Before proving yourself in the project “Game of Minds”, it is good to learn first, what the reality of the quest is.
History of the title
It is good to start with the terminology. The word “quest” itself is well-known and we frequently use it in life, when we search for the meaning of any object. Actually, the word “quest” means the searching for an object. But the roots of “Game of Minds” and other similar projects come from computer games of the same-name genre. Virtual quests, also called “adventures”, distinguish themselves by the presence of tasks that require mental effort from the players. These are not violent slasher games or one-on-one fighting games that we see today. Computer quests appeared at the dawn of the video game revolution (in the start of 1980s) and are still popular today. The classic example of the quest game can be the video game based on the Indiana Jones movies.
From virtual to reality
The situation with real quests is much more interesting. It is not certain when and where this form of entertainment appeared, but many believe it to be Japan. According to popular belief, it was in the Land of Rising Sun in 2007 where the first quest in reality was opened. The publisher of entertainment magazine in Kyoto arranged for the citizens of the city unusual adventures in clubs and bars when they had to find all the codes and hints within one hour. Then he began conducting quests in gardens and abandoned hospitals, in large stadiums and even in churches.
The public liked the new kind of entertainment, and therefore, the quests spread into Asia (Thailand, Singapore, China), Europe and the USA. At the present moment the largest centers of the quests in reality are Beijing (China) and Budapest (Hungary), where more than hundred rooms are based. It is remarkable that in Asia for the fixed time (they get only 56 minutes there) only 10% of participants are able to complete the quest. However in the USA only 2% are able to complete the quests.
So, what's the point?
So, what is «Game of Minds»? The game represents itself as full immersion in imaginary reality: everything looks totally the same as in computer games, but the action is conducted in real room with tangible objects. The mission for the players consists of escaping the room they are locked in. For this purpose they must use their logic and sanity, as the players will be solving brainteasers, searching hiding-places, getting hints they have to interpret correctly, and ultimately obtaining the key which will open the door to the freedom.
Players will have only one hour to complete the quest. After the time is up, the doors of the room will open even if the team does not complete the task. If at first you don’t succeed in the completion of the quest, a second attempt may be purchased. The team may consist of two, three, or four persons.
You can get acquainted with the rules here, but the major thing that the players of “Game of Minds” should remember is that if they want to overcome the enclosed space they should use not the “strength of Hercules” (it is better not to use force at all, because the items have the way to broken) and not the wisdom of King Salomon, but ordinary logic, gumption and imagination.
"BUSAN PEEPS! I highly recommend you escape from a KGB prison. A new place opened up on Gwangan Beach that will lock you and your friends in a prison cell and let you bust out using only the puzzle solving skills you learned in old school Lucas Arts Adventure Games.
I had so much fun that I'm going next week to do their Polar Ice Station escape! I'm fully supportive of weird things in Busan, and turning spaces into things that are not coffee shops or cell phone stores.
It's GAME of MINDS BUSAN, right next door to Beached Bar, on the seventh floor above Can:D Grab three friends, book a time at game-of-minds.com and bond over jailbreaking. That's my review. I ain't telling you nothin' that happens once you're inside."
I've done both now! KGB Prison and Polar Escape. And I'm BUMMED I can't go back until they build a third room!
If anyone's deciding on which room to do, here are my spoiler-free reviews. KGB Prison is more immersive. The puzzles are easier, but they follow a chain of events and for the most part feel real, following a plot. You can really get lost in the situation, and everyone works together toward a common goal.
Polar Escape is the more challenging one, but the puzzles can happen in any order and do not necessarily have a lot of cause and effect. It breaks the 4th wall a lot more... meaning there are things that have no reason to happen within the context of the story, and you are reminded that this is a puzzle designed by someone, not a real life and death situation. Things seem so disconnected that you can solve a puzzle correctly but have no idea what happened as a result because it happens across the room, on a thing you had no idea was related. It’s also designed to get people to split off and work independently.
Nothing wrong with that, it's just that KGB Prison feels like you're escaping from a Prison, and Polar Station feels like you're playing a computer game. Both were CRAZY FUN. But I’d say do KGB first, then move up to Polar Station once you got the bug.
Then, like me, you can impatiently wait for room 3 to open!
So, 4 of us checked out the Game of Minds last night and had a simply fantastic time. The evening began with management running a little behind, as I assume the previous group was not of the same mental acumen as our assembly. Filled with confidence, perhaps, too much, we bravely read through the rather length legalese waiver and rule sheet. In fact, the man who greeted us, a bearded Russian, he himself adding to the intrigue of the evening, seemed quite serious about communicating the rules to us. This is, I believe, was due to his being a careful foreign businessman in Korea, and due to the fact that he actually may, were it not for his deceivingly youthful appearance, have been a KGB agent from the 1960’s and his incessant need to follow rules was honed to an obsession. He then launched into the story set-up and locked us in a small room. After about what only seemed like a few minutes, a young woman's voice boomed over an intercom, "Do you need a clue?" We all simultaneously hollered at the ceiling a resounding, "No!" We were determined to outwit our evil captors and escape using only our minds and the contents of the room itself. This room proved to be rather trickier than expected and we came close to cracking under the pressure of an invisible but ever present time limit. And, just as we were about to snap, the solution was discovered and we slipped into the next room, giddy at the presentation of a whole new host of puzzles. The second room was challenging, but this too we solved, which led to yet another room, it too filled with a host of puzzles. But, we could now almost taste freedom and we scurried about the room stripping it slowly of its conundrums until, ultimately, we discovered the last step and ran from the room to the sound of a large KGB klaxon announcing our success. Bloody brilliant fun was had by all! In the end, we proudly escaped the room in 41 minutes and 7 seconds with NO clues. A proud accomplishment. The iron curtain made a little less terrifying