'I couldn't shut my brain off': 16-year-old creates interactive escape room in family's basement
HEIDELBERG -- The C.I.A. have discovered a bomb and only rookie agent Logan can de-active it – and he needs your help.
That's the premise of a basement escape room created by 16-year-old Logan Brideau, who channelled his ingenuity into creating a giant virtual puzzle for friends and family to explore.
"I couldn't really shut my brain off so it turned from a little puzzle box to a whole escape room," said the Heidelberg teenager. "It took about two to three months but most of what I did was over the March break."
Unlike a traditional escape room where players are physically present, Brideau uses Zoom to walk players through the game.
For the game's focal point, the Grade 11 student transformed an older dresser and even automated some of the steps using magnets, locks and a bit of math.
"A bunch of the stuff is hardwired but I am learning some more programming now," Brideau said. "The main bomb in that game was programmed to count down and then beep when the time was up."
And what started as a hobby could turn into a career for the budding puzzle master. Inspiration for the interactive game from the teenager's part-time job at KW Escape, an escape room business in the region.
"It's obviously for fun and it filled my time, but I am also looking at some programs at Conestoga (College) for electrical engineering," Brideau said. "That's kind of what I am thinking I want to go into."
Those who have experienced the escape room are singing its praises.
"It's bringing his community closer together even though no one is together physically," said Tim Brideau, Logan's father.
"I honestly was so impressed with how difficult he was able to make it and also how he made it work, for him to kind of be your eyes and your hands," said Abbey Ringrose, who played the game. "I loved it. I know how creative Logan is and it totally exceeded expectations. So professional and so much fun."