Tag Archives: japan

Pokemon Escape Room starts in Japan this July

Become a legendary Pokemon trainer.

SCRAP has partnered with Nintendo to promote the new movie, Pokemon: I Choose You. A Pokemon themed escape game will follow Ash Ketchum and Pikachu from the beginning.

The pair’s journey will involve finding the legendary bird pokemon, Ho-Oh. (Check out Ho-Oh in the image above!).

Players will get to choose one of three Pokemon – Charizard, Squirtle or Bulbasaur – at the start. Depending on which Pokemon you choose, the order of the puzzles will change in the game.

There’s also two levels of difficulty to choose from. The Doctoral Course is for adults while the Trainer Course is more suited for kids to teenagers.

The escape game will test each player’s knowledge of Pokemon and visit eight cities in Japan. The cities include Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Miyagi, Kanagawa, Aichi, Okayama and Fukuoka.

The official site already warns players that waiting in the lobby can take up to fifty minutes. Once inside, players will get to enjoy the Pokemon escape game for two to three hours.

You gotta catch ’em all(!) before the Pokemon escape game ends in December 2017.

http://realdgame.jp/pokemon/main/

Thanks to Room Escape Artist for the tip!

Celebrating Final Fantasy XIV’s 30th Anniversary – Escape Game in Japan

final_fantasy_escape_game

A diverse group of heroes trying to defeat evil is at the heart of each Final Fantasy video game.

The video game series is celebrating it’s 30th anniversary this year and brand manager, Shinji Hashimoto revealed there will be a Final Fantasy XIV (14) escape game.

“Escape from the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut” will be available to the public from February 10th 2017 and is another SCRAP partnership. Furthermore the escape game will visit five cities in Japan: Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo and Fukuoka and will have a time limit of 60 minutes.

The story follows the Great Sorcerer Ruizova and the Light Warriors who defeated the evil Bahamut and saved the land, Eorsea from destruction five years ago. Now Bahamut is returning from the underground and there’s 60 minutes before the resurgence is complete – will you be able to stop Bahamut with your friends?

Furthermore, the escape game is suitable for newcomers and long time fans of the Final Fantasy series. SCRAP have also hinted they want to bring the Final Fantasy escape game to the United States.

 

Ticket Prices
General Advanced Tickets: 3,600 yen
Group Advanced Tickets: 21,000 yen
On the Day Ticket: 4,100 yen

Escape from the Great Labyrinth of Bahamut
FF XIV Escape Room – Event information and tickets
http://realdgame.jp/zepp5_ffxiv/

Official Final Fantasy 30th Anniversary Website
http://www.finalfantasy.jp/30th/

 

kato_yoshida

(L to R: Yoshida, FF XIV Producer and Kato, founder of SCRAP. Credit to FF XIV Website)

+ Bonus – SCRAP x Final Fantasy Interview
On the event website there’s an interview between SCRAP founder, Takao Kato and Naoki Yoshida, the producer of Final Fantasy XIV – who both tested the Final Fantasy XIV escape room.

The best parts of the interview are below –

Do you have any difficult problems when you make games where there are groups of people?
Kato:
In the early days, there were not many formal rules when creating a real escape game. In the past, a team was exploring a venue and pulled out an unknown iron plate from the back of the venue and said, “This is sure to be part of the mystery!”. Even later when [we] asked the venue’s manager, they said “I do not remember placing such a plate”. (Laughs).

It’s not easy to always control what happens at the venue, so gradually the rules have changed so the [escape game] mystery can be solved without touching anything inside the venue. Then demand comes [from customers] I want to interact with more things in the game.

Yoshida: I sometimes think the idea is not to know the ceiling [any idea is possible in a game].

 

Q. How would you like players to enjoy the Final Fantasy XIV Escape Room?
Kato: I hope that you can project your expectations on to game characters and play with them. So, I would like you to experience something like being a character entering the world of Final Fantasy.

Because small potatoes are hidden in many places, if you look for them too much you can’t solve a mystery. [Laughs]. A/N: small potatoes = red herrings

The full interview can be found here in Japanese.

