Adventure Escape Room: Ukiyo

Ukiyo – bringing gameplay to life in a narrative escape room adventure

Ukiyo is a new, narrative-style escape room set in a detailed and whimsical Japanese setting, which can’t help but be compared to the delightful, child-like worlds of Miyazaki.

Only half can be trustedLead through a half-empty warehouse to a little dark waiting room, you wait for the game’s team to instruct you in the gameplay. A picture book describes the set-up, starting with the story of The Crumbling Prince, who waits for his missing friends, the Children of the Grove. Notes are scribbled on the walls, only some of which can be trusted.

You play in masks that either have headphones or lights built-in, as one of the four following characters:

  • Mask of the Moon – for the team’s leader and puzzle master, seeing what is hidden
  • Mask of the Sun – for the team’s cohesive and helpful player, a light in dark places
  • Mask of the Wild – for the caring team member, a rescuer
  • Mask of the Lost – for a communicative team member, hearing the voices of the unseen (pictured)

Ukiyo Mask of the LostYour task is simple: enter the garden and meet with the crumbling prince, Kuebiko.

You move into a garden with a wooden ramp leading to a Japanese-style rock garden with a blossoming cherry tree and a small water course running through the middle. The game involves moving about in this space, crossing the waterway. Some of the gameplay is accessible but not all activities would be suitable for someone with limited physical mobility.

Ukiyo is like being physically placed directly into a puzzle game, where combined quests and some side-quests all link back together into the main story arc. The players with Masks of the Lost and the Wild can talk to the voices they hear, and Kuebiko seems to be fully responsive. The players are encouraged to speak to the prince, and he can often supply hints.

Mask of the wild tree hugger

Uncovering the secret of the room took our experienced team about an hour but 1.5 hours is allotted for each team. The Crumbling Prince is the first episode, with the next instalment currently undergoing final testing before likely availability in a month. Costs for this episode currently vary from $59 to $79 per person, with lower costs for 4 players.

Whether the name and styling of the room live up to the art movement or the original inversion of the Buddhist meaning, Ukiyo’s name is a clever word play, and absorbing, fun activity for a small group. Each of our team agreed, the room was well worth the visit and we look forward to returning for the next adventure soon.

Ukiyo is offered by the same Brunswick escape room team who brought us Deep Space and more information about their offerings can be found at their website

Intrepid adventurers with their unreliable host

Life with a lead-in

20131015-Screen grab

If only life were handy enough to give us a synopsis of a situation or of people we meet so we could judge it by it’s cover. Think how much less wasted time and money we would have.

I would think my current personal synopsis would read something along the lines of:

Sophie, an outgoing but slightly insecure girl, is learning about herself and the world.
She would dearly love to make a few more friends. She is mostly a good friend, but can be a bit lousy with emails and phone calls. 
(Don’t mistake this for ambivalence though, she’s just a scatterbrain somedays)

Maybe it could even help with our social schedules:

You’re invited to Hermoine’s 30th birthday party. 
All drinks and food provided.
Invitation comes with obligation to hear the hostess complain about being old, no matter who you are.
Also, bring old pants because her dogs will love you and drool on your leg with friendly affection.
Your cat, on the other hand, will despise you for a month.

Of course, it wouldn’t be that easy. A reply of “I’m sorry I can’t make it, I’m double-booked” would come with the obvious sub-text of “I am going to wash my hair instead, because you get nutty when you’re drinking”.

It would make decisions about people you invest your time into and which events you went to so much easier.

If only real life was like a good novel’s synopsis.

Do you have an event or person that you wished came with a synopsis? Or perhaps do you have one in mind for yourself?