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Dhaka Tribune

Riddle Me This

Looking for a good time that doesn’t involve sitting at a restaurant? Try Escape Myst

Update : 29 Sep 2018, 11:18 AM

The four of us knelt on the floor in front of a large locked box. The combination lock and a cryptic note were all that stood before us and freedom. Behind us, the timer on the giant screen mounted on the wall in the cold, windowless suite had started counting down from our last five minutes. A telephone lay on the floor by the box, taunting us. There would be no more help forthcoming. It was down to us.


Our good friend Shahriar had a birthday coming up, and his lovely wife Sadia had decided that we were not going to settle for a sit-down dinner this time. Between Dhaka’s traffic and our crazy work schedules, it didn’t leave us with a lot of options. And then someone brought up Escape Myst.

Even earlier

Mystery buffs Sadique Salim, CEO of Escape Myst, and his partner Md Ishtiaque Khan had their first taste of the Escape Room phenomenon while on a trip to Singapore, and sensed there was a business opportunity there. After months of intense market research, Escape Myst was born. Initially opening their doors at a Mirpur outlet, they expanded to include Dhanmondi and Gulshan. 

At present, the Dhanmondi and Mirpur outlets are relocating, but the Gulshan outlet is up and running. Escape Myst also now has two additional partners Abul Khair Chowdhury and Kazi Mahein Mahmood, and their current escape room offers two storylines – a Game of Thrones inspired challenge called “Battle for Thrones”, and a sci-fi medical drama called “The Last Hour”. We decided to try the former.

5 Benefits of Escape Room Teambuilding

  • Members can set a common goal.
  • Teams can assess members.
  • Everyone gets into the mindset.
  • Supervisors can identify disruption.
  • Engages members.

What did we get ourselves into?

Having booked a session through their website, we arrived promptly at the agreed-upon time to the location in Gulshan. The company uses no signage in their building, so arriving at the plain doorstep felt like the start of a puzzle. Then came the intimidating disclaimer forms that added to the sense of adventure. Once we picked our challenge, we were ushered into the chosen room, and locked in.

Inside, the air-conditioned room had been transformed into a mini Game of Thrones set. There were the white trees of the godswood of Winterfell, ashy flakes on the ground to make “snow”, and house sigils and shields and swords adorning the walls. Epic fantasy music played from an invisible source, and the timer counted down the minutes from an LED screen mounted on the wall. Scattered around the otherwise empty room were locked boxes, props, and a single set of clues to start us off. A telephone had been tucked into the godswood to supply us with clues if we got stuck.

Without getting into too many spoilerific details, let it be known that the next 45 minutes or so that it took for us to crack the game, were some of the most intense and exhilarating moments any of us had spent on any activity in the city. The puzzles required a lot of lateral thinking, and the props that tumbled out of each locked box showed how much attention the creators had put into getting the details right. We sweated numbers, we played chess, we dabbled with elemental magic and word riddles, ran around the room holding dragon egg replicas, and finally, when we tumbled out of the exit with a few minutes to spare, we felt like legends. It goes without saying that the birthday boy got the celebration he deserved. At Tk600 per person per room, with a small discount for groups less than five people, it was definitely bang for the buck.

Escape Myst is working on some cool new storylines coming soon, and rumour has it, that one of these might have a Harry Potter theme. The company also designs escape rooms for corporate events and parties, so be sure to check them out on Facebook, or contact them directly through their website 

Escape rooms came into contemporary usage around 2006, after the     popularity of the Japanese video game Takagism.

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