Cursing each other out, screaming directions, accusing and blaming one another: it doesn’t sound like a dreamy romantic date, but for couples and groups of friends trapped inside a room with only 30 minutes to escape, it comes with the territory.


Okay, so everyone may handle stress differently, just as groups have their own way of communicating amongst one another – but do you and your friends have what it takes to escape? Put each other’s strengths, wits, and knowledge to the test and work together – TOGETHER – to get out of the room in the set time limit. The ultimate teamwork and team-building exercise, Escape Games have been rising in popularity all over Tokyo; it was only a matter of time before someone introduced it to the international market.

SCRAP is bringing these intense, full-body-sensory games to those brave enough to take up the challenge. “Brave” is the keyword for one game in particular, “The Haunted Manor.” You and your friends are thrown into the middle of a horror movie, with thirty minutes (ten-minute increments can be tacked on to the end if you’re close to the answer, for a small fee), to both solve the mystery and successfully escape. Without spoiling the game too much, here’s a brief rundown: Players are introduced to the background story, which involves a string of mysterious murders and a hungry “demon” lurking about a haunted house.

Haunted Manor

As you play through the game, exploring the environment (think: dimly-lit rooms, trinkets that may or may not help you, puzzles, word games, dark crannies, and feeling squeamish over opening cabinet drawers), team members need to keep their eyes and ears peeled for the “demon” hunting its next victim. Players will essentially be playing “hide and seek” with said demon, while simultaneously solving the crime and working towards freedom. The terrifying experience is genuinely rewarding once it’s over. Listen closely to the instructions, and don’t let your own personal panic distract you from the task at hand.

Another, slightly more tame and much-less horrifying Escape Game, is “The Red Room.” The one major difference? “The Red Room” doesn’t require any language. Codes will need to be broken, and heads will have to be put together to solve the entire puzzle within the same time frame. “The Red Room” tests problem-solving abilities and requires the team to collectively think outside of the box.

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In both games, everyone will have their moment to shine: no single person will be able to work alone! Team up in pairs or bring a group of up to six players. Game-masters will be on hand to provide hints for the desperate and oversee that rules are being abided by. No phones or electronics are allowed, so check those in at the door and “escape” real life for half an hour as you strip down to nothing but your own instincts.

Over the next several months, SCRAP hopes to see more demand for English versions of their Escape Games, and introduce more to keen players. For now, only the two are available, but they will keep you satiated – and leave your heart pounding – for a good long while afterwards. SCRAP currently produces dozens of field-type and room-type of Escape Games in Japanese, for those feeling confident in their language abilities. SCRAP is also currently looking into expanding into Nagoya and Kyoto.asakusa_map_English

Both “The Red Room” and “Haunted Manor” are permanent exhibits in the Asakusa neighborhood, best accessed from exit 4 of Asakusa Station, and walking five minutes across the bridge. Each game is about ¥1,800 per person.

And as for any hurt feelings felt during the game: melt into a seat at a nearby cafe and unwind with your friends after the game. Brush off any hard feelings and have a good laugh about the highs, lows, losses and triumphs. Although you won’t be able to give the games another go once the doors have closed, it’ll leave you and your partner, friends, and family stronger – and with lasting memories for a lifetime.

More info:

–Natalie Jacobsen

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