So a thing that’s been popping up more and more are real life Mystery Rooms. You know those point and click games where you try to escape a crimson room or various variations on that concept?
Well, there are now a number of real life mystery rooms you can go to and as a team try to escape from, usually within about an hour’s time limit.
I believe the trend started in Beijing, China. Dubbed Yi Xiang Jia (“Thinking of Home”), it sprawls over 1,000 square meters and is divided up into five scenarios that can support up to fifty players at a time. This mystery room complex puts great emphasis on teamwork.
Since then the concept blew up in Japan and has been popping up all over. There’s some in the states (Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, LA, Minneapolis, Philly, New York, Phoenix, San Fran and DC), made by Room Escape Adventures, one of which even has a room puzzle where you’re trapped inside with a zombie.
There’s the awesome looking Omescape in Richmond, CA
Live near Toronto? There’s Mystery Rooms which features the rooms Satan’s Lair, Haunted Hospital, Prison Break, and Mummy’s Curse (Mummy’s Curse is Advanced level and asks “Can you solve this when half your group is missing?”). There’s also one in Richmond, British Columbia, EXIT.
Here’s a description by someone who went to Omescape in Richmond, CA: .
“We gathered a couple of friends—one male and one female—and headed to Omescape in Richmond, Calif. The Omescape rooms don’t have nearly the failure rate of the room in Japantown; we signed up for the Omega Room, a time travel-themed room with a 30 percent escape rate.
After we surrendered our bags and cell phones, the Omescape game runners explained the rules. Once they locked the door, we would have 60 minutes to solve all the puzzles and escape from the room. The game runners would not be coming inside with us; they instructed us not to touch the clocks—which contained important clues—but otherwise, we could poke and prod at anything that didn’t have a “Do not touch” sign on it. They handed us a walkie-talkie and told us if we were completely stumped, we could ask for one hint. Then they led us inside.
At first glance, the room looked like the playhouse version of a professor’s study. There was a desk in the middle of the room, and the place was filled with books and maps. Clocks lined the walls, showing various times. A small chest with a combination lock sat atop the desk. Odd pictures hung on one wall.
The game runners produced an iPad and showed us a brief introductory movie, which explained that the scientist who owned this office had mysteriously disappeared while performing time travel experiments. If we didn’t get out in time, his fate could befall us. Then they locked the door and started the clock.
The boys immediately set to work turning everything in the room over, looking for instructions, clues, secret compartments—anything that might be hidden within the room. Along with the other girl, I focused my attention on the clocks, wondering what they had to tell us. Together, we solved the first puzzle quickly, which gave us tools to see hidden things in the room that we hadn’t been able to see before. We paced through the first few steps, feeling pretty good about ourselves.
Until we got stumped, that is.”
So there you have it. An awesome idea and i assure you, i am TOTALLY gonna do one of these. Just a head’s up: UK people! I don’t believe there’s any of these in the UK. You could make a MINT doing this. Think about it. You could put this together. Get a few investors, some great puzzle builders, make this AND THEN INVITE ME! I really want to do one of these.