Tag Archives: mystery

PAX Australia 2016 Escape Room Panel and 5 Min Q&A with Escape Rossio team


PAX Australia – The Past, Present and Future of Live Action Escape Games

For the second year running, the escape room panel at PAX Australia is a great insight into into what’s happening within the escape room industry in Australia. The Lock Me If You Can team were in attendance and have a great summary of the panel here while the entire one hour panel can be seen on Youtube here.

The panel covered topics in escape room classification, puzzle design and how virtual reality/artificial intelligence could be adapted for use in escape rooms.

Also during the panel – a representative from Labryinth Rooms discussed developing a large multiplayer game for Australia! It would involve actors as zombies with a tentative date of April 2017. To deal with large numbers of players within the game, the team are looking at SCRAP’s model and are looking into visual puzzles or interactive actor puzzles (eg. distract a zombie).


5 Minute Q&A with Escape Rossio team

The team behind Escape Rossio in Portugal did a mini Q&A for the blog recently –

– What inspired you to create your escape room (tv shows, movies)?
First of all, books and movies from Dan Brown. These are the main inspirations.

We enjoy following leads and clues. To find mysteries and investigate. For several years we studied cosmogony, conspiracies and historical secrets. Our escape room allows us to share in a scenic, immersive and interactive way – all the conclusions from our investigations.

– If you could create an escape room about anything, what would it be about?

We currently have one escape game. The objective is not exactly to escape but to reach the end of an ancient ritual. Therefore we would create our next room also thinking about this objective.
As we found the Illuminati theme to be rather good and interesting, we would probably stick to it.

Our escape room offers the experience of the first steps into an Illuminati Order so we would try to find place for the upcoming steps. There are many degrees and their history is vast so we could make several escape rooms based on those with different rituals, enigmas, scenarios, etc.

Also there is a particular part which we love, and that is that Lisbon is one of three sacred cities for the Illuminati, being the others: Jerusalem and Rome. We can’t currently proceed to those places but we would definitely love to create two more escape rooms in those cities.


Other Escape Room News:
– The Escape Hunt Group has been acquired for USD $23.5 million in November 2016, covering 207 escape rooms and 46 brick-and-mortar stores located in 27 different countries (Source).


The Hunt Begins: Hunt A Killer experience takes over 200 acres in Darlington, Maryland – USA


A 200 acre living crime scene to explore.

Hunt a Killer is a three hour immersive experience where teams of six people will help solve the mystery of the serial killer.

The Hunt A Killer experience is described as part adventure race – to the next location, part escape room – discover and solve crime scene clues and part interactive theatre with actors.

As the event is designed in an open world format – teams are able to choose how their adventure plays out. Go in any direction located within the event’s land boundaries and see what you can discover.

Search for crime scenes, find evidence and discuss wild theories with your teammates. Then complete physical/mental challenges to collect information about the killer before time runs out. Will your team choose the path to success or failure?


Teams attend a briefing before the Hunt a Killer experience starts at 3pm this Saturday. The FAQ says players may also need to crawl or swim(!) through other challenge sections and that not all teams will finish the experience by the 6pm deadline.

When night falls – the event turns into a party where players can talk about the day’s events over a camp bonfire. Afterwards, players can then pitch their camping tents for the night.

Tickets are $210 USD per single ticket (where a person is matched to a team) and $960 USD per team (each person $160 USD).

There’s a code on the website: KEMPER300 which gives teams a $300 discount at the moment. Since the event contains mature content, the Hunt a Killer website states only players 21 years or older are able to join.

Would you sign up for the Hunt A Killer experience?

Hunt A Killer – Website

The Hunt A Killer team are also planning something for 2017 – mysterious packages in the mail.


// Other Escape Room News
Today is the last voting day for the 10 Best Escape Rooms as nominated by USA Today. Experts nominated 20 of their favourite escape rooms in the USA and the Room Escape Artist team covered the story with a great post here.

