live game master, giving hints about how to access the coveted staff portal.

Locked on the Rock, launched in 2018, has developed three escape room games at Dockyard – Tucker Cross, Cup Match Hangover, and Casemates Escape.

Mr Swan and Mr Redford temporarily closed operations on March 1.

Mr Swan said: “Our reasoning was that we had a feeling that Covid was here already.

“Escape rooms are ripe for the spread of Covid – people pick up things in an enclosed space, and then someone else comes in 10 or 15 minutes later.

“We felt that it was the responsible thing to do.”

Locked on the Rock re-opened on July 1, and operated until about a week ago, when Mr Swan said the business stopped taking reservations.

The new online group version of High School Hijinks costs $10 to $15 per person to play, depending on the size of the group.

For more information, see www.lockedontherock.com.

Escape online: Nathan Swan, left, and Iain Redford have devised an online escape room experience that can be played by large groups. Here, they are in Locked on the Rock's Casemates Escape room (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)
High School Hijinks: An online escape room experience developed by Locked on the Rock (Image supplied)
Escape online: The new online escape game High School Hijinks is offered by Locked on the Rock (Image supplied)

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Published December 16, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated December 15, 2020 at 5:27 pm)

Escape Room team create an online group game

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