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CSI: Wabash coming to Chapman's

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TEST RUN: Friends of Michael Rigney take the first look at CSI:Wabash, a crime-solving game in conjuction with Escape Hour Wabash that will make its first appearance at Chapman’s Brewing Company this weekend.
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Escape Hour: located at1020 N. Cass St. in Wabash.

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@wabashplaindealer.com

This weekend at Chapman’s Brewery Company, curious crime solvers will have 30 minutes to figure out who the killer is in a CSI-style mystery put on by Escape Hour.

High school teachers Michael and Amanda Rigney opened Escape Hour on North Cass Street, just north of Ninja Express, in May 2017. Michael Rigney said they’d always wanted to own a business together and, after experiencing an escape room in Fort Wayne, the new puzzle game phenomenon seemed like the perfect opportunity.

“It’s just something different that we really enjoy,” he said. “It’s a lot better than going to the movies and sitting there for two hours.”

Escape Hour features three themed rooms, a sheriff’s western theme in which players must solve riddles to open doors and rescue a damsel, a pirate’s ship with the ultimate test for those worthy of Blackbeard’s crew, and Charley Creek Asylum, a crowd favorite making its final appearance this weekend before being renovated into a haunted doll factory.

While all of Rigney’s stories so far have been hosted in-house, the 30-minute CSI: Wabash game headed for Chapman’s this weekend is his first run of a portable escape game. Rather than trying to get out of a room, though, participants will read documents and run tests on evidence to discover the killer.

Rigney said Escape Hour stands out from other escape rooms with its low admission fee, “possibly the lowest in the state” at $15-$20 a person, and no group requirements for puzzle rooms. He said a common practice in other escape games is to pair a small group with others to fill the room, meaning they can charge small groups extra for the unfilled spots if they want to solve a room without strangers.

Rigney avoids that in Escape Hour. In the three rooms that he offers he allows any number of people to join in and complete the puzzle stranger-free at no extra charge.

This Saturday will be the first time Rigney deploys a portable game. Because he and his wife teach during the daytime, he said he feels he’s missing the opportunity to do team building activities with businesses. If the CSI game goes well on Saturday, he said he’d be interested in offering it more widely.

There are nine time slots open for the CSI game at Chapman’s on Saturday from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Admission is $10 a person and is designed to play with four to six people. Times can be reserved for the special event or for future visits to Escape Hour at EscapeHourWabash.com. Rigney also has special offers and opportunities to test run new rooms and games on the Escape Hour Facebook page.