The family that locks people up

The heading may sound both frightening and confusing. But it’s not as bad as it looks. Marika Karlstad and her husband Marcus and brother Matts Bergsten have created one of Oskars-hamn’s most popular experiences: Jailbreak Oskarshamn – an escape game.

At Slottsgatan 19 in Oskarshamn, people disappear from time to time. They enter the stairwell, go down a few flights of stairs, get locked in and never come out again. But joking aside, they do come out again and they are guaranteed to have had great fun along the way. An escape game involves you and your friends or workmates being locked into a room filled with challenging tasks and clever clues. If you can solve everything within one hour, then you are free to go. If not…

“We don’t actually lock the door if people don’t want us to,” explains Marika. “But the race against the clock is still just as exciting!”

It all started when Marika and her husband Marcus took a trip to Växjö to visit ‘Inlåst’ (Locked in), and try out an escape game for the first time.

“We set a record and were totally hooked on the concept. On the way home, as we got to Bockara, I called my brother and was just brimming with joy.”

“I remember you ringing me and saying you needed my money to start a limited company,” adds Matts, laughing.

5,000 people
They began some serious planning, Matts moved from Sävsjö to Oskarshamn and the trio set to work.

“We thought the hardest thing would be to find suitable premises,” says Marika. “But it all worked out with the help of contacts, and we found the perfect basement venue with no windows.”

Marika, Marcus, Matts and all their parents spent nine months building around-the-clock to get the first two rooms, including lounge and control room, ready for opening.

“The reception was overwhelming,” says Marika. “Word spread fast and we got off to a flying start.”

The trio and their staff have now locked in a total of over 5,000 people. People come from across Sweden to try and work out all the tasks.

“Genuine escape game enthusiasts can travel a long way to try new challenges,” says Matts. “We’ve had parties from Uppsala and Malmö.”

“And then we had the Karlskrona gang who were here for a game on Christmas Eve,” adds Marika.

Welcomed and looked after
Jailbreak Oskarshamn has expanded its activities since it started in October 2017.

“We now have three rooms to lock people into,” explains Matts. “Then we’ve also got 20 treasure chests that we can take to the customer. That allows us to get up to 100 people involved at the same time.”

“We also offer a triathlon that includes treasure chests, an interactive entertainment quiz and a music quiz,” says Marika.

Jailbreak Oskarshamn is a little unusual in that customers receive a proper welcome and are well looked after.

“We greet them, shake hands and introduce ourselves and the business,” explains Matts.

“Then they get an introduction which involves going through the game and the rules. Once they’ve got through the room, we join them for a coffee break and go through what happened and how it went for the participants,” concludes Marika.