The Death of Lockboxes

Picture this:  You are a peasant living in 14th century England.  Having been wrongly convicted of committing treason against your king, you have been sentenced to death by hanging!  Now, you and a small group of peasants are imprisoned deep beneath the castle in the King’s dungeon. The cold stone walls and floor are dripping with moisture, the air thick with musty mildew.  You and your fellow cellmates are in near complete darkness. Your fingers fumble around the corners and cracks of your cell walls in desperate hope of finding something, anything that could possibly be used to free you from this seemingly impossible situation—when suddenly your fingers graze across a familiar shape, you grab it and hold it up to the tiny sliver of light casting across your cell and you realize….it’s a chest!  And on it is…a….Masterlock model H-2491!  Wait, what???

Heavy Duty Steel Padlock - Keyed Alike, 2 1/2" Shackle H-5669

Does this sound familiar?  If you’ve played escape rooms before, you’ve probably encountered this situation—an ‘immersive’ escape room strategically located in a nondescript second-floor office space. Oddly, you have precisely one hour to escape from the prison, but luckily for you, someone has left a series of locked boxes throughout your cell. Now you need only find all of the keys and four-digit codes that have been inexplicably hidden throughout your cell so you can unlock the Home Depot padlocks and free yourself from the 14th century prison whence you’ve been trapped!  Sounds less like an entertaining Friday evening, and more like a stressful Monday morning when you’re running late for work and desperately trying to remember where you left your car keys!

Since the inception of escape games approximately a dozen years ago, lockboxes have been a staple for escape room designers.  They’re perfect for hiding things in, and easy to develop puzzles for.  Trouble is, their presence is as challenging to explain as their locks are to open! Back in 2500 BC when the ancient Egyptians were barely able to develop tools sophisticated enough to carve and transport the thousands of stone blocks used to create the great pyramids, it’s hard to imagine they had the technology to cast and assemble tiny tumblers with the precision of modern padlocks—forget about the fact that the padlock wasn’t even invented until 1931!  And even if they did possess this technology, why would they have stashed the code to the combination lock protecting pharaoh’s treasure inside a lockbox in his tomb and then hide the key to that box in the next room over?  Lockboxes are generally implausible and boring. 

That’s not to say that padlocks and combination locks don’t have their place.  Their very existence clearly demonstrates their utility, because everyone has the need to lock something up. If your setting is a changeroom, such as in a gym or police station—or even a high school, then it makes sense you’d have lockers with padlocks or combination locks on them. It’s even plausible that the theme of your game involves a tormentor or madman, such as Jigsaw from the Saw movies, who is playing games with you, his unwitting victims, and has hidden keys to unlock the boxes that contain objects necessary for your escape.  What’s not plausible is that you are burglars trying to pull off the world’s greatest bank heist and escape with an unimaginable amount of riches, but first you need to obtain the code to the vault by cracking into a series of boxes that the bank manager has inexplicably strewn around his office using random information from is journal and ledgers!

At Quest Reality Games, we offer a unique escape game experience.  If padlocks and keys are what you’re used to, you won’t find many here!  We have designed the next generation of escape games by integrating technology into our themes and creating an experience where the game responds to your actions. We have doors that open automatically, we have puzzles that react to you in real time—we want every element of the game to feel fully integrated into the setting and the story. We have achieved this in our themes by eliminating lockboxes and introducing new and innovative ways for you to interact with your game.

Our themes are researched, and our puzzles designed to form a cohesive, plausible, and immersive plotline.  Our sets are designed to fully immerse you in the storyline—we want you lose yourself in the experience, and become part of the story!  

Our premium themes offer a game play like no other. We test your problem-solving abilities in many ways by challenging your memory, powers of observation, logic, deductive reasoning, and code-breaking abilities.  You and your teammates will need to use all of your mental faculties: Our games are not just about piecing together four digits codes, they’re about asking yourself ‘where have I seen this before?’  ‘Is something here out of the ordinary?’ ‘Is one of these things not like the others?’

At Quest Reality Games, we believe lockboxes are passé, and that there’s a better way to design games.  We believe that every escape room you play should be immersive. We want you to feel like you’re living the adventure, and are partof the game. We think the ‘escape’ in in ‘escape room’ doesn’t just mean escaping from the space in which you have been trapped, it means losing yourself in your escape room AND escape reality when you come to play. Lockboxes are a thing of the past.  With new technology that integrates seamlessly into the set, our escape games will make you believe that you have stepped into another world!

If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in Victoria, and think you’ve got what it takes to free yourself from the next generation of escape games, then book now!