If you like puzzles and brain-teasers, experiencing an escape room is probably right up your alley.
Downtown business, 4th Dimension Escape Rooms, opened three months ago on Main Street and features three different themed rooms: The Carnival, Deep Space Mine, and Beyond Wonderland.
“It’s like a live-action board game,” says co-owner Siobhan D’Souza, explaining what an escape room is. “We immerse you into a themed scavenger hunt.”
She is the artistic brain and talent behind 4th Dimension. She shares ownership with brother Paul D’Souza and his wife Rhianna Millman.
Each of the three escape rooms at 4th Dimension is divided into two rooms separated by a locked door. When you enter the main door, it is shut behind you (but not locked) and you need to figure out, using the clues around you, where the key is to unlock the door leading to the second half of the escape room. On the other side of that locked door there’s a second locked door, which is the exit.
Throughout the room, there are about seven to 10 puzzles to solve. Clues to help you find the keys (or number codes) to unlock the two doors are hidden in boxes, cupboards, drawers and cabinets. You have 45 minutes to escape.
In the end, they want you to succeed — there’s a doorbell to ring if you need help.
“If you get stuck on a puzzle… I kind of give them a nudge in the right direction,” says Siobhan.
Opening the business was a big accomplishment for her, considering what she’s been through.
“Siobhan has faced some very challenging times over the last 14 years with her health,” says sister-in-law Millman.
She became very ill with lupus in 2005 and was hospitalized for months. It attacked her major organs, she required blood plasma transfusions, plus the medication she was on deteriorated all of her major joints. As a result, by the time she was 35, she had undergone two full hip replacements and two full shoulder replacements.
“But none of this ruined her spirits; it just increased her zest for life,” adds Millman.
After four years of talking about opening an escape room business with her brother, it happened. Now others can see Siobhan’s talent first-hand.
She designed each room and made all of the props for them, thanks to her love for art, theatre and fashion.
Through Siobhan’s other business, ShiverZ Designs, she’s designed clothing and has been part of big fashion shows in Vancouver. She makes props for Chilliwack School of Performing Arts and the Chilliwack Players Guild, plus accessories and head/hair pieces for photo shoots with Sarah Sovereign Photography.
She says there’s “endless creativity” for the escape rooms.
She’s constantly tinkering with the rooms to make them better, after hearing feedback from customers. Sometimes she adds clues to make it a bit easier, other times if a client wants the room more challenging, she will take a few clues out.
Chilliwack’s 4th Dimension Escape Rooms is located at 9244 Main St. Hours are: 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday to Friday, and 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Cost is $20 per person. More info and to book a time, go to 4descape.com, or email 4DEscapeRooms@gmail.com, or call 604-702-8823.