The final results should be listed on the USA Today website – who will be crowned USA Today’s number one escape room?

Perhaps someone will take up the challenge to do an escape room tour to visit the top 10 US escape rooms after all the votes are tallied.

Essa 🙂


Escape the Night! When a bunch of Youtubers get caught up in a murder mystery game created by Joey Graceffa


The house doesn’t allow its current owner to sleep. As a result Joey Graceffa invites over his friends for a 1920s dinner party but an evil is brewing within the house. Escape the Night is a new Youtube series created by Graceffa and involves a group of Youtubers being caught up in a murder mystery game over the course of a night.

When the guests start dinner, one of them becomes ill as a result of poisoning and receives a message – “There is an ANTIDOTE hidden on the first floor of the house. If your friends are wise enough they’ll be able to solve the clues and save you. It all begins with the last dish of the night” – Youtube.

The dish reveals a series of clues that lead to a storage box and locked inside are three antidote vials with a message. The guests split into smaller groups to search for three keys hidden within the study, the library and the foyer of the house.

Each location needs to bring back their key to the storage box and unlock a vial, as the poisoned Youtuber needs all three antidote vials to recover. The Youtubers don’t work well together and the unfortunate guest gets “poisoned” in the game.

The guest’s jacket is searched for clues and his notes reveal the house is possessed by an ancient evil trapped in the 1920s. The Society Against Evil has been trying to destroy this evil by finding four hidden artifacts. These artifacts then need to be joined together in a ritual to lock away the evil forever.

For every journey, there’s a cost involved. For the final test of each artifact, the group must get two guests to undertake the challenge and in turn one of them will “die” from the Youtube series.

All the guests have until sunrise to beat the ancient evil otherwise they will be trapped in the 1920s forever. The first episode of Escape the Night is free on Youtube and definitely worth a watch here. There’s six episodes out now with a new episode coming out this Thursday but to watch the whole series you’ll need a Youtube Red subscription.


Bonus Part – Since this blog was posted up late, I decided to scribe the library riddle that gave three of the Youtubers a headache and which they couldn’t solve in time. Can you solve it? I’ll post the answer in the comments section below.

Two devils: Wormwood and Asmodeus cross paths in the lower levels of Hell. Asmodeus implores Wormwood as to how many souls he has perverted this week. Wormwood replies, “three young ones”. Asmodeus is furious with the lesser devils failure to bring in more souls and asks their ages. Wormwood realizes this is his chance to confound the King of Devils and avoid his fiery wrath and gives him a riddle instead of a straight answer.

“If you multiple their ages you will get the number 36”

Asmodeus seethes for a moment trying to solve the riddle and then bellows, “It is not enough to determine their ages I need more information.” Wormwood replies without hesitation for the telling of riddles is his best skill.

“If you add all 3 ages together you will get the number of devils on the grand council” A/N: There are 13 devils on the grand council – it was on the book’s cover.

Asmodeus stews on the new information as the fires burn around him but he cannot derive the answer and remarks so Workwood replies, 36 is enough.

{The rest of the riddle is too blurry to read from the video but there should be a mention about an eldest child.}

Determine the ages of the 3 corrupt children.

– Essa 🙂

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


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 🙂

Steampunk Heroes vs. Villains battle it out in The Escape Challenge at Disney Meetings


Disney Meetings are the branch of Disney which handle corporate group events, meetings and conventions. Before the event starts, event designers customize these group functions and make them more memorable by utilising knowledge of the customer experience Disney has developed over time.

The newest event theme is called The Escape Challenge, offering a team building exercise that takes place through multiple rooms. Participants are broken into teams and lead into rooms where clues need to be solved to move through the challenges.

Four steampunk inspired characters will greet participants and explain the scenario at hand, the “Stone of Stones” needs to be found so that time can be protected and allow the history of the world to remain intact.

At first, participants will find themselves falling through time and locked within the captain’s rooms of an old and forgotten pirate ship. The ship is filled with past treasures of maps, pirate tools and of course, bucket loads of shiny gold. The clues in the room lead to a message and the way to escape into the second room.