 

– Essa 🙂
(~ Late blog post as visiting extended family at the moment ~ )

Plus thanks to Room Escape Artist for letting us know about this escape game in the first place!

 

What happened this summer when the Gravity Falls fandom found out about #CipherHunt – Part One

Catchup: | Prologue | Part 1 – Gravity Falls Cipher Hunt | Part 2 – Gravity Falls Cipher Hunt |

After the finale of Gravity Falls back in February, fans were left with a mystery on their minds – was there indeed a real stone statue of Bill Cipher hiding in a forest?

After months of silence, a single tweet from the creator of Gravity Falls, Alex Hirsch sparked a massive alternate reality game. From his tweet, fans discovered “#FLSKHUKXQW” shifted back three letters revealed the word #CIPHERHUNT.

alex_hirsch

From the image attached to the same tweet, fans decoded:
“The urban legend has come true / Cipher’s statue’s calling you / The secret map is in your hand / To trace the clues across the land”, along with “Don’t forget it’s all for pleasure / The hunt itself’s the real treasure / But a prize awaits the first one there / Be safe, be smart, and of course beware” – GF Wikia

Proving that what fans speculated months ago was real – there was a Bill Cipher statue out there waiting to be found.

Also from the image, fans discovered when the red letters were shifted backwards it spelt out the first location – Russia. The location was confirmed as Kazan Cathedral located in St. Petersburg, Russia as the floor plan can be seen.
russia

The clue picked up in Russia referred to the yen, which turned the focus to Japan and the next clue was located in Kanda Myojin Shrine, Tokyo.

The clue from Tokyo referred to the hunter of the fountain of youth – Ponce De Leon and a street name containing his name was found in Atlanta, Georgia in the US.

A fan discovered a damaged poster for a missing pig, Waddles – the cartoon pig which appears on Gravity Falls. On the poster was a puzzle and a phone number, when the number was reversed a voice recording could be heard.

Fans listened to Grunkle Stan, who advised them to check a university location at Rhode Island. Behind the picture of Sister Mary Hilda Miley the next clue was suppose to be located but the game ran into problems when the clue was discovered to be missing.

Alex Hirsch stepped in and tweeted to fans to re-call the last phone number, where another recording of Grunkle Stan played. “A man who’s first name is his last, a statue honouring his past …” hinted to fans they should head to Griffith Park in Los Angeles.

When the Griffith Park clue was picked up it mentioned, “50 + 50 that’s the city .. you’ll find a bow tie and one eye ..” which led to Century Park, Los Angeles. When the park is viewed from above, there’s a pyramid shape and two buildings beneath that look like a bow tie – similar to what the character Bill Cipher looks like.

A USB was found inside the park with a voice recording pointing to the next clue – hidden inside the California State Summer School of the Arts, where only students could enter the building’s sublevel to retrieve the next clue.

Scribbled on the wall were two hex codes that were decoded to lead on to the co-ordinates of Piedmont, California. Fans discovered a key tied to a tree stump and a locked container, revealing a PO box (27128) at 1825 N. Vermont Avenue in Los Angeles.

Out of the PO box emerged a monster jigsaw puzzle made of 2,000 pieces. Fans on the ground worked on the physical puzzle and upon completion, the Gravity Falls pilot episode would be made available* (*more on this later). There was also a virtual puzzle that online users could contribute to. And this was only day four!

When enough of the puzzle was put together the code on it was translated to the address: Corner of Rodney & Tillamook, Portland in Oregon. At the spot, fans discovered a lawn gnome that led to the tourist trap, Confusion Hill in California.

Inside the Confusion Hill shop, an eyeball jar found on a shelf held the next clue – which showed the next location as Stanley St, Amity in Oregon where a geocache was discovered.

The geocache in turn led to a theme park, Enchanted Forest in Turner, Oregon. A fan discovered a ripped puzzle piece that decoded to: “Return to where it all began / The final clue is in your hand / The parchment can be such a tease / The answer’s written in the trees” – GF Wikia

The finale clue led fans back to the original tweet which started the entire Cipher Hunt. There at the bottom of the image was a drawing of the Bill Cipher statue surrounded by trees.

trees

How to decode the branches and trees? Fans were stumped for days.

