Two and a half years ago, Dr. Amy Miller, professor of kinesiology, walked into her house on her birthday and, to her surprise, entered her very own escape room, created by her husband Jonathan Miller, adjunct professor of kinesiology. This was the beginning of the Miller family’s own business.
After getting inspiration from visiting other escape rooms, the couple decided to create their own. With his background in business and a master’s in entrepreneurship, Jonathan Miller leased out a space and began creating the first room.
“Me and my wife just got hooked on them. We love games, we love competition, we love the creativity behind it, and we just thought we should make our own,” said Jonathan Miller.
After months of creating the puzzles and decorating the rooms, Escape Games Riverside opened its doors in February 2017.
The concept of the game is simple: solve small and large interactive puzzles to unlock the doors. The game depends on team effort and to play off of each player’s strengths and weaknesses. Each team gets one hour to solve all the puzzles and get through the room.
There are two different rooms from which to choose: the Pirate Room and the Toy Room. The rooms are
decorated and decorated and the puzzles match the theme. Players can reserve the room they want ahead of time through the website or by calling ahead to pick a room.
“When I went, it was so much fun. The Toy Room actually includes three different rooms; each room is a new level to unlock by solving the puzzles, and then builds up as a whole,” said Chris Schulte, junior kinesiology major.
“It’s all one big puzzle but includes a bunch of smaller puzzles along the way in order to get the doors open. Each room was slightly individual but they were all connected as a whole,” Schulte said.
Selina Torres, sophomore film studies major, and a group of friends visited Escape Games Riverside without knowing the owners were connected to CBU.
After visiting the Escape room, students were surprised to see Amy and Jonathan Miller. The Millers are not just owners from a distance, but they also dress up and participate in the game itself.
“They’re really nice and even stayed in character with the theme of the room they were working. They were dressed up as pirates, which was cool,” Torres said.
The Pirate Room and the Toy Room are different in style, but both have a scary element to them, which only adds to the overall experience.
“I didn’t know what to expect, but I was kind of anxious at first. It was definitely creepy. Eventually, we figured out what we needed to do to solve the puzzles,” Torres said. “As a group, we worked really well. We built a connection and we were able to read each other’s minds throughout the whole process and we really bonded. The escape room was really fun. I loved it.”
Schulte and Torres both spoke highly of the Millers in part with CBU and with regard to their business.
“It was really cool to see them (at Escape Rooms Riverside) and just kind of ask them ,‘Hey what are you doing?’ and hear their side of it and how much they love it. You have to be pretty smart to do all that and Jonathan is just a genius,” Schulte said.
Since opening the escape rooms, popularity at their business has been booming. The Escape Games Riverside is located at 6700 Indiana Ave. Unit #235.