Mystery at the museum. *SPOILER ALERT*
By Craig Allan, Business Manager
I’m just glad that this was not like the movie Escape Room or else I would have been dead for sure!
For a long time now, I have always wanted to go to an escape room. The idea of testing my mental might in a pressure filled situation has always appealed to me. However, I have been deterred from this due to not being able to really see anyone during the pandemic and my busy work schedule. However, last week I finally got to experience an escape room with my co-worker, Nhl “Jenny” Vo, Production Assistant of the Other Press.
We journeyed to an escape room in South Surrey called Exit where we tested our brains in the Antiques Museum. In this museum, our security guard friend Harvey has gone missing, and we were tasked with finding him. I think both of us knew we might be in trouble early, as it took us what felt like 10 of our 45-minute run time to figure out the first clue.
We had to solve a four-digit lock based on over a dozen swords on a wall. We had to pick the most “noble” sword, which turned out to be the ninja sword. Noble was not the first word that came to mind when thinking of a ninja sword but whatever. We then had to solve a hieroglyphics clue which stumped us. We had to ask for help, which was the right decision, as we never would have been able to figure out the math to get the next lock combo.
We then entered the second room, where we had to find items for some undead companions. We solved the first clue without issue but had trouble with the rest. With less than three minutes to go, and stuck on the second of three rooms, we realized that we were not going to win and asked for help. We were pointed to a necklace on the floor of the room that was used to get a number sequence that we had to read inverted. The inverted word was ‘Lose’. Aptly named. The third clue involved assembling severed arms and hands to form a four number code. We both agreed that there was no way we would have figured that out without help.
We were just short of entering the third room before the timer ran out. Despite the time running out, we were allowed to continue in the game. After stumbling around a bit, we accepted our loss and asked for the front desk personnel to guide us through the rest of the room; it involved taking a flashlight from the mouth of our friend Harvey’s severed head. We then had to find numbers only visible under ultraviolet light in all the previous rooms to unlock the final door and leave.
While the escape room was fun, I did have some problems with it. For one, my electric lantern, our only way to see in the dark of the rooms, did not work very well, as it flickered and died many times, leaving me to have to shake it constantly to be able to see. At first, I thought it was how the lantern worked, but when Jenny’s wasn’t doing the same thing, I realized that it was broken. The technician came in to fix it, but it kept malfunctioning. This cost us, as I could not find the necklace on the ground in the second room due to my bad lantern.
There was also a problem with the severed head in the third room. The head had a flashlight in its mouth that you were supposed to take to look for the numbers, but there was no clue leading to that in the box. The only writing in the box was a message saying that if we damaged the head prop, we would be fined $1000. That made us not want to touch the head, and therefore we could not solve the ending puzzle.
There was also a problem with the locks. Many of them were worn out and were hard for me to operate with my big fingers. Thank goodness I had Jenny there with me, whose smaller fingers were able to work the locks.
While the escape room was fun, it could use some better signage, instructions, and locks. Still, it was fun, and I would try it again, but maybe with a different company. I’m just glad that this was not like the movie Escape Room or else I would have been dead for sure!