Much of that work happens in a suburban garage, where Nir Chezrony, the brains behind Enigma Productions, hefts a four-foot-long pole that's been threaded through ten wooden dials -- once complete, these will serve as tumblers for a supersized cryptex.
"We are building, essentially, a giant combination lock," Chezrony says, describing what he calls the "master piece" of Trapped: A St. Louis Room Escape Volume 4, which will run May 27 to June 7.
For more than a year, Chezrony, an engineer, and his partners -- two fellow engineers and a high school English teacher -- have enjoyed notoriety as St. Louis' only room escape operation. To date, more than 600 people have tried tackling Chezrony's devious mind traps, aiming to escape a locked room before the time limit expires. That number is set to grow significantly with Enigma Productions' latest venture: selling custom escape room designs at thousands of dollars a pop.
"I've had people contact me from around the world," Chezrony says. "Australia, British Columbia, England, Spain, Egypt, Greece. What we're finding is no else has these kinds elements that we're doing."More »