Escape to Atoka: Latest gaming trend hits Tipton County with two adventures

Tipton County resident Linda McKinley is the staff manager on site at Atoka Escape Games. She’s been booking birthday parties to company outings since September. Photo by Thomas Sellers Jr.

All are invited to see if they can make it out in time at the Atoka Escape Games.

Whether your group is friends, family, coworkers or sweethearts, the rooms at Atoka Escape Games are the latest in the trends of escape rooms across America and the Memphis area.

Owner Dr. Ken Larkins opened his latest business in July 2018, giving residents of Tipton and Shelby counties a chance for an alternative while leaving reality.

“It’s for those 7 to 70 years old,” AEG Assistant Jessica Carter said. “One room is harder than the other. All it takes is a lot of common sense. One room is themed ‘Dorm Days.’ Basically to where you have to find clues to get the ticket to the NCAA Tournament. It’s a cool story.

“The other one is ‘Innocence,’” she added. “You’ve been framed for stealing $10 million worth of jewelry. So you have to break out by figuring out the clues.”

In September Linda McKinley took over the day-to-day operations managing the staff.

“I think it is a great thing,” she said. “My children and I have been to a lot of escape rooms in the area. It is definitely something needed around here. The kids have really enjoyed it that I have seen come through – all ages.

“We had a group of older people come through who were all in their 60s that had a great time,” McKinley continued. “They didn’t know what they were doing at first but once they figured it out they had a great time. They said they want to come back and do the other one.”

The two rooms in the Atoka Escape Games were designed by AJ Kootie, who came from Atlanta after custom building escape rooms in Georgia.

“Dr. Larkins opened to just have something for the community,” Carter said. “He wanted to fill that need.

“We have a party room,” she added. “We’ve had birthday parties, engagements changing clues around for a proposal. Bachelor parties and it’s all affordable at $15 a person.”

McKinley said the rest of the area needs to join the residents of Atoka and Munford in enjoying the Atoka Escape Games.

“We’re locally owned and operated,” she noted. “It is definitely a fun and safe place for the kids to come and enjoy themselves. It is very affordable. too.”

McKinley has booked family outings, parties and even companies’ team-building exercise with the two escape rooms.

“I’m really hoping this summer we’ll do pretty well,” she said. “Because it gives the kids something to do during the day just instead of sitting home playing video games all day.’

Atoka Escape Games’ rooms are an intense, heart-pounding race against the clock. Your group must work together to find the clues, solve the puzzles, complete the mission and escape the room all in under 60 minutes.

Atoka Escape Games is at 11180 Highway 51 North in Atoka. For more information and hours, call (901) 840-5625.