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Adventures come to life in Underground arcade

SALISBURY – Virtual reality, puzzles and three-dimensional paintings are all part of Adventures Underground, which opened this month in downtown Salisbury.

Vern and Tatyana Shurtz are the owners of the immersive entertainment center, whose entrance is in the rear of 11 S. Main St.

Adventurers can bring three-dimensional paintings by Tatyana Shurtz to life using the Adventures Underground app and any personal hand-held device.

The business also offers a “quest room.”

“The idea is that you go in and you try to crack all of the puzzles inside of the room,” Vern said. “You need to complete it in 60 minutes or less and will need to utilize your mathematical and philosophical skills.”

The room holds as many as six people at a time, and the quest typically lasts an hour.

“A lot of companies use them as team-building exercises. Think of yourself as Indiana Jones and you’re trying to solve (a mystery),” Vern said.

The quest room features puzzles aimed at challenging the mind and sparking the imagination.

There are also a number of virtual-reality games.

“We use state-of-the-art virtual-reality headsets, we have all kinds of different games from swimming in the ocean with whales to your classic zombie shooters,” Vern said.

Watching customers’ reactions is what the Shurtzes love most.

“When you watch people in a group and they’re solving and they are getting things and moving forward, watching people’s reaction and how entertained they are, whether it’s looking at the interactive paintings, solving the different puzzles or the quests, or even someone immersing themselves in virtual reality and experiencing something that most people don’t even experience,” he said.

Activities in the arcade are suspenseful, he said.

“When you’re immersed (in virtual reality) and you see that you’re 20 feet above the ground, you actually feel that as well,” Vern said.

Tatyana said the couple wanted to provide not only entertainment but also therapy.

“We know how therapeutic it is,” she said.

When customers spend an entire hour in the quest room, they can escape everyday life, and that is often relaxing, said Tatyana.

“At that time, you cannot think about any of your problems in the world,” she said.

The Shurtzes say Adventures Underground provides a fun night out for friends and family, a date-night extravaganza, and group activities.

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