Time shifts again and participants find themselves next in a mad scientist’s laboratory. Preserved jars of creepy specimens line the walls acting as memories of past experiments and hide traps lurking within the room. Solve the clues and challenges in this room to win the game within a one hour time limit.

“We’ve designed every aspect of The Escape Challenge to create an unforgettable Disney team building program or team-bonding experience,” said Ray Fournier, Disney Producer – Disney Meetings

Overall The Escape Challenge is linked to the idea of saving time but is further customizable to any group having a Disney Meeting. The best bit is the entire setup can be easily transportable which might mean you could easily see this one day at an upcoming Disney convention or within a Disney theme park.

There’s even a Youtube video introducing The Escape Challenge, check it out:

Maybe one day Disney will let participants fall down a rabbit hole with Alice herself.
– Essa 🙂

Theme Park University
Disney Meetings


Go Somewhere Secret, find the real life treasure map and locate hidden treasure

If you can get to the end of the escape game at Somewhere Secret – that’s where the next adventure starts. By solving all the puzzles as part of the game, it leads to a treasure chest in the room and inside lies a real life treasure map. The buried treasure isn’t cash, it’s located somewhere in Colorado – USA and nobody has yet found the treasure. Being curious about the combination of a escape game and a treasure hunt, Intervirals asked the team behind Somewhere Secret some questions.

Q. Somewhere Secret sounds like the beginning of a great adventure – is there a story behind the business name?
When we were thinking of a business name, we imagined someone walking down an alley and seeing something written on an old door, something that would make them want to go inside, a name that would catch the most curious folks and pull them in. At first we don’t want people to know exactly what they are doing or where they are going, but we want them to feel the pull of a mystery.

Q. You describe Somewhere Secret as a cross between a escape game and a treasure hunt – why did you decide to combine the two? Was there an experience which had a impact on you?
We’ve played a few escape games and they feel so fun for an hour, but also rather limited in that they didn’t feel very believable, they felt like artificial places with loose stories that end the moment the game is done. We wanted to make something that feel like a true intrigue – something that extends beyond the physical escape game and out into the real world. We’ve had many magical adventures in our lives, and we really want to share that feeling of being a part of something epic in real life. The escape room is only a portion of what we want to create. Our mission is to fill everyone with wonderment, magic, and adventure.

Q. If a team solves all the puzzles – is the treasure chest within the escape room? Or do people need to talk to the reception desk about it?
At this moment the map is sitting, sealed with wax, inside a rusty chest in the room. If a team unlocks the chest, they will walk out holding the document. We also have extra copies in case a group of strangers ends up wanting respective maps.

Q. Where does the treasure map lead to?
Where the map leads is a mystery of course, but it sends folks on an adventure. If they are able to solve the treasure hunt they uncover a relic, which they can bring back to Somewhere Secret in exchange for the treasure – which is non monetary, but really amazing.

Q. What if someone randomly stumbles across the hidden treasure?
We hid a specially marked relic instead of bundles of cash or gold, because we didn’t want the money to get soggy, or for a random stranger to stumble upon it. We also would like to know when the treasure is found so we can update our followers. There are several treasures in fact, so once one is found, the next players will be playing for a chance at a new map. I would be very surprised if a random person found the relic. Only people that have played the original game may claim the treasure at the end.

Q. Will the treasure remain hidden for as long as it takes for someone to find it?
Yes the treasure shall remain in its hiding place until it is uncovered.

Q. Any last bits of information you would like to share?
Though our game is very closely resembles an escape room, we often don’t describe it to people as such (we don’t lock anyone in and the goal is not escape). Many people in our region of the world still have no idea what an escape room is, so often our clients will find a mysterious note hidden in a library book that will tell them to find somewhere secret – and should they choose to follow that first clue, they are off on a magic adventure. It is more of a hunt than an escape.

