Even vicariously experienced through engaging book or movie storylines, it’s devilishly easy to slip into the unnerving-yet-thrilling mood of escaping a hairy situation; be it a creepy locked dungeon, a horde of pursuers, or even a ticking bomb. But what if you could play out such sequences in real life? Boasting immersive, themed narratives, there are specialised outfits that offer exactly that!
The overall concept for these places is one that is largely shared across the industry – after emptying their belongings into a locker, players are locked in a room, and have to navigate clues, puzzles, traps and other obstacles to escape while a countdown runs in the background. It’s often easier said than done, depending on the difficulty level of the particular game.
Naturally, skills associated with investigation, teamwork, communication and level-headedness are among the prerequisites, as these scenarios are tributes to realism so convincing, you’d long for liberty while squaring up to your predicament.
Escape Room KL
With a name that pretty much sums up what it is, Escape Room calls itself Malaysia’s first real-life interactive escape game. Indeed, it arguably predates other similar brands, and is perhaps the most recognisable trademark of its type in the country.
Room themes are varied, and new plotlines are introduced regularly to keep things fresh and riveting. The more than half a dozen rooms available for selection are based on creatively presented popular tropes, such as vampires, abduction, fantasy, horror and adventure. Between two to six players are allowed for each game, which lasts no longer than 45 minutes, with limited lifelines should a riddle stump everyone during their escape bid.
Escape Room KL
WHERE 07-96, Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur
ADMISSION RM32-RM36 (per pax)
TEL 03 2141 0653
Employing an uncommon take on the genre, Breakout also has the multi-subject rooms that explore surreal themes of science fiction, magic, mystery, crime and others. However, it also permits some role-playing.
By assuming one of eight characters, for instance The lockmaster, The Scholar, Assassin or Time Bender, players can enjoy unique perks that each of these guises brings to the table. Not only are these bonuses useful during gameplay, they add a layer of strategy too, especially when the sacrifice of certain perks (or even a player for a timed period) grants a hint. Three-quarters of an hour is all the two to eight players per game have to break out of their conundrum.
WHERE L4-09A, NU Sentral, Kuala Lumpur
ADMISSION RM100 (2 pax)-RM288 (8 pax)
TEL 03 2276 3705
Fifthroom – Redefine Escape
As one of the newer companies to toss their hat into the escape room game ring, Fifthroom steps forward with its particular approach. The rooms it lays out bear singular, involving stories centring on curses, terror, and even murderous psychopaths.
Players are given the lowdown of the situation by a Game Master, who will then dispense a total of three hints during the 50 minutes of time allocated for the search of freedom. As little as two or as many as six players can be in a game, although four to five people are recommended. Interestingly, there is also an in-house bistro for some pre- or post-game refreshments, as well as an event space for up to 80 guests for occasions.
Fifthroom – Redefine Escape
WHERE B1-03A & B1-E-03A, MYTOWN Shopping Centre, Kuala Lumpur
ADMISSION RM42 (per pax)
TEL 03 9286 5255
Lost In KL – Haunted Escape Game (NOTE: TEMPORARILY CLOSED AS OF JULY 2019)
This venue, as the branding makes obvious, was designed for those with unflappable nerves of steel, or folks who just love being scared silly. Expectedly, there are a number of blood-curdling settings with strong links to the paranormal, from ghosts to demonic possessions. There is also one featuring zombies, appealing to players not too keen on the supernatural. Each room has different physicality requirements to take note of, and of course, subtly varying levels of fear factor.
Depending on the game chosen, a minimum of either two or three players, or a maximum of five or eight can be booked. The time limit for a getaway is an hour, during which assistance can be acquired a handful of instances.
Lost In KL – Haunted Escape Game
WHERE A-01-3, Menara Rajawali, Jalan SS15/8, Subang Jaya, Selangor
ADMISSION RM38 (student), RM42 (per pax)
TEL 018 258 4868