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When the Samui Times team received an invitation to test our wits in the live escape games from Escapology, we were really not sure what to expect. Ideas of some death defying Houdini style escape routine came to mind, but if nothing else we were most intrigued as to what exactly we were being asked to take part in.
After a little investigation we discovered that Escapology, at the beautiful Beach Republic Resort in Lamai, offers thrilling, interactive adventure games for teams of 2 to 5 people who must pit their wits and race against the clock to find clues and solve puzzles in order to escape from a locked room within sixty minutes. Our interest sparked, we decided to accept the invitation and go along and find out what Escapology is all about.
We arrived at Beach Republic fifteen minutes before our 2.30pm slot, and were greeted by a very friendly team of Game Masters in an air-conditioned room with some rather comfortable and stylish leather sofas and two rather intriguing looking locked doors.
Behind one of those doors lies the Shanghaied Game – a mission where after being forced onto a junk ship to join the crew, you find a storm has driven you into the save haven known to the Chinese as Samui. You have just sixty minutes before the ship is due to set sail and during that time you must search for the clues that will provide your freedom.
Behind the second door lies the Cuban Crisis – a mission where you must retrieve information from Cuban and Soviet intelligence agencies for the US President, the countdown to nuclear was is on and you only have sixty minutes to save the world!
We elected to save the world and enter the realm of the Cuban Crisis and after a bathroom pit stop (there are no toilets in the escape room) and being informed that the electric plug sockets and ceiling do not house any clues and that we would not need to move about heavy furniture to find clues, we made our way to the back of the building and were let into the room, and then of course, the door was locked! The escape rooms have CCTV that allows the Game Masters to watch your progress, and they are on hand at any time so they can provide assistance solving clues if needed.
Once inside we all jumped into action searching for clues, fathoming out puzzles, figuring out the combinations to locks and scribbling down notes on the white board providing to try to make sense of the very cleverly put together conundrums that would allow us to make our escape. For the first thirty minutes we got used to thinking outside of the box and realized that even seemingly meaningless items could hold the key to our freedom, we felt as if we had all the time in the world. With the clock on the wall ticking, during the last thirty minutes the searching of the both the room and our brains intensified as the idea of being against the clock kicked in and upped our pace considerably.
Feverishly working together we could hardly believe how fast the time was going and every time we correctly put together our clues and got one step closer the fun intensified. Just once or twice we hit a blank and could not figure out the clues. At this point a Game Master magically appeared and offered us a helpful hint – but at the cost of one minute being added to our escape time. After 55 minutes of searching, fathoming, puzzling, solving and laughing we finally broke out of the room! Breathless and in fits of laughter we all did a high five and congratulated ourselves on our cunning.
Escapology games are so much fun, they are a great way of team building and we had worked really well together. The games are very cleverly put together, and require no special skills, other than a very basic understanding of mathematics. Everything you need to solve the puzzles can be found in the rooms, although not always easily, and watch out for objects that look integral to escape but are actually red herrings. All you really need to escape is the use of intuitive logic and the games can be played in both English and Thai.
For some being locked in a room may sound claustrophobic but it really is not, we don’t want to give away too much and spoil your fun, but the rooms are large enough and light enough for you to never feel uncomfortable. Besides, you will be having so much fun you really forget that you are locked in; and the team of Game Masters is always on hand to help.
Due to the secrecy of the rooms no cameras or mobile phones are allowed inside. There is nothing scary or physically demanding about the games, but the ideal age range is from 8 to 80 years old!
We were thrilled with our experience and all agreed that being locked in a room together had been far more thrilling, exciting and just brilliant fun that we could have imagined.
Escapology games really give you the opportunity to take yourself into another world, stretch the corners of your mind, think outside of the box, enjoy tremendous fun with friends or colleagues and really give you a fantastic break from the sun and the beach.