NO.1 Issued Date 2012.Oct.18
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Escape Reality at X Room

2012-10-17 10:31:59 GMT2012-10-17 18:31:59(Beijing Time)  City Weekend

Sick of solving sudokus on your phone? Tangrams can’t scratch that itch in your brain? It’s time to step into the next dimension of puzzles. Welcome to X-Room on Zhongshan Nan Lu, where the room itself is the puzzle.

In a Saw-style escape game, you and up to seven of your mates must use every detail surrounding you to find a way out. On the plus side, nobody’s chained to anything, and the only threats on your life will come from amongst yourselves the closer the digital clock on the wall gets to zero. That’s right: each group has exactly one hour to complete four rooms.

Picture this: you follow me into a room, and the lights go out. To your right is a table with a hand-powered flashlight and a book containing cryptic Chinese riddles. Your hand starts to cramp as you realize the riddles relate to elemental puzzles plastered on two of the walls. Ratcheting up the pressure is a grated window looking into the next room, where smoke reveals lasers criss-crossing wall-to-wall.

The puzzles involve a mishmash of mathematical puzzles, crawling around and generally trying to figure out how the few things in each room relate to one another. It’s a game that requires true teamwork as each member must pass each test or the whole team has to restart from that point. The operators of X-Room are so confident in its difficulty that an initial prize of RMB1,600 is offered to anybody that finishes the four rooms. Its popularity has even inspired fanatics to post cheat guides online.

Joey, the brain behind the business, brought the Japanese-inspired genre of escape games to Shanghai in March, and he’s already building another location in Hangzhou. For RMB120 per person (RMB100 on weekdays before 5pm), you can have a real-life Mission: Impossible experience at roughly the same cost as a movie. Currently service is available only in Chinese, but people are welcome to drop by during operating hours (10am–11pm) without an appointment. X-Room also rewards the faithful: any group that successfully completes the task receives a special invitation to a mysterious second series of rooms, through which you can win a free trip to Taiwan.

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