Event date: 20th September 2014
Dscry: Escape Room has decided to organise an event called Escape Run which is the largest interactive puzzle run. The event was held at Berjaya Times Square, Kuala Lumpur. Our team sent out 2 teams and dPace was in one of the teams. As I was away, I couldn’t participate in the event. Thus, I am here to interview dPace about the event. So dPace, can you tell us a little bit more about this event?
Escape Run 2014
dPace: This event was held on the 20th September, with each team consisting of 3 members. The price for participation is RM100 per person. Assembly time was at 9am and the closing ceremony ended around 4:30pm. We were directed to wear casual/sports. The event started with registration, speeches, and lot drawing. This is then followed by the escape run which consists of the group stage and final stage.
Dscry: I've seen videos on the Escape Run Malaysia Facebook page. Are all the participants required to make a video recording of their teams?
dPace: It was not compulsory, but the most “liked” video will win RM1000 cash prize. However, these video recordings were only notified after registration. Personally, I would have preferred that these instructions were given clearly during registration.
Dscry: Your team made an interesting video. How many teams were there for the Escape Run?
dPace: There were 36 teams.
Dscry: I see. That is equivalent to 108 participants. What happens when all the participants were gathered at 9am?
Waiting for the race to begin!
dPace: After checking our attendance and collecting goodie bags and jackets from the organizers, we were then told that we need to wear the jacket at all times! The organizers should have informed participants much earlier so that we can wear much lighter clothing inside.
Dscry: Whoa… Wearing the jacket at all times during the run! Maybe they really want all of you to sweat.
Escape Run jacket and finalist medal
dPace: Thankfully, we were in a fully air-conditioned mall. Otherwise, participants will be having a sauna in the jackets.
Dscry: Let’s talk about the run now. What are the participants required to do during the run?
dPace: The participants have different routes to prevent congestion at checkpoints. But at the end, all teams should complete all 8 checkpoints. At each checkpoint, there are puzzles to be solved within a time limit. Teams succeeding at checkpoints will be rewarded with a clue; otherwise they won’t get the clue to solve the murder mystery.
Dscry: Oh, I see. So, the objective of the run is to collect clues to solve a murder mystery. What happens if the team was unable to solve the puzzle at a certain checkpoint?
dPace: If teams cannot solve the puzzles at a checkpoint, then their time is equivalent to the maximum time for that particular checkpoint, which increases their total time.
Dscry: What is the maximum time for a particular checkpoint?
dPace: The maximum time for each checkpoint varies, but they are either 10 or 15 minutes. The times taken for a team to correctly reach their next checkpoint were also recorded.
Dscry: I’m curious to know if they included any shops as a checkpoint. May I know what the eight checkpoints are?
Going round and round and round...
dPace: The checkpoints were sushi restaurant, juice bar, a telecommunications centre, roller coaster and spinning ride in the theme park, Berjaya College, the food court and Escape Room. They also included a bonus stage, where the reward for completing this stage is a deduction of 10 minutes. At the end of all 8 checkpoints, teams will solve one last checkpoint located outside the Berjaya Times Square Escape Room.
Dscry: Sounds like a long run. What happens at the final checkpoint?
dPace: At the final checkpoint, teams need to solve a murder mystery within 10 minutes using the clues they have collected from completed checkpoints. Teams that correctly identify the murderer will be awarded with a time bonus of 20 minutes, which will be deducted from the total time to complete the group stage. Six teams with the six fastest times to complete these eight checkpoints including the murder mystery will move on to the final stage.
Dscry: Was there a break in between the final checkpoint and the final stage?
dPace: Yes, there was a break for my team because we completed the final checkpoint at around 1:15pm and we have to gather back at 2:00pm. Thus, we took that time to have our quick lunch. However, other teams may have had shorter breaks because our start time was 10:30am, while there were teams that started off at 10:45am.
Dscry: That is strange. Why did some teams started off later?
dPace: This is so that the teams are evenly distributed to every checkpoint. This is also to ensure that each checkpoint will have a constant frequency of teams attempting their puzzles, rather than all of 36 teams going to a single checkpoint. They do this by assigning different routes to each team.
Dscry: Oh, that makes sense. Anyway, congratulations to you and your teammates for making it to the final stage! Can you tell us more about the final stage?
We were in the final stage!
dPace: Before the final stage, we were held quarantined so that the finalists will not be able to see other finalists attempting the final stage. The final stage was an escape game held inside a bus. There was a terrorist that set a bomb inside the bus, which will explode in 20 minutes. As we entered the bus, we were handcuffed. There were 4 things to be solved. Unlock our handcuffs, open a chest locked with a directional lock, unlock chest with a press-lock, and the most important of all, was to cut the correct wire of the bomb. Cutting the wrong wire means defeat, while the team that manages to cut the correct wire in the shortest time wins the grand prize!
Dscry: Did any of the teams managed to disarm the bomb correctly?
Ticking bomb in the bus
dPace: Nope, none of the 6 teams managed to disarm, or correctly disarm the bomb. Thus, all six teams failed the final stage. Since there were no clear winners from the final stage, the final standing was based on the total time used by the final teams to complete the group stage.
Dscry: Whoa! None of the teams managed to pass the final stage. That’s too bad. Ironically, the team that won the Escape Run 2014 was ‘Team 3 Idiots’. They’re definitely not a team consisting of 3 idiots. Well, congratulations to the winning team! I hope there will be more events similar to this in the future.