Article from Jornal de Noticias Portugal – www.jn.pt – 11th of August 2016
Written by Carina Fonseca
SOLVING PUZZLES IN A TEAM TO GET OUT OF A ROOM IN 60 MINUTES IS THE CHALLENGE. SCENARIOS ARE INVOLVING SIMULATION OF KIDNAPPING AND MURDER
Peter Simons, a scientist committed to creating a serum that can protect people from disease, mysteriously disappears. This way begins the adventure Secret Bunker, one of three “Escape Room Games” in Coimbra. Participants enter a hooded and handcuffed room, in order to break free in 60 minutes, by working together to solve puzzles. The prize is the satisfaction of winning the challenge.
The “French and one” – are four Portuguese players, three of them residing in France – who leave excited, despite not having met the goal. Just made their debut in a breakout games concept, that has spread in Portugal and abroad. “There must be 40 or 50, only in Paris,” confirms Rita Linhares, (25), one of the participants.
“The goal is for people to enjoy,” said Rudolfo Lopes, from The Secret Bunker. He wanted to open up the game after playing in Puzzle Room Coimbra, which in year and a half had more than 400 games played, according to the founder, João Alves. He also became interested in the concept after trying the Puzzle Room Lisbon and decided to use a vacant house to develop the “Project 22”, centered in the beautiful University town on the river. And than, created another game: “The mission”.
In Coimbra there is also Brainmaze with its “Ground Zero” game, which is about a bomb threat received by the University and have the group to search and play in a student’s room. The founder, Eduardo Alves, is already preparing a new challenge.
The diversity is even greater in Lisbon, where two years ago, opened the first game Portuguese escape game: The Lisbon Escape Game. Founded by João Santos and Ana Mendes Borga, who experienced the concept in Budapest. They transports players to the home of a spy in the 40s. “We had almost 3,5 thousand people play” this game, and soon there will be another ( “A amante / The lover ” game), says João, recalling that in the early days he had waiting lists of two months.
In the capital also works Enigma Lisbon, with two scenarios: “Homicídio na Revolução dos cravos / Murder in the Revolution of Carnations” and “Sala assombrada / Haunted Room” (not a scary game). “Kids are our best players. Typically, the solutions of the puzzles are the one the most obvious, and adults have tendency to complicate matters, “said the responsive person of the game, Margarida Roldão.
Travel to play the Escape Games
“Whoever tries one, then you want to try another,” to the point of having “a community that travels to escape games,” assures Margarida Roldão. We have had a group whose flight was late and went straight to the game, not even drop their bags at the hotel. Ricardo Moreira, from Escape Challenge in Porto, confirms that “those who likes (the games) will make all games” because “they are always different.” He offers two. The most popular is “O jornalista / The Journalist”, centered on a character who decides to fake articles, but is uncovered as a person who is going to kidnap people to make and write real news. Participants, of course, are the victims.
Antonio Silva become also interested in the concept after attending his first Escape Game with his Hungarian girlfriend, two years ago in Budapest. That was the first step towards the creation of Porto Exit Games, which has three games. The first, “Port Wine Sabotage”, is the one that attracts most players, and is the easiest. “However, more than half of the teams can not escape,” he notes.
Already BreakOut Port Escape Game claims for itself the title of largest in Portugal. The game “Area Number 10” takes place in an area of over 100 square meters and several rooms. Paulo Caxide, one of the partners, stresses that there are also effects with the light and sound, to make the experience more real.
“In The Museum” is the offer of Puzzle Room Evora. D. Frei Manuel of the Cenacle, Archbishop of Évora, has had hidden 200 years ago something their homes. This is the starting point of a project born of an experience in the Puzzle Room Coimbra, reveals Marta Varelas. “We left with 14 seconds to spare”. We were very excited and wanted to open the room doors. ”
João Gonçalves Zarco, who discovered Madeira, is the central figure of the game “Zarco’s chamber” of The Breakout Funchal, where the goal is to find a missing present, for the king. There is also an Outdoor Escape Game, with longer duration, in which participants are secret agents searching for an enemy spy in the streets of Funchal. To have fun is the key word, here in our games the success rate is 100%. “Everybody escapes but not all of them leave in 60 minutes,” says Martin Smrz, from The Czech Republic, who operates also the The Breakout Prague.