Somewhere Secretsomewheresecret.com

It’s part of the adventure and mystery – “And the Escape Room”, episode on 2 Broke Girls

Airing last Thursday, on the CBS channel in the US was the 2 Broke Girls episode featuring an escape room (along with other mature adult themes).

The owner of the diner, Han insists his workers need to build up their teamwork skills and doesn’t tell the team where he is taking them. Flash forward to about the six minute mark of the episode, where the escape room makes its first appearance.

“What the hell is this place?”

Ever enthusiastic Han tells his staff it’s part of the adventure and mystery, while Max shows immediate disdain for the place – “It’s not one of those escape rooms where they lock you in a room and you have to work as a team to get out?”.

The game facilitator arrives, while Earl the diner’s dj states the “You’ll all are volunteering to be locked up in a tiny room?” joke.

A typical waiver form is given to the team and most of them quickly sign the paper without looking at it. Next, a red bucket is handed around to put mobile phones in so the team can’t look up the answers on Google. The industrial metal door is pushed to the side and the team are shown in to the escape room.


It’s completely dark – in the scene nothing in the room can be seen at all except the light from the door way. Once the door is closed, the team is left stranded in the dark until a lamp above a picture of Einstein glows bright.

Someone in the team points out there’s several light switches on the wall near the painting. Underneath Einstein, it states to choose correctly or lose five minutes of game time. 26 light switches but which one to choose? The first guess is which letter represents light? The answer guessed is “L” but Caroline steps in to correctly guess it might have to do with Einstein’s equation of e=mc2 and within the formula, the speed of light equals the letter c.

After the third light switch from the top is switched on, all the lights in the room turn on to reveal a Alice in Wonderland theme. From the back of the room, an actor appears as the Mad Hatter and there is one hour to escape.


Riddles are given to the team to solve, ‘One – take it out of the package it goes in your mouth. Chew it too long and it will go south’ – the answer being Gum. Another riddle involves Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael J. Fox, the Pope and Madonna.

Then the episode moves forward quickly to the last fifteen minutes, with a riddle – “If it were so, it might be. And if it were so, it would be”. The show hints at the answer in the picture of Tweedledum and Tweedledee in the nearby background. (Note: Specifically Tweedledee says this in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.)

At this point, the team are frustrated they can’t make any progress and Caroline gets more upset after an earlier incident with Max – then proceeds to jump down the rabbit hole prop at the back of this room. While the game facilitator tries to warn Caroline, he then mentions there’s a couple of rats in the hole. Then he says while rolling his eyes, this place is a death trap (and an inaccurate representation of plenty of real life escape rooms).

Then realizing the trouble the team is in, the game facilitator tries to use the emergency code to exit the room but the door won’t open. Eventually the facilitator confesses to not knowing any codes in order to help them get out of the room.

The episode finishes with two of the team members breaking through the escape room floor (by accident).

Well, that’s one way to escape a room.

Essa 🙂

Monsters, Vikings and The Century Beast Kickstarter by The Mysterious Package Company


The typical mailbox is filled with junk catalogues and bills for things that need to be paid for but what if you received something different one day?

The Mysterious Package Company specialises in telling stories via a unique medium – they send pieces of a story to a person via mail. First, you need to apply for membership, be accepted and select an experience.

It then starts with the recipient receiving a letter and as weeks pass, other artifacts that are part of a customized experience arrive in your mailbox as well. The entire overarching storyline wraps up with “The Reveal”, with the company sending a final black letter and a wooden crate nailed firmly shut. Within the wooden crate this time around is an eldritch (weird/sinister/ghostly) artifact to remember the entire experience by.

“We include real history in the story, which lends authenticity to the experience, disguising where reality ends and the fiction century_beastbegins.” – The Century Beast, Kickstarter

The company at the moment only sells its stories and experiences to accepted members. However the newest experience is being crowdfunded on Kickstarter and is open to everyone. Called The Century Beast, its a story about marine monsters, vikings drawn to look for these monsters and doomed by what lurks below the waterline.

