SAY WHAT?: The Real Escape Game was founded in 2008 by SCRAP, a Kyoto-based publishing company. It is known as the first live-action game in the world, and is mostly constructed with real life escape rooms. It has a number of branches around Japan and the rest of Asia, including Singapore, Beijing and Hong Kong.
WHO SHOULD PLAY? As the motto is “Arrive a player, leave a hero,” we’re going to suggest this exhilarating game is for anyone who’s dreamed of being a hero at some point.
WHAT’S NEW? In June 2017, they released a new game called “Real Trap Action Game: Escape from Hunter X.” Players solve mysteries and puzzles in order to save themselves from getting killed by the horrifying “pursuer” (as the Darth Vader-esque demon is called). Up to six people can play the game, and teamwork is required in order to defeat and escape from the pursuer within 60 minutes.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? There are three levels and three different pursuers. As you complete each level, the games get more difficult, and the pursuers get stronger (and scarier). The rooms are small and dark, giving you goosebumps as soon as you enter. To gain access to the different weapons or traps, which you can use to defeat the pursuers, you have to solve clues – however, even though there’s a map in the main room which helps you to hatch a plan, there are really no hints about where to actually place the traps or how to use the weapons.
The one thing that can save you is the glorious time machine, enabling you to go back in time and do things all over again. Of course, you have to learn from your past mistakes and use new strategies when you get a chance. Basically, the time machine gives you a second chance to survive and be a hero yourself.
Without giving away too many spoilers, all we can say is, prepare to use your brain a lot. You cannot simply rely on your teammates and just go with the flow; you have to learn how to trust your instincts. Also, a tip for the faint-hearted: better nip to the loo before the game begins as there are plenty of sudden, hair-raising frights.
WHERE IS IT? In Asakusa, just a few minutes’ walk from Asakusa Station. Take exit 4, and cross the famous red bridge over Sumida River (spot the legendary Asahi Beer Hall aka “the golden turd building” and take a witty selfie with the weirdly shaped yet oddly satisfying building in the background).
ALL RIGHT, LET’S GO! The game lasts 60 minutes and is open from 2pm on weekdays (closed Mondays) and 12pm on weekends. If you buy tickets online they cost ¥3,200 per person, but at the door they cost ¥3,700. For more information, and to keep an eye out for the next new game (to be released in September 2017), visit realescapegame.jp.