Next: Part 2 – Gravity Falls Cipher Hunt

– Essa 🙂

Welcome to Nerve – a movie about a geo-location game, the Gravity Falls ARG and other escape room news

“Welcome to Nerve – a game like Truth or Dare, minus the Truth. Watchers pay to watch. Players play to win cash and glory. Are you a player or a watcher? Are you a watcher or a player?”

Nerve is a new movie about a fictional mobile game where people who are “watching” the game can issue dares. All the dares have a monetary bounty and a time limit to complete the dare by. Starring Emma Roberts as Vee and Dave Franco as Ian, the characters accept dares and then live stream the results to prove they did them.

The dares start off easy – kiss a stranger for five seconds, try on a dress in a shop – but over time the dares that Vee and Ian are given become more dangerous. Vee tries to call the police as she realises the game has become dangerous and her identity gets stolen by the “watchers”.

“This is a game. The only way out is to win.”

There’s already something similar to Nerve called YouDareTo, where strangers post tasks and put a monetary value on it. After someone accepts the task, they need to record themselves and post a video of it online.

GRAVITY FALLS ARG
The Gravity Falls fandom is in the middle of an alternate reality game (ARG) with clues found in Russia, Japan and across the US. The whole adventure is to find a stone statue of Bill Cipher located somewhere in the US.

There’s been no progress on the final clue, which is the lower half of this image with the trees and the statute. Also Alex Hirsch, the creator of Gravity Falls may release a clue on his Twitter account on Monday. Join the Gravity Falls ARG discussion on Discord here and I’ll be writing a blog post about the entire ARG hunt once the statue is found. #cipherhunt

KOTAKU AUSTRALIA PUZZLE HUNT x ENIGMA ROOM
Lock Me If You Can mentioned on their blog there’s a current Australian puzzle hunt to promote the new Netflix series, Stranger Things which runs until August 4th with prizes involved!

ROOM ESCAPE DIVAS
The Room Escape Diva’s latest podcast takes them to the upcoming Transworld’s Room Escape Conference in Chicago from August 12th-14th and to chat with the organisers behind it.

– Essa 🙂

Gotta catch ’em all! Nintendo and Google’s Niantic Labs release Pokemon Go – a new augmented reality game into the wild

pokemon_go

There’s a serious Pokemon invasion and it’s only just started.

Pokemon Go, an augmented reality game was released last Wednesday to select countries. Players in Japan, America, Australia and New Zealand were among the lucky first to catch virtual Pokemon and live out their dream of becoming Pokemon Trainers.

The game has a staggered worldwide release and will next be available in the United Kingdom and The Netherlands as soon as the Pokemon Go team can put up more game servers to cope with the huge user demand for the game.

Pokemon are fictional animals which can be caught by throwing a Pokeball at it and over time, they can gain levels and evolve into new versions. Eventually Pokemon Trainers level up enough Pokemon to battle in the Pokemon League and to prove they are the greatest trainer of them all.

At level 5 in Pokemon Go, players can choose a team to align themselves with: Instinct (Yellow team), Mystic (Blue team) or Valour (Red team).

The world of Pokemon is overlaid onto the real world, so players must walk around to capture Pokemon or visit locations – PokeStops or Gyms, where players can stock up on eggs, Pokeballs or buy PokeCoins to help them get further through the game.

In under a week, the Pokemon Go game currently sits as the most popular game within the Google Play Store and iTunes App Store. It’s been mentioned the number of US Android users playing Pokemon Go will soon exceed the number of US Android users accessing Twitter or Tinder on their phones.

And it’s popularity doesn’t stop there, in Australia last weekend there have been Pokemon Go walks in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth with hundreds of people turning up to catch Pokemon. With more people around, the more likely Pokemon will spawn in the game.