To sign up for the entry level experience – The Bronze Experience will cost $99 CAD, followed by the Silver Experience at $199 CAD and their are Gold, Diamond and Platinum packages too. With three days to go, the Kickstarter has received $303,000 in funds, a long way ahead of its original goal of $20,000 Canadian dollars.

The Century Beast on Kickstarter: http://kck.st/1T74PmN
The Mysterious Package Company: https://www.mysteriouspackage.com/

A ghost ship docks into France, Enigma Escape opens their doors and the curious Canterbury Puzzles

discounts - 7th june

Can’t wait to see images of the Prizoners Live event taking place this week in France! Plus mathematical puzzles from an book written by Henry Ernest Dudeney and competitions/discounts from Enigma Escape, Escape Room Malaysia, Crack the Code Sheffield and EXIT West Broadway.

Room Escape Events Blog
Denver, Colorado: Have you ever heard of The Canterbury Puzzles by Henry Ernest Dudeney? Denver Escape Room discovered this ebook while browsing the Project Gutenberg site.

London, England: Enigma Escape have opened their doors in London with a 25% discount on offer – use the code: ENIGMAESCAPE25 when booking. Offer lasts until August 17th.

Malaysia: Solve the puzzle on Escape Room Malaysia’s Facebook page and leave a comment to enter their competition to win a free game voucher.

Paris, France: Prizoners Live! Le Vaisseau Fantome – A giant escape game in the middle of Paris with over 100 participants. Disappearing from radar screens in 1985, the ship called Eminence has been found recently and is about to dock into shore for the first time in 30 years. What happened to the onboard crew? Why did their radio fall silent? Climb onboard and solve the ghost ship mystery within 60 minutes. The upcoming June 13th event is fully booked but there’s another staging of the event on July 4th. Costs €30 per person and will be at Batofar, quai Francois Mauriac, Paris, France.

Sheffield, England: Re-post the competition image from Crack the Code Sheffield’s Instagram page with the hastags #sheffield and #ctcjunegiveaway – to be in the running to win a prize!

Vancouver, Canada: EXIT West Broadway are giving away two vouchers worth $250 USD each, that can be redeemed for ten people to play a game. Plus a 20% discount for every game booked Monday-Thursday between the hours of 3pm to 6pm. Tweet, Like and Instagram to enter – follow the details on VanCityBuzz.com – competition closes June 12th.

A history of room escapes – the origins of room escape bloggers and their inspirations – Part One


It stared at me from the other side of the train before I realised what it was. It was an advertisement describing a real life room escape game. I was on holiday in Singapore at the time and I remember being curious enough to later on finding myself standing in front of a free wifi hotspot within Changi Airport googling what the business what about. Soon after I found a Wall Street Journal article about room escapes and as a result, I wanted to find out more about the topic, write about it and that’s how this blog started.

As I thought of this blog reaching it’s one year anniversary – I became curious about how other room escape bloggers started their blogs and what inspired them, so I asked as many of them as possible – one question:
“When did you first hear about room escapes and why did you develop an interest in it?”

Everyone has their own room escape origin story to tell and here are some of the responses received from places such as Canada, Singapore, USA and the UK.

Name: EscapistTO
Website: https://escapistto.wordpress.com/
Reply: I’ve always had a general interest in mystery novels and movies, but I didn’t really hear about the idea of live action room escapes until I stumbled upon the blog http://claviscryptica.com/. I thought, damn, that sounds so cool! I wish Toronto would catch onto fads quicker! So I can pretty much be credited for willing it into existence.

