Mysterium Escape Adventure Offers Glimpse Into The Sci-Fi World As New Rooms Loom | New
Editor’s Note: This article is one of a series highlighting day trips in and around the High Country for community members to enjoy.
BOONE – It’s a situation straight out of a sci-fi movie: the world is held hostage by a super villain wielding weapons of global destruction.
The world superpowers had an hour to surrender or risk world destruction. But luckily, US intelligence has captured the villain.
In a final attempt to break down the villain, the United States is implementing a dangerous new experimental technology called The Omega Device – a metaphasic nanite fusion process that allows a team to project themselves deep into the villain’s psyche and d ‘try to find the stop. codes without getting lost.
This is the current theme of Mysterium Escape Adventure’s “The Omega Device” escape room on King Street in Boone. In the escape room, teams of up to eight people have an hour to complete various puzzles that reveal clues about the next step to eventually escape the room. Each team is entitled to up to three clues throughout the attempt if they need to.
The Omega Device Room has a success rate of around 60%, according to owner Shaun Cardwell.
Cardwell started Mysterium from scratch about five years ago and is not part of a franchise. He went to his first escape room in Charlotte and said he was hooked.
“It was really cool,” Cardwell said. “Really nothing else like that. So that’s really what got me hooked. After that, I was determined to do it myself.
Cardwell designs and builds his escape rooms himself. He said he had a notebook with all of his ideas for a topic that came to his mind.
“My rooms are kind of like a movie or a book or something,” Cardwell said. “The storylines progress as you work your way through the room, and there is always a conclusion to the story whether you pull it off or not.
The Omega device is the only part currently in service in Mysterium. Cardwell said he had another theme in the works that he was passionate about.
While he does not yet have an exact timeline for when it will open, Cardwell is hoping to eventually open the Vice Miami multi-room escape room.
“It’s going to be a very cool, stylish and fun detective story,” Cardwell said. “You are basically vice-detectives in the 1980s in Miami. You’ve been charged with murder and there’s a mole in the department.
Duties that people have to perform include finding the mole in the police department and clearing their name from the murder charge.
“Through it all, there’s like that kind of eccentric drug lord from the ’80s that you put into some kind of injection surgery,” Cardwell said. “I have some really cool clues and puzzles and stuff like that.”
Cardwell has said he can fit at least four escape rooms in the building he currently occupies. Previously, Mysterium was in a smaller building – next to what is now the Ransom Pub restaurant – where he could only operate one escape room at a time. It opened in the current space in December.
Despite the pandemic, Cardwell said business was fairly stable. It was at a lower capacity to allow time to clean the room after each team attempted it.
Any age is allowed to use the escape room, but those under 18 must be accompanied by an adult. Cardwell said he involved people of all ages in the escape room.
“I think anyone can go out there and enjoy it,” Cardwell said.
Mysterium only allows repeat players to participate a second time if they book the entire room or a private room. For example, a group of three with repeat players should reserve the entire room making sure that no first-time group can book and enter with them.
Tickets for Mysterium Escape Adventure, located at 737 West King St., cost $ 25 per person or $ 20 for students. Mysterium is open Thursday through Saturday from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. People can come in to see if there is a time slot available, but Cardwell said booking a time slot is the best chance of making sure a spot is available.