Locally-owned Lewisville business creates scenarios for customers to escape

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Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of somebody who robs a bank or what it feels like to be a spy? If so, Johnathan Magno, co-owner of 1 Hour to Escape, said escape rooms are for you.

At the Lewisville escape room, guests are put in an imaginary scenario and have to solve a series of puzzles in order to escape. Players are given one hour to escape, or they fail.

When Johnathan and his parents, Roy and Charlotte, opened 1 Hour to Escape In October 2015, escape rooms were hard to find in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Johnathan said.

“There were two in Dallas. … And then Red Door Escape Room had just opened a month before we had,” Johnathan said. “And that was it for the entire DFW area. Now there are probably about 50 or so.”

His two older brothers, Anthony and Taylor, have worked at the escape room, as does Kathryn, Taylor’s wife, and Natalie Light, Johnathan’s fiancée, who are both general managers.

The first room, “Fallout Shelter,” has remained a popular choice and is largely unchanged from the opening day, Johnathan said.

In addition to “Fallout Shelter,” other rooms include “Bank Heist,” “Absolute Zero,” “The Study,” “The Ruins” and “Spy Genesis.”

The staff takes the feedback they receive from their customers to tweak existing rooms and help plan for the new ones.

“It’s not as much of a science as some people think,” Johnathan said. “It’s kind of hard to explain. I kind of just go off of my gut for a lot of it.”

The difficulty level of each room varies; however, even the easiest rooms come with hints.

As the guests go through the rooms, they can either request Rambo or Angel mode. In Rambo mode, the guests receive three clues only and they have to request them specifically. In Angel mode, the staff will provide unlimited hints, and they might guide the customers if they seem a bit stuck on something.

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