Escape Rooms in Kota Kinabalu

By Jaco Swanepoel

It was dark all around except for the eerie red glow of the electronic clock on the far wall ticking down, second by second. We had 58 minutes left before… what?

I was locked up in a small cell with a friend, our hands cuffed, only a flashlight in my hands. On the other side Ms. Love and her friend were locked in an equally small cell, hands also cuffed.

As the seconds ticked down my mind drifted back to how we ended up here.

“There’s this new type of game”, Ms. Love had said the week before, “where they lock you up and then you have to escape using only clues you find in the room.”

I remember a banner in Warisan Square I saw the very next day. Escapee – First Escape Room in Borneo it had proclaimed. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a clue in there somewhere.

We were excited to find out more, which is how we met mastermind-partners Isaac and Miao, and brainiac staffer Vincent in the small shop on the upper floor in Warisan Square above Hot Rods.

“Escapee is a stand-alone business”, Isaac had explained. He’s a seasoned puzzle gamer from Singapore who, with Miao, a Malaysian, brought the excitement and entertainment of escape room’ing to Kota Kinabalu.

“It’s similar to the well-known franchise Escape Room, which was inspired by a first-person perspective genre of video games popularised in Japan”, Isaac had explained, innocently enough to be trusted, enticingly enough to draw us in.

Escapee's Escape Rooms in Warisan Square, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

The 4 of us had followed him into the dark back-room and here we were, handcuffed, locked up, surrounded by all sorts of things, which we were now supposed to inspect and decipher in order to free ourselves from this room.

The clock kept ticking down undisturbed. Was it going faster or was that just my imagination? Who knew what happened at the bottom of the countdown?

One thing we did know, because Vincent had told us as much, if we didn’t escape this room in an hour, our pictures would be on the Wall of Shame.

Nobody wants their picture on the wall of shame.

The Wall of Shame ourside Escapee's escape rooms in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia

Escaping the Room

In the end we would escape the Jail Escape Room, the easiest of the 3 currently on offer at Escapee.

Of course, not wanting to spoil it for others the details are necessarily vague, but I can tell you this: I had vastly underestimated the challenge and the 4 of us got out with less than 2 minutes left on the clock.

2 – 6 people are recommended to partake in this game, but we found 4 people just enough for a diverse pool of thought without it being overcrowded.

We look forward to taking on the more difficult Time Travel Escape Room and the most difficult Circus Escape Room and, Isaac promises, there are more to come.

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