It’s no secret that the husband and wife team of Marc and April Simmons love puzzles but, in February, they tackled their biggest puzzle yet: opening a small business.

Enter The Escapery.

“We’ve always wanted to open our own business and Marc loves escape rooms, so some of our friends encouraged us to create our own,” April said.

With Marc being a civil engineer educated at Georgia Institute of Technology, he had a natural knack and talent for creating devices and puzzles, so they created a puzzle room in the basement of their Marietta home and welcomed friends and neighbors over to try it.

“They loved it and we had so much fun creating our own puzzles, story lines and devices, and escape rooms are huge right now, so we thought this was the perfect business to start,” April added.

After two years of being a stay-at-home mother and Marc’s active career in road construction engineering, it was the right time to start The Escapery.

“I’ve always loved video games, board games, escape rooms … I’m a big nerd,” Marc said, with a laugh.

Although the puzzle is complicated, the concept is simple. Without giving away too many secrets, here is the key: a team of no less than two and no more than seven people start their journey in a small foyer room, where they are given clues and have to solve the puzzle in order to enter into the next room. In that room, clues and puzzles abound, and each have to be solved before entering the next room, which holds one last puzzle in order to conquer The Escapery. The entire puzzle has to be solved in under an hour, a feat which only 40 percent of participants have accomplished, April said. There is only one game to be played at The Escapery so far, although Marc said they are constantly tweaking and changing some of the puzzles to make them better so even return visitors can have a new experience.

“Even if people don’t win, it’s a really fun experience, and it’s so fun to see how excited they are when they leave and when we talk those through who didn’t win, and explain what they missed or how the puzzles they missed could have been solved,” April said.

The Escapery is also different from other escape room businesses as the Simmons create their own puzzles and devices, whereas others are chains or franchises who buy puzzles in bulk and ship the devices and props to their buildings. April said she and Marc also create their own story lines and love the personal interaction they have with participants after they finish a puzzle the duo personally created.

Jeremy Ledbetter of Marietta played The Escapery with the U40 group out of the Kiwanis Club of Marietta recently and said he also liked that it was an adventure and exploration to reach a goal rather than a typical escape room, which may feed on fear and make people feel as if they are “locked in” and cannot get out until the puzzle is solved. Cassi Costoulas of Marietta, who played the puzzle with Ledbetter and others from U40, agreed.

“It’s such a rush. Everyone’s jazzed up when they leave and it really is just so much fun,” Costoulas said.

The Escapery is at 1349 Old 41 Highway, Suite 235 in Marietta near the Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield. The cost to play is $28 per person plus taxes, although there are group rates available for corporate outings, birthday parties and others. The Escapery also hosts free game nights with board games and other free events where participants are allowed to bring their own food and drinks.

It is also ranked No. 1 on Trip Advisor for fun and games in Marietta.

For more information, visit theescapery.com.

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