Quality family time is all about simple pleasures: Pizza night. Beach day. Getting locked in a room together and using your wits to escape. Typical stuff.
Perhaps that “locked in a room together” business isn’t typical — not yet, anyway — but you can try it out at London’s clueQuest, a real-life escape game in which you and your family (or friends, co-workers, etc.) have precisely 60 minutes to escape a room by using your brains and working as a team. It’s like jumping into your own video game, where you have to solve a series of brain-frazzling clues, riddles, and puzzles, all hidden inside a cryptic maze, to find the final key and solve the challenge in time.
To reveal too much would give the game away, but here’s the basic idea: You and your group — the game accommodates three to five people — are ushered into a room together. After the door shuts behind you, you’re all thrust into the role of secret agents with codes to crack, clues to find, and padlocks to open. The dramatic soundtrack and the noise of the ticking clock add to the excitement as you unleash your inner detectives. Don’t worry about getting stuck, because the game-runners drop in extra clues to help you if need be. But nobody gets out until you crack the mystery.
You can choose from two missions: Plan52, or the brand new Operation BlackSheep. Both will see you working under cover as agents in interactive, specially designed rooms that are so realistic you’ll feel like you were dropped into a mashup of Diamonds are Forever and Grand Theft Auto.
So, if you harbour a desire to be a real-life sleuth, clueQuest is the place to test your skills. Whether you aspire to be James Bond, Sherlock Homes, or Lara Croft, you’ll be put through your paces. And with your family working as a team to beat the clock, you might be inspired to start a new gaming tradition. Secret agent adventures might become typical family fun after all.