Getting locked up in a tiny room of between 2 to 10 people might be daunting to many of you, especially those with claustrophobia but that’s what a reality room escape game is all about. It’s not for the faint-hearted nor is it for those of you who can’t stand mind-boggling mysteries.
Being the very inquisitive creature that I am, I immediately jumped on the opportunity to try out the escape room game when the chance came by. Sure, there’s the issue of being stuck in a tiny room but if it’s not with a bunch of strangers, I didn’t see why this would be an issue.
I grew up reading all those Famous Five and Nancy Drew books, so I was quite complacent about the process and thought going through it would be a breeze. I was so very wrong.
But before you read any further, I’ll put out a disclaimer – there are some elaborations in this story (I’ll try not to murder the suspense as much as possible), so if you want to experience it for the first time without any indication whatsoever as to what’s coming, you shouldn’t read any further.
[Pictures are not representative of the one I went for to maintain the suspense of the game.]
Time management is key
As you enter, you’re made to place your bags and smartphones in a corner of the room. It’s obvious that the area’s partitioned (and locked) into different zones, which you’ll need to unlock and go through at different points in the game.
The staff goes through the most basic information – where and what you need to start off with, the consecutive and subsequent partitioned areas you’ll need to access, and the all important button to call in case you’re stuck and need help.
Usually, you’re only given one clue through each game, but I think considering the age group I was with, we were allotted unlimited clues. The game was timed for 45 minutes, which you really, really have to manage to the last second if you want to get through the whole thing.
After going through the requirements, the staff leaves the room, leaving you and your group mates to literally figure the whole thing out by yourselves. I wished there was a bit more guidance and instructions given to us – the first set of clues not necessarily were all to be used to unlock the second door, which we didn’t know and were using them too early.
Obviously that meant we were using up too much precious time trying to figure the combination that let us through to the next zone, and our persistent, unyielding natures didn’t allow us to give in and call for help (which we had to eventually after we realised not doing so is going to result in us being stuck where we started off).
During our cry for help – which was also the moment we knew about the clue thing we mentioned above – the staff member came back in and guided us through the clue to the next zone.
In zone two, we started reading too much into our surroundings and took anything and everything as a clue; there was a ticking sound playing that we thought was morse code and went frantic trying to decipher it, when it had nothing at all to do with the game besides just set the mood.
Of course, this resulted in us calling for help again, and we were told what clue leads us to the next area. One thing you’ll need to take note of: there are clues all over the place, so sometimes it’s not all about just unlocking hints but rather looking around the area for other physical clues.