Escape room now open

A new interactive puzzle room in Winterville provides a great team-building activity, a brain-teasing exercise and a fun way to spend time with friends and family.

At Ctrl Shift Escape, your group is locked in Blackbeard's Quarters.

You have one hour to search for clues and complete puzzles and riddles that uncover the location of the key that opens the door. You don't need any special equipment, superhuman skills or advanced knowledge to complete the challenge -- just logic, teamwork and a knack for problem solving.

But be warned, only 30 percent of the participants are successful in escaping before their time is up.

Escape rooms have been around about 10 years and are very popular in Europe and Asia. The first one in the United States opened in early 2013 in New York City.

Ctrl Shift Escape owner Bill Thruman said he decided to bring the concept to Pitt County after visiting escape rooms owned by friends in Virginia.

There's no age limit to participate, but Thruman says kids under the age of 13 probably won't be able to answer many of the riddles or puzzles.

The current room, Blackbeard's Quarters, is for groups of 2-6 people. A second room, which will hold up to 10 people, is under construction and will open in the fall, and a third puzzle room targeted for kids also is planned.

To reserve the escape room, book online 24 hours in advance. Walk-ins are welcome, if space is available.

Ctrl Shift Escape

4051 S. Memorial Drive

Winterville 252-591-2665 Hours: Noon-7 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays; noon-9 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays; and noon-7 p.m. Sundays Cost: $20 per person