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Meet Madison Rhoades of Cross Roads Escape Games in Anaheim

Today we’d like to introduce you to Madison Rhoades.

Husband and wife team, Luke and Madison Rhoades, were the perfect duo. Madison was a set designer and scenic painter, Luke was a technical director and scenic carpenter. They worked on small and large theater shows all over LA including a few haunts like The Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor and Haunted Play’s Delusion.

Young and poor, Luke and Madison decided to take a chance, quit their jobs, and open their own escape room with the savings they have worked 10 years to build up for their future house. It was one of those scenarios where they would always live a life of ‘what if’ if they didn’t give it a shot. And what better time to try and fail then when you are young? So, they did. They found a location in Anaheim, California, battled the city for permits, and put themselves in a hole of loans and credit card dept. (they found out quickly the savings they had was not enough). And a year later, they opened Cross Roads Escape Games with the award-winning game, The Hex Room.

They wanted to create something that felt so real, you forgot it was a game, and you were fighting for your life. Imagine being actually locked inside a room where you can go anywhere and touch anything you want? To desperately try to find clues to help unlock the secrets to your escape? The set was built from the ground up, complete with secret passageways. Not only was the production value outstanding, even the game design was different. As huge horror fans themselves, they would always watch movies and say something along the lines of, “If that was me, I would have never ran up the stairs!” or, “If I was in that situation, I would have totally survived.” Now with this new immersive theatre at their fingertips, they decided to create just that: a real life horror movie scenario where people can find out if they would actually live or die in a horror film.

The Hex Room became a revolutionary game, and it doesn’t stop there. Luke and Madison are determined to always bring the next level of interactive entertainment and have many more ideas up their sleeves to create real life horror like it has never been done before.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We struggled getting the proper permits from the city. They don’t react too well when you say you are going to lock people in a room for an hour. It was a long, hard, and expensive battle with the city to finally get the right permits and open. It took almost a year.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Cross Roads Escape Games – what should we know?
An Escape Room is an interactive adventure game where players are locked in a room with puzzles and clues and have one hour to escape. We take this traditional idea to the next level.

Cross Roads Escape Games is the next evolution in interactive horror. Unlike traditional escape rooms, The Hex Room takes immersion to the next step and makes players live out a real life horror movie. Before your game begins, each player takes a quiz to determine which stereotypical horror movie victim they are. You can be cast as the Jock, Rebel, Prom Queen, Virgin, Nerd, or Detective. Once in costume, players are place in a room by themselves. It is their goal to overcome their individual challenges and still work together as a team, although physically divided. If they are successful, they can rejoin their friends and work on escaping. If not, they can be left behind to die.

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
We care a lot about immersion and detail, and our theatre and haunt background has definitely helped us with that. We are also huge game enthusiasts and have played over 100 escape rooms together. We love seeing what other people are doing. Wether it’s a good or bad game, there is always something to learn from it.

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Image Credit:
Cross Roads Escape Games

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