The new indulgence

Crack the code

The new indulgence

Picture this — you have 5 minutes left to race towards the exit. The clock ticks ominously and you scramble about a room with only cryptic clues to guide you as you crack the mystery that locked you in here with your friends. With sweaty palms and a drumming heart, you struggle to connect the dots that could lead the way out. The seconds seem to fly, but you are so close — can you escape?

The concept of an escape room is relatively new to Bengaluru’s entertainment scene — the 4 present in the heart of the city are all barely a year old. Escape rooms are quickly catching on as an alternative to games like bowling and laser tag, the novelty of which is slowly fading away.

A team of 2 or more players needs to communicate and work together to emerge from a locked room that simulates a murder, abduction or trap, in merely an hour’s time.
Escape rooms are all about the experience — the combination of dramatic and problem-solving elements make them an interactive adventure that sparks creativity and prompt thinking.

“It’s an addiction,” says Kiran Shivappa of the international franchise ‘Escape Room’.
“People come in curious, but once they get hooked, they can’t resist coming back for more,” he adds.

Curious first-timers are not only thrill-seeking teenagers, but adults as well, so escape rooms are for everyone! You can even bring along a string of friends and family to celebrate special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays. Corporates, too, are trading the stereotypical retreat to play escape games as a means of team building and developing leadership skills.

Hareesh Mothi’s venture, ‘Breakout’, tries to entertain its customers in a different way. “As I played escape games around the world, I began to feel like something was missing, despite the excitement that comes with the situation,” he says.

“The story wasn’t given much importance although it is crucial to the escape experience. ‘Breakout’’s games thus have detailed narratives that imitate movies, and every clue found in the room is linked to the different plots the games follow.”

It’s not just the story that draws people to an escape room, but also the challenges it presents to its players. Games that are simple, yet riddled with challenges, are what attract everyone from students to families, according to Riddle Room’s founder Nishita Raman. “People have played escape room games on their smartphones. They love them, and come looking for the real thing because they want new challenges,” she says. What ultimately lures people into this experience? “It’s the adrenaline rush and how intellectually stimulating it is,” says Shirin, a participant, animatedly, who has been to several escape rooms across the country. “Nothing beats the satisfaction of solving a challenging puzzle and escaping in the nick of time.”

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