Towards the end of last year, I had started hearing a lot about this new activity – the ‘escape room’. To me, this sounds like something out of those god-awful Saw movies. Think being locked away in a room and doing unspeakable things to get out. Sound like a good time? Definitely not!
Then I was contacted by Mindgame Escape in Umhlanga. I was very generously offered to try a session with up to 5 friends, to test out the experience. I was intrigued, and gave their website a browse, and IMMEDIATELY settled on the Sherlock Holmes Baker Street room.
The Mindgame website is exceptionally easy to navigate. They give advice on who can play the game, the current rooms on offer are on display, and you can even make your booking online, by selecting your chosen date and time. Simple, clean and oh so exciting! There are currently two rooms on offer – Sherlock Holmes Baker Street (in which you solve the puzzles and find clues to get you out of the room) and Houdini Escape (a whole different level of escape in itself, as Houdini himself is the ultimate escape artist). Another room is in the works right now, and if you want a little clue, think Mayan temples and amazing adventures.
Each room also has a best time given, set by previous players, so you have the chance to try and better it.
Hubby and I waited until my sister and her other half arrived for a visit from Cape Town before we tried out the escape room. It sounded like a lot of fun, so this was pretty darned hard to hold out that long, as we had to wait until after Christmas, but wait we did! My poor sister also had surgery a couple of weeks previously, so was a little hop-along on crutches and her one foot in a moon-boot, but the kind folks at Mindgame assured me she wouldn’t need to use anything but her brain for the hour session.
On the day, we arrived for our 10:30am session, and were asked to lock away phones and cameras in a big trunk – you aren’t allowed to take these in with you. We locked away all of our goodies, handbags included, and hubby hung the key on a lanyard around his neck for safe keeping. You’re then shown a short movie about the Mindgame experience, and given a brief on what you have to accomplish in the room. You have 60 minutes to get out, and are allowed to call for clues using the phone in the room. Three clues or under and you stand a chance to get on the leader board if you beat the best time.
And so we entered the Sherlock Holmes Baker Street room – aka the room with the bright red door.
Now… I can’t tell you TOO much, but it’s harder than we assumed it would be. Not hard enough to make it like work, but challenging enough that we went in there bent on beating the best time (I’m crazy competitive, just ask my family about board game nights!) and we came out 16 minutes over the best time. In fact, we only made it out with just over 3 minutes to spare. We had the best damn time – so many puzzles and clues and games to solve. And there is something in there for every kind of brain. We had a nice well-rounded team, so this helped greatly. Even though I was pretty bummed about not beating the best time!
My final opinion of the experience?
A complete and utterly fabulous time was had by all of us!
This isn’t ideal for little ones, as I don’t think they’ll solve puzzles easily, but for families with teenagers, for team building, a new idea for an afternoon with friends or for a really unique date, this is the place to be! Hubby and I are already planning a return trip for a date night – think dinner and an escape room – and we’re considering doing team building with this in mind for our work’s office staff.
If you’re interested in giving the escape room experience a try, pricing for Mindgame Escape is as follows: –
2 Players — R250pp
3-4 Players — R225pp
5-6 Players — R200pp
You can also book online HERE.
P.S. An added bonus!
You can find Mindgame Escape on your Durban Entertainer App if you have it 😉 2 for 1 on a Mindgame Escape Experience is a fabulous idea if you’re new to the whole thing and aren’t sure if it’s something for you.
Durban is also on Early Bird Special for R295 for the whole of 2018, with three extra add ons… Just saying.
**DISCLAIMER – while I was treated to a complimentary escape room session on behalf of Mindgame Escape, all opinions are always honest and my own.**