Tokyo Metro's Underground Mysteries : A Report from our Staff ! - UPDATE : Now Until January 31st
You may have seen the news or posters in various Tokyo Metro stations : there's currently a Real Escape Game going on in Tokyo !
Basically, a Real Escape Game is a game where you have to go to different places, find information and hints, and solve puzzles in order to get to the next destination until you clear the game. Obviously, Tokyo is a perfect setting for this kind of game ! Your dedicated Taiken Japan staff tried the game : here's a review and some tips.
Note : all pictures are in random order so they do not give too many hints about the places.
You first have to get the game kit, which is sold at Ueno station and available in Japanese, English and Chinese. The kit cost 2160 yens and include a vinyl pocket (that can be cut and used as a clear file afterwards), a simplified Tokyo Metro map, a Tokyo Metro 1 day open ticket, a special card you will need to solve the puzzles and a pen. Basically, everything you need is in there !
You must start by finding the four first stations you will have to visit. While the puzzle to find this first answer is quite simple, I suggest to do it ahead of time, so you can plan your itinerary according to the stations and where you're starting. One good point is that you can visit the stations in any order, so if you don't have that much time you can easily plan the best itinerary using the map.
I thought most of the puzzles were quite easy and actually fun. I saw some people who seemed to have trouble solving the questions at some places, so I guess it depends on your sense of observation, and maybe your ability to think outside the box ! Keep in mind that the game is available in Japanese, English and Chinese, so most puzzles will be visual or include numbers so they can be solved whatever your language is.
Once you solve the two puzzles at each station, you cut the page and solve another, more difficult puzzle that will give you the final keyword for each station. After you get all the keywords, you'll get the name of the final station where you can find the final answer.
- Most of the four stations you will visit are not major touristic stations, so it will allow you to see new places. I lived in Tokyo for many years but still I discovered new interesting places. If you're not in a rush, take this opportunity and explore the area !
- You will meet several people doing the puzzle on your way. All the people I met were Japanese, but some of them talked to me and wished me good luck. I'm sure you can talk to people and get some help if you're stuck with a puzzle... and maybe meet new people !
- Make sure to check the weather report and dress adequately. You will have to walk quite a lot, both inside and outside the stations. It became incredibly hot on the afternoon I did it, so carrying my jacket and all was not very fun.
- In most stations at least one of the puzzles must be solved inside the gates. It is not a problem if you plan to continue your way using the same station, but please note that your ticket will not allow you to simply enter and exit the same station. So if you plan to use a different station afterwards, solve the inside puzzle first before exiting !
- As puzzles to get final keywords are more difficult and may require a bit more thinking, it is a good idea to go sit in a cafe to solve them, as you won't need to be at the station to do so.
The game has been extended ! Game kits are on sale until January 30th, 2016. More information here.
Please do not give hints in the comments section, but do let us know if you tried it and if you succeeded !