If you’ve ever participated in an escape room, you know how it goes. You and your friends are locked in a (usually themed) room and must escape within a certain time limit. The only clues you have are the items in the room – and it’s up to your ingenuity and creativity to figure out how all these items work together to get out of the room. There’s even a horror movie based on escape rooms, called (what else?) Escape Room.

But what’s the appeal? Escape rooms are like real-life adventure games for jaded adults. Participants get to feel like action heroes without actually requiring Olympic-level fitness and multiple PhDs. It’s a safe way of living vicariously – but if you’ve played too many escape rooms, you’ll find that it’s not as thrilling as it used to be.

Then it’s time to up your game.

Enter a whole new world of more hands-on, interactive adventures. After you’ve tried these five activities out, escape rooms will feel like child’s play to you.

 

1. Battle Gaming

Charge! Credit: Dagorhir Battle Gaming

Charge! Credit: Dagorhir Battle Gaming

If being part of a Lord of the Rings battle scene has always been your dream, you have two options. The first is to sign up as an extra in the planned Lord of the Rings prequel series by Amazon and hope you get cast in one of those fight scenes.

The second is to join a battle game, which is a mass combat game where the players use foam-padded weapons to attack each other. It’s meant to simulate medieval or fantasy wars, without any of the risks associated with warfare, of course. Battle gaming has been around since 1977, with Dagorhir Battle Games being the company that started it all.

It’s probably pretty therapeutic to be able to hit other people with a foam sword – especially if your hated enemies are on the opposing team.

 

2. Live-action role-playing (LARP)

Who would you dress up as if you were a LARPer? Credit: Geek and Sundry

Who would you dress up as if you were a LARPer? Credit: Geek and Sundry

If you’re a Dungeons & Dragons fan, then LARP is just a step up from there. Instead of rolling dice to see whether you hit your enemies, you actually get to descend into a dungeon and physically battle monsters! Of course, you’re equipped with foam-padded equipment and you won’t actually get to face any mythological horrors – merely actors wearing orc or elf costumes. But still, it’s as close as you’ll ever get to being in a real Dungeons & Dragons adventure!

LARP also goes by several other more theatrical names, such as interactive literature or free form role-playing. LARPers (people who LARP) are pretty similar to battle gamers, except that their adventures go beyond just war. LARPers may explore dungeons, solve mysteries or even rewrite history during a LARP game.

If you’re into a more hardcore version of LARPing, then you should head to Russia. The Russian LARPers use weapons made of actual metal or wood, adding a touch more realism (and pain) to their games.

 

3. Cosplay 

Ever played dress-up or gone to fancy dress party? Cosplay is just like that, but taken to the next level. Cosplay is a fusion of the words “costume” and “play”. Although the term started in Japan in 1984, geeks all over the world have been cosplaying ever since comic conventions were a thing.

If you’re good at it, you can even become a professional cosplayer! Alodia Gosiengfiao is one of the most popular cosplayers in the world, and her career has gone from cosplaying to acting, hosting and even singing. She gets to dress up as some of the most famous fictional characters in the anime world – and she gets paid for it.

 

4. Halloween Horror Nights

If you’re not into dressing up but you want an interactive experience where everyone else dresses up, then haunted houses are just the thing to get your adrenaline pumping. Now, we’re not talking about actual haunted houses with supernatural elements in them – we’re talking about the annual Halloween Horror Nights event at Universal Studios! Actors dress up as all manner of frightening creatures to spook participants traipsing through the house, but at least you know that there’s nothing supernatural about those haunted houses.

 

5. Race the Dead

Can you outrun zombies in Race the Dead? Credit: Run Magazine

Can you outrun zombies in Race the Dead? Credit: Run Magazine

If you like marathons and escape rooms, then Race the Dead is just the sort of run that will appeal to both of your interests. The zombie-themed marathon has actors dressed up as zombies to chase participants as they run across the Race the Dead route. We’re pretty sure that this also speeds up the time taken for runners to complete the race, and we won’t be surprised if Race the Dead marathoners are among some of the fastest athletes in Singapore.

After all, wouldn’t you run for your life if you were being chased by zombies?

Escape Room. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Escape Room opened this week. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

But imagine if you didn’t willingly participate in any of those games. Imagine if you were forced to play through an escape room – as an audience watches on and takes bets on who will survive. That’s what happens in Escape Room, a film where six good-looking young adults find themselves trapped in a series of escape rooms. There’s a grand cash bounty of $100,000 for the winner, but they’ll need to survive all the traps in order to escape. The film stars Logan Miller and Deborah Ann Woll as they attempt to escape the nefarious traps of the Minos Escape Room Facility.

Do you think you could survive Escape Room? Watch the film and find out for yourself…

 

Credits: Golden Village Cinemas, Dagorhir Battle Gaming, Geek and Sundry, Run Magazine

 

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