Rachel Bache is an entertainment writer for the New Zealand Herald.

Escapade: Navigating the darkness

Rachel Bache gets stuck in a locked room, and loves every second of it.
Room escapes are the type of game that puts your brain power and problem-solving skills to the test.
Room escapes are the type of game that puts your brain power and problem-solving skills to the test.

Everything is pitch black.

It takes my eyes a little while to adjust to the small dark room I've just been locked inside.

The countdown clock in the corner flashes red and I can't help but feel a tiny rush of panic. I've got to get out of this room.

Instead of a PlayStation controller in my hand, I have a small flash light. I flick it on, and the hunt for clues begins.

Escapade, New Zealand's very own room escape game, takes the video game experience into the real world.

For months I have been consumed by what is one of this year's best video games, The Witness. In the game you find yourself exploring the ins and outs of a mysterious island, solving addictive panel puzzles that unlock different parts of the island and often lead to even more puzzles.

After playing the The Witness obsessively for so long, I've started to see the lined puzzles in everyday life, and that's where the dark locked room comes in.

Now, rather than fiddling with a console controller and running through caves, castles or tree tops in The Witness, I'm in one of Escapade's three rooms, on my hands and knees, shining my torch in every corner looking for hints on how I'm supposed to find my way out.

Escapade, a locked room experience.
Escapade, a locked room experience.

Room escapes are the type of game that puts your brain power and problem-solving skills to the test. Instead of using brute force, players have to solve a series of clues and puzzles, which will eventually lead them to their freedom.

Escape games have taken off all over the world and Auckland's Escapade has its own Kiwi twist with their escape rooms The Bach, The Shed and The Tavern.

There are more than a few parallels with video games such as The Witness. You feel elation when you solve something and frustration when you can't.

Escapade, a locked room experience.
Escapade, a locked room experience.

It's also best when played with others. When you're feeling completely stumped, you can bounce ideas off each other. Plus, it's a heck of a lot of fun.

There's also a sense of urgency with Escapade. Players are only allowed an hour to solve the riddles and get out.

And just like when you figure out a brainteaser, the feeling of finally unlocking that final door is incredibly satisfying.

What: Escapade, an escape game in which you have an hour to escape from a locked room by solving clues and puzzles.
Where: 23 Victoria St East, Auckland
Info: www.escapadenz.co.nz

- TimeOut

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