There’s a new trend in entertainment and it’s sweeping the globe!
I’m talking, of course, about live escape rooms, a problem-solving adventure where you use your mental (and sometimes physical) agility to unlock yourself from a puzzle-ridden room.
Escape rooms have existed in Japan for close to a decade, but only recently have they been available to English-language players. Real Escape Games (REG), designed and developed in Japan, is the leading international brand for these live-action games and has opened up shop in Tokyo’s Asakusa ward with two distinct, but equally captivating rooms: the Red Room and the Haunted Manor.
The Red Room
Description: “You find yourself locked in a room. There are no puzzles or codes around you—only red walls, mysterious props and two locked doors. You must rely on your own abilities to open these doors and escape.”
The Red Room is a classic minimalistic-style escape room, and has a less than 3% success rate—so if you’re looking for the mental challenge of a lifetime, this is the room to try. In an effort to not give away any clues, I can only offer this cryptic advice: think outside the box. And bring your phone as the camera will come in handy.
The Haunted Manor
Description: “You’re the investigator for a series of missing-person cases. You have to sneak into a haunted house—the suspected kidnapper’s hideout—to seek the truth. As you’re looking in the dark, searching for anything that might be a clue, the door opens—someone’s entered the house..! “Are you ready?” And thus begins the game of horror hide-and-seek.”
This room is a Japanese-style haunted house themed escape game created in collaboration with famous haunted house producer Gomi Hirofumi (whose work you might be familiar with if you’ve visited the uber-scary haunted hospital at Fuji-Q amusement park). The success rate is much higher than the Red Room (about 50%), but with the added thrill of the undead lurking around every corner. The haunted house has three levels, which you can reach by stairs only, so not accessible to those with limited mobility. This one was by far my group’s favorite out of the two rooms, as it offered a uniquely Japanese horror storyline.
Tips and info
As previously stated, I don’t want to give away any clues that’ll take away from the fun, but here are a few general tips if you’ve never tried an escape room before:
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– Check everything/everywhere. Clues are not hidden in obvious places, so this is where your knowledge of prepositions come in: up, down, around, in, on, between, under, over… you get the idea.
– Teams of 1 to 6 players are allowed. However, the more players, the higher your chance of escaping within the allotted time as you can split up tasks/puzzles.
– Show up 15 minutes before your time slot to be given instructions on how to play. And if you show up late, you will not be able to join your other team members once the game has begun.
– You can buy tickets in advance to ensure a time slot. Or you can show up at the door and try your luck—but keep in mind availability is not guaranteed.
– You’re given 30 minutes to escape, with a 10-minute extension option.
– Both rooms are playable in English, Chinese and Japanese.
For even more real-life gaming options from the same creators, try Tokyo Mystery Circus in Shinjuku.
|Name:||Real Escape Game – Asakusa|
|Pricing info:||Per person: 3300 yen (through online service provider)|
|Address:||1 Chome-17-2 Azumabashi, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 130-0001|
|Business hours:||11:00-21:00 (one game per hour)|
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