If you have a clue, new Cottonwood business the perfect place for you

James Stevens, red shirt, and Shawn Lowman, owners of the Constant Evolution Escape Rooms in Cottonwood, pose for photos at their new Cottonwood business. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

James Stevens, red shirt, and Shawn Lowman, owners of the Constant Evolution Escape Rooms in Cottonwood, pose for photos at their new Cottonwood business. VVN/Vyto Starinskas

COTTONWOOD -- If you ever wondered what a real-time experience of the board game Clue would be like, you are just what two Cottonwood men have in mind.

In fact, mind vs. mind is what Constant Evolution Escape Rooms in Cottonwood is all about.

“Basically, what we are is a puzzle-based themed room – like Clue – a live-action Clue.” “The concept is to find all the puzzles, find all the clues, solve the puzzles and to try to get to the end of the game, to beat the game,” explained co-owner James Stevens.

“People are getting tired of the phones, are getting tired of the computers,,” Stevens said. “I love tech ... I’ve got tech all over my house. This is way funner.”

Players enter themed rooms with a story line and have to solve riddles, puzzles and clues to test their brains and perform a task. There are no computers, phones or electronics involved.

People who beat the game under an hour get on the leader board, get their picture posted in the building, on the web page and on Facebook. “It’s an incentive to beat the game so you have bragging rights,” Stevens said

“It’s a lot of fun and we eventually plan on having three, full, separate, themed games in here,” he added.

Their current game is called Double Cross, which they designed themselves. It takes players from one room into another, but no one is locked in the rooms, Stevens said.

Escape Rooms are played all over the world, Stevens said. Co-owner Shawn Lowman said they researched it and found similar businesses in Phoenix and Tucson. Lowman said they took their wives down and played, and they all loved it.

The concept is still to get out of the room with a statue before the professor returns with the police by solving clues within an hour, even though the room is not locked, Stevens said. “We’re trying to do task-orientated games, rather than locked games.”

People are super-excited about this when we tell them about it, explained Lowman, who said that playing live is much better than playing an escape-room game on a phone.

“It’s blowing up because it is family-oriented, it is corporate-oriented for team building, it is party-based. Let’s hold our birthday party there,” Stevens said.

Player ages begin at 12 years old, but they had two 11-year-olds play the other day, Stevens said. They also had a group of engineers recently. The funny thing is that the 11-year-olds did better than the engineers because the engineers over-thought the clues, Stevens said.

Stevens and Lowman could have spent money on an escape-room franchise, but opted to build their own business from scratch.

They did their own graphics and renovations and brought in props like and old typewriter, telephone, clock and an array of locks to unscramble.

Stevens said the games will evolve and change as time goes on so players can come back and continue to be challenged.

Constant Evolution Escape Rooms is located at 551 South Main St. in Cottonwood. Call 928-593-9828 or email info@constantevolutionescaperooms.com.

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