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New Biloxi attractions let people play detective, get knockered

ESCAPE THIS BILOXI 
 Two rooms at Escape This Biloxi on Beauvoir Road challenge participants to work together to find clues to help them escape in 60 minutes.
ESCAPE THIS BILOXI Two rooms at Escape This Biloxi on Beauvoir Road challenge participants to work together to find clues to help them escape in 60 minutes.

BILOXI -- The concept of Knockerball Biloxi is simple, company owner Marcus Anderson said. "Get in the ball, grab the handles and knocker each other around."

Knockerball is one of the newest trends in fun that has made its way to South Mississippi, along with "Escape This Biloxi," an attraction that challenges people in 60 minutes to solve a mystery using clues found in the room.

"Knockerball has just gotten popular in the last three years," Anderson said. Developed in Europe, it is a party attraction and will be featured at the Coast Coliseum's upcoming Crawfish Festival.

"Invite as many people as you like," Anderson said. His staff brings from six to 10 balls, music, a game host and an assistant who oversees games such as Last Person Standing, Knocker Soccer and Knocker Go Round, a version of musical chairs.

They bring big orbs for adults and smaller balls for kids as young as 7. The spheres have no height or weight limits. Put on the strap, hold the handles and go, Anderson said. The action comes when two people wearing the balls collide and one or both go down, bouncing in the ball, legs akimbo.

Anderson and his wife, who moved from South Mississippi to Pensacola, Fla., after Hurricane Katrina, also operate franchises in Pensacola and Baldwin County, Ala. They take the orbs to parties and church and school events and do fundraisers and corporate team building.

Escape This Biloxi opened in late March at 249 Beauvoir Road.

Manager Cody Mercer said his mother, Lori Beauchamp, was looking to start her own business and considered laser tag, After trying the escape room in New Orleans, Mercer said they had so much fun they decided to try it.

"It's just a new experience and something for the whole family," he said. The theme changes about every three months. In the two rooms now open, people use hidden code to get into lock boxes that hold the keys to getting out of the Insane Asylum room or Murder Mystery Office.

The attraction is open from noon to 10 p.m. daily and admission during April is $20, based on eight people per room. Group rates are offered for 16 or more.

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