Escape Games Fukuoka has been open for one year so a group of us went to try out their recently opened second room ‘Hangover.’ The experience was as the name suggests, like waking up in the dark and trying to figure out what happened the night before. We had a lot of fun, going through feelings of frustration, confusion and finally success when we made it out (even though we finished ten minutes over the time allowed and with a bit of help)!
There were five of us in our group which we were warned would make it more difficult since the recommended number of players for this room is two to four. We were nearly all first-time escape room players and Paul, one of the minds behind the game, advised us to communicate and work as a team. He also told us that since the game is about discovery rather than puzzles, we needed to constantly pay attention. But that’s easier said than done when you’re under pressure from the ticking clock!
Paul and Moses created this game first by watching the movie ‘The Hangover’ over a few beers, and then with over six months of hard work, creativity and construction. Everything in the room is built by hand, including the walls. Moses told us with pride that there were probably about 40 meters of hidden underfloor wiring. The locks and puzzles were so surprising, I actually became more interested in how they were made than in the clues. My team wasn’t too happy about that!
‘Hangover’ is a western-style escape room which means that unlike Japanese-style games, it is hands-on rather than solving a puzzle with a pen and paper. You don’t need Japanese or English to be able to play since the clues do not involve language. This means anyone can play.
Mostly groups of friends do the escape rooms. They attract both first-timers and people who have tried rooms in every city they have visited. It’s great for team building! There are plenty of both Japanese and foreign players and when I asked, Paul told me that he hasn’t found a difference in the ways that Japanese and foreign players approach the clues. There are also many people who play the games on dates as part of konpa culture. The next room to be constructed will be the ‘Mr. Grey’s Room’ and should be ready by Christmas. The fourth and final room will be the most intricate of them all, ‘Alice’, and should be this time next year.
We completed ‘Hangover’ in 70 minutes, not much slower than the current record time of 58 minutes. Think you can do better? Good luck! Oh, and scroll down for a limited time 10-minute extension exclusively for Fukuoka Now readers!
Escape Games Fukuoka
• 10:00~22:00 (approximate hours)
• Open every day but reservations via their website required
• 302 Daifuku Building, 2-8-19 Daimyo, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka
Mention “Fukuoka Now” when you make a reservation and get an extra 10 minutes (free of charge). Offer valid for reservations up to Dec. 31, 2018.
Report by Fae Clark