Last week a few of my engineering friends and I came together to face a very different but fun challenge. We stepped out of our normal holiday routine ie. movies and malls and into a real life puzzle solving game.
Escape rooms have been popping up around the world and has finally made its way to Durban over the last couple of years so we headed down to Mind Game Escape in Umhlanga.
Before I go any further, you might be wondering what exactly is an escape room? Essentially it is a detective based adventure where you’re ‘locked’ in a room with your team and use objects, puzzles and intellect to decipher secrets and escape the themed room within a time limit (60mins).
Currently Mind Game Escape offers 2 themed rooms: Sherlock Holmes Baker Street and Houdini. Sherlock Holmes is more of murder mystery whereas Houdini is all about magic. My friends and I opted for the Houdini Escape Room as it seemed more of a challenge and had a best time of ONLY 58 mins.
Upon arrival, we were greeted by the sweetest staff members and some warm up riddles. We clicked a few selfies and locked away our belongings because google is definitely not allowed. We were then told a little story about Houdini before entering the room.
The experience begins as we’re led into a small room filled with a range of magic themed furniture (including a coffin), clues scattered around the room as well as some writing material to help keep track of our adventures. There was also a handy mobile device in the room that kept us in contact with the staff. They’re always watching your moves and making sure you’re on the right track. A maximum of 3 phone calls/hints is allowed if your team is attempting to set a new record.
There were several types of puzzles that kept us on our toes, whether it be matching clues, number/math puzzles, word games or just thoroughly searching the room for a clue or puzzle piece that seemed to be missing. There were also some pretty ‘magical’ things that occurred but I don’t want to give away all of Houdini’s secrets now and spoil the fun.
As a team we made it through the first few puzzles quite quickly but as we progressed, so did the difficulty. Even with our 6 ultra nerdy brains working together we were stuck at points – sometimes overthinking or missing obvious steps. This is a game that NEEDS EVERYONE to be working well together. Unfortunately, we took 6 minutes longer to finish the game but were still very proud of ourselves when we escaped the room.
Overall we had an absolute blast taking on this challenge together and are still in awe over the attention to detail in these rooms. Mind Game Escape is an excellent experience. The atmosphere both inside and outside the room really puts you in the mood for mystery solving and a great time.
The experience is also constantly expanding, with a third room rolling out in the coming months. Mind Game Escape has been my favourite holiday activity thus far and I am definitely going to be heading back to check out the new improvements and try out the other rooms!
For more info, check out www.mindgame.co.za