My friends Dustin and Alexandra drove into town (with their bud John) just to try out a geeky escape room: Real Escape Games’ Defenders of the Triforce! They had invited me and Allen recently, but Nintendo fandom isn’t really Allen’s thing, so we initially declined. Now, February 16 sneaked up, and Dustin threw me a message saying they still had one pass left for toniiiiight…. so I decided to bite the bullet, see some Albuquerque friends, and attempt my first escape-ish room! 😀
Note: There may be minor spoilers, but I will not reveal clues.
This event was Ocarina of Time-themed, and you did NOT need to have previous knowledge of the games to play – though it was strongly encouraged for you to be an existing fan to appreciate it. The event also costs $30 a ticket (per person, not per group), which I was initially worried about (it seemed pricey to me, but I’ve heard that’s norm for escape rooms!). In the end, I did think it was worth the cost!
The “escape room” is really just a “rushing against the clock” experience and hosts multiple groups at about 2 dozen tables in the main area. You get a bucket, a binder, and your starting clues. You get to rock a Link hat (that you have to wear while playing the game). They do an intro – basically, Gannondorf is being a jerk again, and you have to save the world. Somehow. With your clues, and the domains in the next room.
That’s right, domains! Actors portray the Kokiri, Zora, Gerudo, and Gorons. You have to stagger yourself between the kingdoms and ask the right questions as you collect clues. Clues are found by solving riddles and puzzles, which were fairly creative. Some require being perceptive, and some require getting over your fear of damaging the stuff they give you. (I wont delve too much into that – but I did have to ask the host, who was dressed as Sheik, if we could damage something that was given to us, and he confirmed it was part of the solution.) The clues weren’t super easy – we just happened to have a really good group that worked well together.
We breezed through most of the game in the first half hour. Unfortunately, we missed an item that many others missed on the last clue. It was incredibly frustrating, and you’re not allowed to discuss clues or ideas as you run around – they make you go back to your table so you dont clutter up the pathway. After 25 minutes of serious stress, a team member realized what we had missed and we were able to complete the game with THREE MINUTES to spare!
We were just one of three groups that finished the game in time. The host walked us through the clues at the end on a projector, so that people knew where they had gotten stuck (which I thought was very nice). Winning also let my team have a hands-on playthrough of the Switch version of The Legend of Zelda: Breathe of the Wild!
Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I hope to sign up for their Final Fantasy XIV: The Rise of Bahamut event coming up!