A husband – wife duo ,addicted to the mystery solving genre ,drew inspiration from a Tokyo based “live escape game” and after 2 months of extensive brainstorming and innovating, conceptualized “Clue Hunt” – India’s first live escape game, in December 2013.
This new breed of games involves a 60 minute brain (and nerve) wracking challenge where players are locked away in a room and left to decipher, decode and break down a crime scene, relying solely on their abilities as a team.
The goal: Solve the clues and escape the room in 60 minutes.
Location: A Clue Hunt experience starts before one actually reaches its address location. Finding the building is a mystery in itself (perhaps Clue Hunt’s creators took Sherlock references way too seriously). They couldn’t have done a better job of hiding the location in the environs of Bandra if they had tried. No signage, no posters, nothing. Our advice: Rely on your trusty old GPS to get here.
The Game: Trying to be as scant as possible about the details (don’t worry, you’ll thank us later; and partially because the website www.cluehunt.in threatens serious legal consequences against spoilers).
Spylock’s Chamber (one of the two game rooms) is a murder mystery scenario that unravels with every clue that you solve. The underlying challenge is to solve all clues, sideline any distractions or misleads, and use only relevant answers to progress (a la Cluedo – for the newbies). All of this within a fast paced timeline of 60 minutes. There’s no guarantee that you’ll solve everything or everything that you solve is going to help you.
The room is excellently engineered, terribly addictive and proves to be one heck of a thrill ride. More the merrier they say, and we couldn’t agree more, with 4 of us playing – these were the shortest 60 minutes of our lives. This mystery requires its sleuths to possess mathematical, word-building, problem solving, map reading and keen observational skills along with psychological influences of intuition, patience and awareness as prerequisites to escape the room. A slightly higher than average IQ clearly helps here. The game unravels 3 distinct action areas where a manic mix of riddles and puzzles- ranging from easy to beguiling to nasty await, each with an increasing level of difficulty and adrenalin rush for your cerebrum.(We cracked it in about 56 minutes).
The staff is friendly, helpful and as excited about the experience as you are. The game induces collective group action, not to mention a sense of accomplishment and a reinforced belief in one’s mental abilities.
However the game follows no particular plot/narrative, which leads to precious game time wasted in figuring the who’s who and the what’s what. The props inside are cleverly created but could do with some maintenance. The “live clues” displayed on a screen help, albeit the typing errors the game master on the outside makes, are annoying and take away from an otherwise well-crafted experience. We found our experience to be chaotic at some points owing to the sudden influx of hints and the lack of working space.
The identity of the murderer remains unknown even after successful completion of the game (another scheming ploy maybe?).
The Damages: The experience costs about ₹ 700 – ₹1000 per person and varies depending on team size and weekend or weekday slots. An expensive hourly affair, but the novelty makes up for the small burn hole in your pocket.
Final Thoughts:Clue Hunt is a must try experience and is indeed a labyrinth filled with cognitive and reflexive entertainment.
Manil S. Dodani