Riddle Room in Northeast Minneapolis is expanding its live puzzle room game.
Proprietor Art Allen has run Riddle Room, a series of live, concept-driven challenges in locked rooms, near the Nicollet Island-East Bank neighborhood for the past couple years, including last year’s Starship, which had groups of would-be space cadets solving puzzles in a realistic spaceship-themed room.
Due to growing demand from larger and larger groups, Allen will be expanding Modern Antics, his umbrella business for projects like Riddle Room, into the neighboring vacant storefront at 509 Central Ave.
In the additional 3,000 square feet Allen is planning four more Riddle Rooms, this time reengineered versions of Bunker, his original puzzle game. With more rooms, Allen will be able to host groups of up 40-50 people who can attempt to solve the missile control room-style puzzles concurrently.
For fans of Starship, the new Bunker concept might be a little easier, Allen said, but don’t expect a cakewalk.
“It was definitely built to be challenging,” he said.
Modern Antics and Riddle Room proprietor Art Allen inside Starship. Photo by Eric Best
Along with the expansion and new Riddle Rooms, Allen will be reformatting the retail portion of Modern Antics with a lounge area so people can socialize or play games while they wait. The retail shop offers comedy records, games and novelty items.
Under the Modern Antics umbrella, Allen also produces and hosts Pundamonium, a nationwide pun competition, and local facial hair challenge the Minnesota Beard-Off. The novelty shop opened in 2014 at 507 Hennepin Ave. Since then, the block has welcomed clothing stores Golden Pearl Vintage and Urban Violet.
Allen is planning to open the expansion in mid or late April. A new Starship scenario is expected to open in late May or early June.