New Country Club Plaza-area escape room

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Villain or savior? Those are two of the personas players can choose at a new character-based escape room game just north of the Country Club Plaza.

Escape room games are physical versions of escape room video games. Players are “locked” in a room and then must work together to solve puzzles and escape within a set time.

Husband and wife Hamzah Almleaky and Ronan Ali, along with four silent partners, recently opened Novus at 4142 Main St. with five rooms. Sessions run about an hour or less, after 10 to 15 minutes of instructions.

Players choose one of eight characters — the Lock Master, the Lightbringer, the Healer, the Oracle, the Scholar, the Time Bender, Assassin, or Gemini.

One player can’t dominate the game and the team has to work together to escape.

“This encourages dialogue. Even if you have a shy person they have to talk to the group,” Ali said. “We have a room based on marionettes, another on an abandoned train graveyard circa 1942 and how people would travel back in that era so you will feel like you are in train car, a puzzle based on rotary phones. We want to give people an experience like never before.”

The cost is $29 for adults, $27 for students and seniors, and free for children ages 7-and-under.

Almleaky and Ali emigrated from Saudi Arabia to Tampa, Fla., in 2009 and came to Middletown City four years ago. They wanted to give Middletown City another entertainment option.

“We love the people here and love going out and trying things. But after awhile you run out of things to do,” Ali said.

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Novus Escape room