Travellers from all over the world are flocking to Mindgame Escape in Umhlanga to uncover the mysteries of the great Houdini and Sherlock Holmes.Owner Nicholas Romarin and his sister Monique Whitaker opened Mindgame Escape in September last year after seeing its success overseas.
Visitors have to unleash their inner detective when they are put into a themed room to gather clues and solve puzzles. Their brain will be challenged as they race to find the key to open the door before their 60 minutes are up.
“Our fascination with an escape room began 3 years ago while on holiday in New York. Me and my girlfriend, Ruzika, saw an advert for an escape room and decided to give it a try. We were fascinated by the concept. We have since visited escape rooms in Dubai, Europe and most of the US,” he said. There are currently two escape rooms and a third is in the process of being built. The Sherlock Holmes Baker Street room requires players to take down Victorian London’s most notorious gang, The Baker Street Five, and solve the ultimate murder mystery.
Houdini Escape Room is more intricate. Players will find puzzles, clues, magical secrets, and some facts about Houdini as they try to unlock the basement door. Their new escape room will be centered around the ancient Mayan temples. The sibling duo said they have been fully booked since they opened four months ago.
“People love adventure and being challenged. We have been receiving lots of international tourists, who visit from London, the US, Israel, Switzerland and Canada. Some of them want to come back,” said Romarin.
US puzzle maker Andrew Parr designed the challenges. It was created to cater to all types of players, from logical to mathematical thinkers.
Due to the high demand, they can see around 50-100 people a day.
“Besides being fun, it allows people to steer clear of their phone and interact with each other. We monitor their progress and drop hints and clues if they need help. People should experience it for themselves,” said Whitaker.
A group of former high school friends took part in one of the games and enjoyed every minute. Preshnee Govender, Nadine Moodley, Keresha Nandkishore and Denisha Gounden played Sherlock Holmes as they tried to uncover the murder mystery.
The foursome managed to get out just in time. Nandkishore, from Johannesburg, said they will be back to try the other escape rooms.For further information, contact 087 238 2524 or email [email protected] The price starts from R200pp.