WEST NYACK, N.Y. - If you ever wished that you could actually be a character in the video game, or that your tenth time riding Nitro at Six Flags wasn't exactly the same as your first time, 5 Wits has you covered.
5 Wits is described as "a live entertainment experience that physically immerses players in the center of a highly realistic, thrilling, hands-on adventure," by spokesperson Kim Parr.
Combining characteristics from video games, amusement park rides, and an escape rooms, layers solve skills challenges that correspond to a specific storyline.
The Palisades Mall in West Nyack is the third 5 Wits location in the country and opened earlier this month. However, an official grand opening was held Saturday, July 23.
Making the decision to open their third location in Rockland was based on a number of factors including accessibility, according to founder and CEO Matthew DuPlessie.
“It is one of the most vibrant malls going on the east coast and is full of high-quality tenants,” DuPlessie said.
Before 5 Wits DuPlessie worked on a number of museum and theme park design projects for clients such as Disney and Universal. (One of his projects was the Animal Kingdom lodge at Disney.)
The concept for 5 Wits was developed after considering the shortcomings of video games, where the action is occurring on a screen, and theme park rides, where a park goer is just along for the ride.
“If no one were sitting in your chair, nothing would change,” DuPlessie said.
What makes each adventure unique is "re-playability," Parr said; the same group of people can play the same adventure six times and get six different outcomes. In essence, the players control their own fate within the adventure.
In West Nyack players can take part in one of three adventures: Tomb, where players enter a 3,000 year old tomb and awaken an angry pharaoh before they must overcome a series of challenges to make it out alive; Drago's Castle, where players must escape from a dungeon and evade a fire-breathing dragon; and Deep Space, where players arrive aboard an abandoned spaceship.
Groups of four to eight people engage in these adventures, which can last anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Inside the adventure the groups must rely on each other to accomplish the different skills challenges. And like a video game, you can lose.
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