It should come as no surprise that the mapping technology used in Pokemon Go has been harnessed from Niantic Lab’s earlier success – Ingress. People who played Ingress submitted location data of their gameplay via GPS and interesting landmarks became portals. From this, the portals of Ingress have become the PokeStops and Gyms within Pokemon Go.

“It turns out, Ingress plays a huge role in figuring that out. Major players of the earlier game contributed location data, or intel, to an online database, populating a worldwide map with various notable locations. That’s why Pokémon Go already knows the coolest places for you to check out in your local area, accompanied with photos.” – Polygon.

If you want to read more about the influence of Ingress on Pokemon Go, this is a good read.

Reports say Ingress has been downloaded 14 million times as of July 2016 and Pokemon Go is already well on its way to challenging this, with Google Play listing the number of downloads between 5 million to 10 million already.

Essa 🙂

Official Pokemon Go – Twitter

 

Death Note: The Escape opens for the 15th anniversary of Universal Studios Japan and CatCon LA!

death_note_universal_studio_japan

It all starts with a black notebook called a Death Note.

In the manga, Light Yagami (or Kira) is a genius high school student who discovers a Death Note when it gets dropped into the human world. After a person has touched the Death Note, only then can they see the death god that comes with it.

Kira tells his death god, Ryuk he wants to rid the world of criminals and uses the Death Note to write down their names in it. Soon after, criminals die of a heart attack or in suspicious circumstances. Eventually the media starts to realize a pattern and the famous detective, L gets put on to the case.

For Universal Studios in Japan, their 15th anniversary celebrations comes with a new escape room based on the Death Note story. 10 years on from the battle between L and Kira, a new mystery emerges. Help L who has received a new message from Kira and find the six new Death Notes which have entered the world!

Four levels of the Sakura TV station from Death Note have been created to house the escape room. The experience runs from July 1st to September 4th 2016 in collaboration with SCRAP Entertainment.

Teams can be made of one to four people, with regular tickets starting at 2,980 yen per person (inc. tax). Or for a pair of tickets – two people – it costs 7,980 yen per person (inc. tax). Tickets can be found here.

Plus there’s an opportunity to buy Death Note related merchandise – Sweets of the Grim Reaper – the Death Desert of Ryuk, is a gnawed red apple which sits on a chocolate Death Note. Or there’s the official Death Note clipboard and penlight.

In other escape room related news:
At CatCon LA this weekend – June 25th to 26th, the team at Animal Planet are running a free fifteen minute escape room. Participants will need to put together cat toys, figure out how to get out of a cardboard box and its all from the view of a cat. Get tickets here.

Finally, here’s the trailer for the Death Note: The Escape experience (in Japanese):

Essa 🙂

The game is on: UK Escape Room Unconference this Wed and BreakoutEDU global game jam weekend

breakout_edu_global_game_jam

It’s finally here! The BreakoutEDU global game jam is bringing together participants from all over the world to develop escape room games that can assist teachers and students in the classroom. There are locations in Canada, America, Japan, England and Guatemala all contributing their efforts to this weekend’s game jam – with the twitter hashtag #breakoutedujam or #breakoutedu. Also see what’s happening at the Ontario game jam which is being livestreamed on twitch: http://www.twitch.tv/bgnlab

uk_unconference

This Wednesday also brings the first UK escape room unconference taking place in Leeds, England. It’s a free event but there’s a suggested donation of £8 to cover costs associated with room hire, food and post it notes to scribble on. Escape room owners and enthusiasts are all welcomed to join in, with the first hour of the event dedicated to presentations and a Skype appearance from Professor Scott Nicholson.

Keep up on the day with the twitter hashtag: #EscGamesUK and the organisers Time Games.

UK Escape Room Unconference 2016 – #EscGamesUK
Date: Wednesday 13th January 2016
Time: Starts 2pm – 7pm (Leeds – England; UTC)
| Other timezones: Thu 1am Australia; Wed 10pm Singapore; Wed 9am Toronto – Canada and New York, Wed 6am Los Angeles |
Location:
The Cross Keys, 107 Water Lane, Leeds, England
Register:
On Eventbrite