Tempe's ASU-themed escape room is adding fall-themed thrills to the puzzle rooms in celebration of its one year anniversary.
Located on the corner of University and Dorsey, Inferno Escape Room offers unconventional puzzles that capture ASU's culture. Its "haunted" room is expected to open in October before Halloween.
ASU alumnus, Kris Young, said he used his gaming knowledge to help with the day-to-day operations of Inferno since its opening date.
Young said the fourth room will be centered around Halloween by using candy and wrappers in the puzzle, as well as one-way mirrors to uncover clues in a festive way.
At Inferno, Young is responsible for facilitating group games and ensuring business runs smoothly. Young said part of the fun is the creative freedom he gets with the space.
The Halloween-themed room will not be scary but rather “super silly,” Young said.
"It's very much just all stagecraft," Young said.
Young said he has spent a significant amount of time working to understand the technology behind escape rooms in order to create new and innovative ideas within the space.
“The (escape room) has not been set up the ‘standard way’ for a couple of months now," Young said. "I’ve been experimenting on customers."
Before the Halloween-themed addition, Inferno offered three different escape room games with references to ASU throughout the building. From posters to stadium seats, Inferno’s ASU roots are loud and proud.
Jackie Moats, owner of Inferno, started the escape room out of a genuine passion for puzzles and mystery.
Inferno’s grand opening event in the fall of 2018 offered two-game choices. Since then, the business has expanded to offer a third room: the "Lit" Room.
Inferno has become most well-known for the “Lit” themed room. With a storyline that Moats developed, players try to piece together what happened the night before.
Lit has become Inferno’s signature and includes many nods to Tempe.
ASU Alumnus, James Gibbins, has visited Inferno twice since its opening.
“'Lit was something my friends and I were still talking about months later,” Gibbins said.
For Moats, the name is not only an ode to ASU, but a symbol that “the heat is on” when you are in the room.
Inferno’s rooms are centered around communication and working together as a team rather than brains, brawn or scare factor, Moats said.
Inferno strives to dispel myths about escape rooms daily. For example, participants will never be locked inside the room, rather, players work together to complete objectives and no room will ever have a scare factor.
The escape room creates an environment that fosters team building and communication.
Moats' inspiration for Inferno came from a desire to give people new experiences.
“Inferno is a different way for (people) to spend quality time with their friends and family," Moats said. "With an escape room, it is like you are really bonding around doing this activity together and working as a team.”