At the newly launched Mystery Rooms, an escape gaming centre, there is just one mission: make an escape in under 60 minutes
We are convicts — falsely accused though — garbed in trademark prison clothes and locked in a cell.
But there is hope. We can break out. The jailor has stepped out and all we have is 60 minutes to escape, relying on brainpower to solve the puzzles.
At the just launched Mystery Rooms, the new escape gaming activity centre in the city, you can choose from four missions. Ours is titled Lockout: The Prison Break Challenge. The others are Cabin in the Woods — A Murder Mystery, Kon of Kohinoor: The Diamond Robbery and A Night In Bhangarh: Mystery of a Cursed Fort. Difficulty and skill levels vary for each. The Bhangarh game, for instance, is a tad scary as this fort in Rajasthan is said to be haunted. The game version involves entering a dark room armed with just lanterns, and courage.
Inspired by the virtual world.
Mystery Rooms was started in Delhi, around four years ago by Shikhir and Sapna Bhutani, and Prateek Panjwani, the architect, who also does the creative designing. “This form of gaming is originally inspired by online escape games that are quite popular in the virtual world,” says Panjwani.
“Mystery Rooms is a live version of these games where players get to experience the situation in real life and emerge heroes at the end. If a mission isn’t completed, there are punishments,” laughs Anurag Jangra, one of the partners who’s taken up the franchise for Chennai and Bengaluru along with Siddharth Nahata. “It’s a 3,000 square foot space and we cater to people in the age group of five to 77. It’s a great place for a family outing, bonding and team building events,” says Nahata.
Games are inspired by movies and real life. Each mission can be taken up by two to eight people. “It takes six to seven months to come up with an idea, clues and the whole setting,” says Panjwani.
A group of excited college students tumble out of a room high-fiving each other. They’ve completed their game well ahead of time and are determined to come back over the weekend to try the remaining challenges. “To keep up with the enthusiastic clients we are constantly coming up with new ideas,” says Panjwani.
Up next will be a game based on The Hangover theme (inspired by the movie) where players find themselves waking up in a suite with no recollection of what happened the previous night. Another is themed around the Padmanabhaswamy temple in Kerala, where the player has to navigate through the temple and open locked vaults.
(Mystery Rooms is located at 24, BBCL Magnum, College Road, Nungambakkam. As part of the inaugural offer there’s a 50% off on the tariff, which starts at ₹450 for two people. 9899009341)
Blog first published in The Hindu.
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