Name: BHox (xTheBHox)
Website: s-capegoats.tumblr.com
Reply: First heard about it from a friend, probably, somewhere in 2011/2012, and had played some of the online escape games at that time so i thought it’d be pretty cool to have a real-life computer game. I was interested but was still a student and it was expensive. Nevertheless, I tried a couple of rooms (not initiated by me) in 2013 and found it fun especially because I love puzzles and a challenge. Eventually, I gathered a bunch of fellow nerds (sorry guys!), we enjoyed it, and that’s how it started. 🙂

Name/s: Errol Elumir, Matt Silver, Manda Whitney
Website: EscRoomAddict.com
Reply: We first heard about Escape Rooms sometime in Spring of 2014. We did our first Escape Room around June, 2014. All three of us are huge fans of adventure games, some of us starting way back when Infocom was in its golden years. A real life Escape the Room was a natural fit. Since then, we haven’t been able to stop!

Name: Dan Egnor
Website: http://www.escaperoomdirectory.com/
Reply: I’ve been interested in “puzzle hunts” and puzzle events in general for a long time. For several years, I’ve run http://www.puzzlehuntcalendar.com/ and with my puzzle team (the “Burninators”) play most of the local (San Francisco Bay Area) puzzle events. One day someone sent me a listing for a “Real Escape Game” run by SCRAP. I didn’t go right away, but I was curious, and eventually I start attending their events. When they opened Escape from the Mysterious Room locally, a bunch of us had to try it out!

We escaped by the skin of our teeth and it was an amazing experience.

For a while, as far as I knew “escape room” was just something this one SCRAP company did; I didn’t know there was an international scene! But then suddenly last year a whole pile of escape rooms started opening locally. I had the idea of organizing an “escape room crawl” where I got 10 friends together and we did all the local escape rooms (except the SCRAP rooms which we’d already done) in one day. That meant going to six different rooms, which was a long day (around 10am-9pm, including travel and breaks) but it was an amazing time.

Already several new rooms have opened in the area and we’re considering another “crawl”. And whenever I visit a city I make sure to do the local escape rooms. I dream of going to a major hub like Toronto, London, or Budapest and having a huge escape room holiday! [Essa: This is something I dream of too. I wonder how many other room escape bloggers share this feeling too?]

Anyway, since escape rooms are permanent(ish) installations they don’t fit the format of puzzlehuntcalendar.com, but I wanted to catalog them so made a quick directory listing which hopefully complements some of the other directories at Intervirals and elsewhere. I had no idea I would find hundreds and hundreds of rooms worldwide, with more opening every day.

Name: Chris M. Dickson
Website: Exit Games UK, http://www.exitgames.co.uk/
Reply: The first thing I ever wrote about room escapes dates back to April 2013 – see chris.dreamwidth.org/24796.html – but from context presumably I had read about their existence in countries outside the UK before then (maybe weeks before, maybe months before). I have long been interested in spectactular puzzle games and events, dating back to at least 1999, so I’ve long kept an eye out for what might be possible and dreamt about getting to play them myself some day.

Name: J.
Website: http://escapingsg.wordpress.com/
Reply: In January 2012, I happened to see Singapore’s first Real Escape Game installment mentioned in one of those ‘interesting things to do this weekend’ articles in a local magazine. The concept seemed intriguing, so I bought tickets… and have been hooked ever since. Escape rooms took a while longer to get to Singapore, and it was only in July 2013 that I tried my first room escape, after it was featured in the local newspapers.

I’ve always loved puzzles, whether they are mathematical ones or murder mysteries, so I guess it was pretty natural that I’d end up liking room escapes. I think they’re especially fun thanks to the added dimension of interactive, physical aspects, and the need for teamwork. People often complain that Singapore’s a boring place with not much to do, but room escapes provide a great alternative when you’re tired of the usual cafes, movies or shopping malls.

Footnote: As several responses were received back from fellow bloggers, check out tomorrow’s blog {PART TWO link} to read about the inspiration behind other room escape blogs including Escape Games Review (Canada), Escape Room Sydney (Australia), QMSM (United Kingdom), Escman League (Malaysia), Escape Game France (France), Room Escape Artist (USA) and Escape Reviewer (Canada).

Feel free to share how you discovered the concept of room escapes in the comments below.

Essa 🙂