12:00PM, Thursday 11 January 2018
Shane Burke with Advertiser pirates Tara O’Connor, Grace Witherden, Will Taylor, James Preston and Luke Matthews just before Christmas.
Trapped in a room with only one way out will sound like a nightmare for many but that is the premise behind Maidenhead’s newest attraction.
Deep in the Magnet Leisure Centre is the home of Escape 3600.
The pirate-themed escape room is the brainchild of Shane Burke, of Priors Way, Holyport.
The 42-year-old has worked at the leisure centre for 25 years, where he is now duty manager.
In the ‘shack’, made from about 30 wooden pallets, would-be pirates are led into the room and given an hour to work out how to escape.
A team from the Advertiser tried out the attraction and managed to make it out of the room with a bit of help.
The session starts with a video and a talking parrot before the group is shut in the room.
The dim lighting sets the mood, as does the skeleton of a pirate sitting at a desk, and the clock is ticking.
Finding the first clue is the hardest but once we get into the swing of it the clues add up and, eventually, we are bursting out of the room.
It was after completing another escape room that Shane ‘got the bug’ and decided to create his own. He spent three months building his escape room from scratch whenever he was not working.
The born-and-bred Maidonian said: “I came up with the idea after being introduced to it by a friend.
“Having played a few I thought I could do a better job. I started with a pirate theme because my five-year-old Harry is pirate mad.”
Shane also has a one-year-old daughter with wife Andrea, who was among the first to try it out, with family and friends.
Shane said: “Everyone that has played it so far has absolutely loved it.
“It is completely new and unique to Maidenhead – there is nothing like it locally.
“There are a few escape room enthusiasts who have come to try it out.
“I originally set out for it to be age 14 plus but I realised that is such a family fun game to play.”
For younger players some helpful hints can be given during the game.
At the moment Shane runs the experience single-handedly alongside his job at the Magnet.
“I would love it if eventually it could be my full-time job,” he added.
Shane said Escape 3600 will run for about two years before the Magnet’s proposed move to Braywick Park.
At that point he would look for a new site and create a new escape room with a different theme.
Escape 3600 had a soft launch before Christmas and is now open for business. Visit www.escape3600.com for more details.
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