An addictive quest

Metro’ checks out Tel Aviv’s latest ‘escape room'.

Quest&Quest escape room (photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
Quest&Quest escape room
(photo credit: ARI MARRACHE)
We searched frantically for clues and keys as the large 60-minute hourglass continued to drop its grains of sand, and our time was running out.
Our group of five spent a recent Friday afternoon locked inside an escape room, my first encounter with what appears to be an extremely popular real-life escape game. Originating in Silicon Valley in 2006, the escape room concept was created by a group of programmers, basing its mysteries and challenges on the novels of Agatha Christie. This real-life game soon became popular with tourists and locals alike and spread to Asia, the US, Canada and Europe. There are some 3,000 escape rooms around the world.
The idea is simple. Participants have one hour to collaborate in solving a series of physical, linguistic, numerical and logic-based riddles to find the key that will allow them to escape. Escape room addicts Sagi and Rada Rosenberg, co-owners of Quest&Quest, who experienced several escape rooms while on vacation in the US, felt that although there were already around 10 of these rooms in Tel Aviv, there was still space for another.
In 2014 they teamed up with friend and fellow escape room junkie Michael Artiomov, and after six months of planning, building and designing, they opened their own in May of this year. The three developed complex flow charts for the more than 20 friends and family members who tested the room over and over again to make sure it was just right.
Located, as it is, on the third floor of a plain-looking old building, the special entertainment found inside cannot be guessed at from the street. In the mere three months since it opened, Quest&Quest is already fully booked on weekends and hosts an average of nine games a day on weekdays.
This charming escape room is suitable for anyone over the age of six, although children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Sagi pointed out that a recent player was in his late 70s. No two escape rooms are alike, and that is what is outstanding about this concept: it deals with social challenge.
“People want something that is different from the typical bar-and- party social gathering; people want to be challenged. When people leave Quest&Quest, they are excited and very often become addicted and go on to try many different quests,” Sagi told Metro .
The adrenalin rush that results from completing an escape-room challenge causes all worries and real-life issues to disappear, as you become totally immersed in the experience and focused on solving the puzzles and riddles to carry out the escape.
The good thing about going in a group is that when you start to feel like giving up on a puzzle, someone else can come over with new energy and solve it.
Before we were allowed into the room itself, we were admitted into the waiting room, where we had to lock our cellphones in a wooden chest, and were handed a manual containing the rules of the game.
All in all, this is a great activity for friends, couples, families, fellow workers – in short, for pretty much anyone. It encourages cooperation and problem-solving, which I find welcome, considering that today everything can be Googled and solved online.
The staff was friendly and the waiting room clean and minimalistic, with only a few brain games on the table to get your noodle going. The escape room itself was not at all claustrophobic – something I was concerned about – and the around 12 puzzles and riddles were neither too easy nor too hard.
Quest&Quest is working on adding another escape room to their 25 Menachem Begin Street location.
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