The things you need to escape are in the room with you. Yes you are trapped. But look everywhere. You will not need strength; this is a game of logic. You have 1 hour. Good luck.
With that, the team scatters, shouted commands and planning happen on the fly. The room is a horror show, pictures of men surrounding morbid science experiments, books written in Cyrillic, and equations scrawled in sharpie by a madman’s hand set the scene of a gruesome place. 2 of us attack the front of the room examining cabinets, locked doors, soldier’s uniforms and a computer, hidden behind a password. 2 others attack the back, looking through a hole into a darkened cabinet, searching behind picture frames and under seat cushions. We find keys, sequences of numbers, locked doors and confusion, and the last member of our team is assigned to track all of them and try to find patterns.
We are in Parapark, the first live escape the room game in Geneva. The room, the laboratory, we are in is a giant puzzle. Like the knots of steel and rope you find on tabletops in interesting homes, the goal is to use your reasoning to get one piece free. The twist is that we are that piece.
We find the key to the back door, which leads us into another room. A laser level on a bench seems innocuous, until another clue turns it into a key. A safe, protected behind a keypad unlocks a third room. Each time a clue is discovered, we race to find where it fits into the puzzle surrounding us. The timer set in the middle of the room ticks away to… what exactly? The terrible fate awaiting those who do not escape was not part of our “pre-flight safety briefing”. Given the blood splattered state of the walls, it seems clear what we are supposed to believe. The time winds down, and down, we find bits of electronics, a DVD, numbers and then, just as we solve the puzzle. The timer. Ticks. To. Zero.
Over our radio we are told that we will be given a couple minutes, because we are close. And we were, no more than two minutes later, we escape. This is the opening night for Parapark, so we walk out into the brightly lit room full of our friends, champagne flows and congratulations are wished. I can say that the game felt like a success, exciting and entertaining, challenging and stressful, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. If other people have half as much fun as I did, I can only see great things in their future.
In our fifth issue themed Madness, we featured and discussed what was going to be Parapark, the first escape room in Geneva. If you are interested in learning more about Parapark, pick up the fifth issue of OURS Magazine, and visit http://geneve.parapark.ch/