Gone in (hopefully) 60 minutes

Always keen to partake in a little investigative work, Team TMN metaphorically donned the detective caps to go play Sherlock in a fun new adventure game gripping Dubai… 

What: Escape Quest

Where: HDS Business Tower, Jumeirah Lake Towers, Dubai

When: Seven days a week, 10am-11pm

The promise: “Forget Google! Forget Wikipedia! It’s a race against time and you have 60 minutes. Full of twists and turns, this is a real life brain teaser, a test of brainpower and a test of willpower”

Did it deliver? “You have 60 minutes and the clock is ticking. You must find the clues, solve the puzzles and crack the codes which will ultimately lead to your escape…” were the words that rung out as we dared to enter the Escape Quest headquarters on the 20th floor of a standard JLT skyscraper. Apart from our cryptic greeting, there wasn’t a whole lot to go on, which was all part of the fun and definitely part of the challenge. The one thing that we could be certain of was being locked in a room, with the only way of escape by finding seemingly random clues, solving unseen puzzles and cracking inexplicable codes… in an hour.

Even with the combined brainpower of Team TMN, we were feeling the pressure.

Led into the room channeling everything we’ve learnt from Benedict Cumberbatch, we knew that there was much more to the room than an obvious affinity for all things Africa. After being made aware of the bell, which could be rung at any stage in the hour for a clue, all energy went into working on team strategy – communication and combined effort cannot be overstated in a game like this. Running around like headless chickens at times with a mind twist at every corner, time crept up and we suddenly had eight minutes left before we succumbed to asking for our first clue. Things that had no meaning eventually began to make sense and the excitement (and tension) became palpable, as we got closer to the escape. Working right to the end, we made it out of the room with barely 30 seconds to spare – not sure whether we were more proud of completing the game or more relieved that we had managed to uphold the TMN name!

The verdict: Whether with family, friends or colleagues, if you can round up a group of up to five then Escape Quest is something that has to be experienced. Incredibly clever and a challenge without being frustrating, it’s a great way to relieve the stresses of the day by forcing you to refocus your energy. While it’s certainly not a walk in the park, don’t be fooled into overthinking it either – there’s a beauty in the balance of complexity and simplicity that’s achieved. There’s only one quest available at the moment, which means you can only try this out once; but with a new one set to launch in the next couple of months, it will be a welcome opportunity to get our detective caps on again!

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