It has been a while and I have been busy with quite a number of things but today, I'll like to talk about this interesting muggle concept that I was kindly invited to join.
It's called an escape room. I am sure many of you are aware of those point and click escape room games, the whole goal of the game is to find clues, solve puzzles and escape from the room, well, this is the same concept except, you're doing it for real.
I apologize for the lack of photos, we weren't allowed to bring cameras or phones or any such stuff in. We were basically entering the game, empty handed. I didn't even get to bring my wand.
So, the game that we chose was called the "Whisper of the Dead". You're trapped in Dr. Hachi's mansion and you'll have to overcome his tests in order to escape.
Initially, we were all quite confused at what we were supposed to do. We were led into a room and was briefed about the background of the place and about Dr. Hachi and were then locked in. I could remember the shocked look in all our faces and wondering if we were supposed to start.
With the initial shock gone, all of us proceeded to look around the room and figure out what were clues and what weren't related.
As you can see, the room is narrow and there are many paintings on the wall, which does help engage the players and brings on a level of realism to the whole experience.
Now don't worry, I will not include any spoilers.
It was a really fun experience. A rather unique and alternative form of entertainment from the usual types of entertainment like movie watching, cafe going, shopping, bar hopping and many more.
Depending on the group of people that you are trapped with as well, it could be your group of friends or perhaps other strangers might be trapped in the room with you, but the ultimate goal is to work together to solve the codes and eventually getting out.
The puzzles were rather straight forward and for this particular room, you really need to be observant enough. Once the group of us were warmed up enough, we started to get into the puzzle solving zone and were able to crack many puzzles. The feeling when you input the correct code for the lock is such an exhilarating feeling. The moment the lock gets unlocked, the cheers and anticipation of the next section of the room are feelings that seemed to be shared among all of us. Those were the few moments that truly disregarded social standing, friends, strangers, wizards and muggles, the few moments that we were unified in one goal. Was a pretty good feeling really.
Time is also an issue. You are only given an hour to escape. If the time is up, you will be let out and well, you would have failed to escape so time management is essential. If you think that you can't solve the puzzle, you should utilize the hint card that is provided to you. You can use it twice so if you feel that you are really stuck and have no clue how to proceed, don't be obstinate, use it before you run out of time for the other rooms and thus ensuring that you'll get trapped forever, or until the game master comes in to let you out. It was a good thing too. I was about to apparate out of the room and risk exposing the existence of the wizarding world. I'm pretty sure that muggles aren't ready for something like that... Yet.
Come to think of it, this could be a really interesting concept to implement in the wizarding society. Granted, getting locked in a room might not be a challenge for wizarding folk but it could be designed for wizards. Creating anti-apparation spells, puzzles that requires certain knowledge of certain spells, real monsters and beasts, for those that want the adventure and the danger without really risking their lives. Or perhaps remove the wands entirely and force the wizards to think of solving the puzzles without magic. That could be interesting but alas, I'm too busy to be thinking about such lucrative business propositions, so whichever wizard out there thinks it's a good idea to do something like that, feel free to take my idea but don't forget to give me credit for being the one that gave you that spark.
All in all, this was a really interesting experience, challenges your brain and tests your logical thinking and puzzle solving skills without the help of online game guides. I would most likely go back to try out the other rooms that this company offers. For those of you who are interested, you can head to their website, http://www.xcape.sg/, to check it out for yourselves. Also, I'm pretty sure for those of you who are in other countries and reading this, a search on the internet might reveal the existence of such an experience near you, or you could apparate here and try it for yourself.
As always, leave me a comment and let me know what you think, or just say hi!