A new escape room is to open in the city centre, and the game was made with the help of an ex-police detective.

Salisbury Escape Rooms will open its second escape room experience at 35 Catherine Street, which used to be occupied by Cash Converters.

The game experience involves teams solving puzzles, finding clues and investigating suspects to help police find the killer in a fictitious murder case.

The business, which already runs an escape room on Fisherton Street, will take over the first floor of the building, and is expected to open to the public for bookings in the spring.

Salisbury Escape Rooms was set up in 2015 by three former police detectives Matthew Johnson, Gordie Howsego and Pete Waugh.

They ran the business until early 2021, when it was taken over by Salisbury businessman Gavin Barrett, but Gordie has been "heavily involved" in the development of the new game.

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Gavin said: "It's been so much fun to come up with a new scenario. We sat down and brainstormed a load of themes, and picked the one to go with, and spent regular meetings coming up with scenario ideas and puzzle ideas.

"It is very authetic. The ex-detectives have so much real life experience solving crimes and investigation rooms and interviewing suspects.

"Part of our escape room games is human interacton - videos of key characters from the story talking. It's good that he has so much experience of doing that in real life It's a good asset for us."

The Death at the Lab escape room game at Fisherton Street will continue, while the new game, Escape from Space, will start running in the Catherine Street site.

Before opening, groups will trial the new game so it can be tweaked and made to be completed in a time of around one hour.

"We want the new game to take about an hour, so we will be tweaking the new game to get the median time it takes to complete around one hour," Gavin added.

"We have had nearly 5,000 people who have played Death at the Lab in six years at Fisherton Street, and all their times are on record.

"So previous teams who have played and taken about an hour, can expect a phone call maybe!"

The trials are expected to take place in March, opening to regular guests in the spring or early summer of this year.

There are also plans for another game in the Catherine Street location, as there is space for two games at the site.

After this, Gavin says they may look at further premises or replace one of the existing games, as demand dictates.

The interactive elements of the game are cleaned after each team, to ensure each game is "as Covid-safe as we can get it".

To keep up to date with developments, follow @salisburyescape on Instagram.

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