GONE IN 60 MINUTES
It began like any regular night-out with friends. Until we were all handcuffed and locked =inside a dimly-lit, nondescript room.
In a city like Doha, where one is starved for distractions, it is a wonder how Adventure Rooms escaped our notice for as long as it did. This unique physical adventure game/mental obstacle course has become increasingly popular in the West and was introduced to Qatar towards the end of last year. And going by their booking availability, it has sparked the imagination of Doha's residents and that too through word of mouth alone. It is almost impossible to get a time slot on short notice unless you are prepared to wake up very early on a weekend morning and try to solve the puzzles bleary-eyed and still half asleep.
We noticed a Facebook post on our timeline around late morning on a Thursday and by the evening had booked ourselves the only reasonable time slot available – at 10.30 pm on Saturday. By the time we finished the game and exited the apparently deserted apartment complex (of course it wasn't) at around midnight, the eerie quiet of the night seemed to complement our recent experience and was strangely fitting.
For obvious reasons, we won't go into too much detail about what went on inside. But rest assured, there are no horror elements and it's fun for everyone aged between 9 and 99. The game allows for 2-6 players in each of the two rooms and the more players there are, the less expensive it is (QR300 each for two players and QR100 each for six players). These two rooms, or levels, need to be chosen at the time of booking – Crazy Scientist (medium difficulty) and Black Queen (hard difficulty). We rather ambitiously chose the latter and were given 15 minutes to familiarise ourselves told that we were only one puzzle away from getting the final key to our escape. It assuaged our broken egos a little bit.
It was definitely a couple of hours well spent and not too heavy on the pocket if you rope in enough of your friends. Adventure Rooms is also gaining popularity among corporates for whom it serves as a fun, team-building exercise. It is small wonder that escape rooms like these are such a popular entertainment option; they offer delicious escapism to the jaded and provide a rare bonding opportunity removed from our digital screens