Break The Code: An Escape Room Experience In Ipoh
It's a tale of a dream gone wrong. While vacationing off the exotic islands in the Pacific, you and your friends are captured by a band of bloodthirsty pirates, who are seeking to demand an enormous sum of money to secure your exit. Locked in the bowels of the ship, the pirate captain decided to play a game with you and your friends, a game in which victory means securing your survival. You are given one hour to break free from the rooms that you are locked in, failing which will result in you being locked up forever. The clues are right in front of you, but will you have the right mind to escape from these rooms?
Those are the words told to us by the game marshal as he briefed us on the back story of the escape room that we were in, before leaving us to our own devices and locking the door behind him as he exited. We were at the newly opened branch of Break The Code in Ipoh, part of the many shops that began offering escape room themed adventure for those who enjoy puzzle solving. For 36 ringgit, I wondered for a moment whether this was the best idea for fun, but as my fellow escapees began to search furiously for the clues, I decided to jump into the fun and see how things would go.
|we had no idea what we were in for|
Escape rooms, I believe that's what they are called, is one of the latest trends to hit Singapore and Malaysia. It's an indoor interactive game where players are required to crack their brains to solve puzzles, in order to complete the game and "escape", in a sense. For the longest time I have been immensely curious of how the game works, which was why I immediately jumped at the chance of trying out the game when I found out that my hometown has a branch.
|ominous looking indeed|
Each escape room has its own story and theme, but from how I experienced it, I would say that it is very similar to puzzle solving levels that you would get in computer games. You are basically thrown into a room with locks and such, and you are required to figure out how to obtain the key/codes/combination in order to exit the rooms. Not only must you be able to think creatively and outside of the box, you must be able to fully utilize your sense of vision, touch and smell to be able to crack the puzzles hidden in the room.
I would say the degree of realism is higher in games like this as compared to the virtual one as you are free to fully utilize your body and the props in the room to help your quest, but the feeling that one gets is roughly similar to the ones that I experience in games before. The only downside is that you cannot Google for answers when you are stuck, and you must really sit there and think (provided you don't overshoot the time limit, of course).
|chests like this,open you must|
It's something that you should try if you're one who enjoys solving puzzles, but as compared to other indoor games like laser tag, it has less replay value (once you solve a room you cannot solve it again) and is not as adrenaline inducing. Maybe my initial dislike for it is due to my inability to solve anything in the room, but my sister and brother (in fact both of them were quite good in figuring out the clues) seemed to have enjoyed it more than I did. Maybe I just like the pew pew pew of laser tag.
I have yet to try the one at Singapore one though, and I've just tried one room in Ipoh's, so the verdict is still out there, but it's something interesting that you should at least try once to see if it's your cup of tea.