When the door locked behind them, Liz Noland, of South Bend, and the rest of her family of 10 began to comb the parlor for any semblance of a clue.
Liz and Audrey Miller, of Goshen, start their search near a set of antique chairs facing a fireplace. Outside the room, co-founder for Michiana Escapes Aaron Smith watches the family on a monitor. He sends them a message: “good luck,” which appears on a screen in the parlor.
Aaron likens the escape room concept to a live game of Clue without any murder mystery. The game has interested many at the Tippecanoe Place, located at 620 West Washington St. in South Bend, since it first opened in July.
“Our first weekend was a complete sellout,” Aaron says. “On Saturday we opened up two more (spots for players) —
a 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., because there was so much demand.”
Today, Tippecanoe Place serves as a restaurant and events venue. Despite the building’s antique architecture, it can be easy to forget the history that enshrouds the four-story mansion. But behind the closed door, where Liz and her family search for clues, time has not changed a thing. It is 1933 and the parlor is set for guests. Only this evening, they are quite unexpected.
Aaron and co-founder Matt Herm take players back to this time, and with a little fact and fable — create a game story that hinges one man’s business and one man’s home on the brink of ruin.
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