Imagine that you’re blindfolded and placed into a room with your friends. Once you take off the blindfold, there’s a giant timer on one end of the room that displays the time of 45 minutes. Then a siren blares, and the timer starts ticking down. You have to work together in order to get out. Can you escape in under 45 minutes?
That is the main premise of Exit Now, the first real life escape game in Cebu.
It’s a very interesting concept, and is undoubtedly a new attraction that will interest people who love puzzles, games and challenges. We decided to try it out a few months ago, and boy, was it something else!
It’s located in City Time Square, the commercial center across Parkmall, and is on the 2nd floor right above Tokyo Table. You can see the giant sign of Exit Now alongside their giant background tarpaulin.
There was a promo during the time we went, which was PHP 350.00/head. There are five different theme rooms for you to choose from, each with their own unique story and set of obstacles. I’ll get into those a bit later. We didn’t know what to expect, and each room has its own difficulty and recommendation of the maximum number of players. Now, there’s no more promo as of this date of posting, so the regular rate will be anywhere from PHP 450-650/head depending on how many you are in the group. It’s cheaper if you’re a bigger group, so bring your friends. But fret not, if you find that a bit expensive, they have introduced their VIP cards!
For only PHP 10.00, you can avail of the VIP card which will effectively lower the rate to PHP 360.00/head in every room. So regardless of how many you are, as long as you have the VIP card, the rate is a steady PHP 360.00 per person. What’s great about it too is that after your 5th play, you get 1 free pass after!
When we got inside, we were surprised to see so many pictures adorned on the wall. Every time a group plays, after their game, the staff will get their picture and post it on the wall. If you win, you’ll be placed in the Hall of Fame, but if not, your picture will probably be placed somewhere else. Still though, it was fun to see some familiar faces in the pictures!
Like I mentioned earlier, there are five different themes you can choose from. Mission Impossible, Factory 19, Prison break, The Mummy & The Orphan. Now, I have had the privilege to be able to try all these rooms, so I’ll try to give my rating and take on it without giving too much away! Before anything else, you are all given an orientation at the lobby, then you will be given a locker to place all your valuables. Don’t lose the key! You can’t bring anything inside the rooms. Then you will be blindfolded by the staff and led to the room you have chosen. It all adds for a psychological effect of surprise, as being blindfolded is already a bit scary. They will then play a voice over for the background story of the chosen theme, and then you can take off your blindfold once the horn starts. Then the game starts! Take note you have the option of one clue so the staff can help you, so use it wisely!
Factory 19 was the first theme room that we had the privilege to try. Me and my best friends, Martin & Kelly, were bored one day and the idea just came into mind to try Exit Now. Factory 19 was the only available room at the time, so that’s what we had to go with. Factory 19 is a story about getting out of the factory before the bomb explodes (or that’s what I remember) and the room itself is reminiscent of a factory, with tools, blueprints and a very crude set-up. It’s rated at 3/5 stars in terms of difficulty, and although it wasn’t that difficult, we were all confused with how many misleading clues there were. It didn’t make for a very cohesive experience, but I guess that’s part of the challenge. The actual clues and puzzles of this room aren’t really that hard, it’s just that there are so many misleading clues and seemingly useful puzzles that end up not being used at all and we ran out of time. Oh well! We were close though. Out of all the rooms, I’d recommend this one the least. (Recommended for 2-6 people, 3 out of 5 stars difficulty)
The next day, I still couldn’t get over the fact that we lost! So I told my sisters about it. I kept on nagging them to try it out with me. I didn’t shut up. I even ended up treating them both just so I could play! Ha! Me and my sisters, Melissa & Maita, went back that following day and then tried out Mission Impossible. Like the movie, you guys are bank robbers, and you have to steal a red gem and then get out of the room without being detected. It’s a different element because you actually have to get something first before you can get out. I found that this was the best room out of all five themes! The execution of the theme as well as the actual puzzles were straight out of Mission Impossible. I won’t give it away too much, but if you only have one room to choose from, choose this one! Can’t recommend this enough. We were close to getting the gem, and were one puzzle away from escaping, but we couldn’t get it! (Recommended for 4-6 people, 4 out of 5 stars difficulty)
A couple of weeks later, I went back with my best friends and we then tried The Orphan. Obviously, this theme is horror. I liked this one a lot too. The story is about an orphan who was abused and murdered in an orphanage. You guys are news reports trying to cover the case, and then you have to escape. Even though I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to horror movies, my wanting to solve the puzzle outweighed the scares in this room. It’s the ambience of the flickering lights, scary music and the imagery that really set the tone. We were definitely scared, and that played a factor in solving this. We were two puzzles short from exiting! Ugh. But it was another room that I would definitely recommend. This is probably the second most enjoyable after Mission Impossible. For those of you who want a challenge and a bit of a scare, go with this one. (Recommended for 4-6 people, 4 out of 5 stars difficulty)
I told you I was able to try all the rooms! I came back with my sisters a few weeks later and we ended up trying The Mummy. This one isn’t really that scary when comparing it to The Orphan, but it still gives off a bit of a creepy vibe. You guys are adventurers, and you found the tomb of the king or pharaoh, but you have to get out before you are trapped forever. This theme room was well executed as well, although I didn’t like the challenges too much. I did like how the room was structured though. However, this is the one we won in! And in 23 minutes no less! Our picture is actually on the Hall of Fame in Exit Now. Let me know if you can spot it and I’ll give you a cookie! (Recommended for 2-4 people, 3 out of 5 stars difficulty)
Lastly, when my best friend came home from the States, we had to try the final room, Prison Break. I really wanted to try this room, but me and my other friends decided to just wait for him to come home so we could all try it together. I’m glad I waited. This also adds another element of surprise, as you guys are inmates trying to break free and following the trail of your inmate friend. What’s interesting is that you guys are handcuffed before you enter the room. Imagine being handcuffed and blindfolded, that’s definitely something! I think this room was executed real well too. I was just kind of annoyed that we spent so much time on this one puzzle because we couldn’t find a clue that was the same color as the ground. That must have wasted 10 minutes of our time! Oh man. We still didn’t solve it, but it was still pretty fun. I heard that this is the biggest in terms of number of rooms. Also recommended if you’re a bigger group. (Recommended for 6-10 people, 5 out of 5 stars difficulty)
So, all in all, I’ve tried out all the five theme rooms from Exit Now. They have their recommendation on the appropriate number of people in the room, as well as the difficulty. However, this is the order I would give in terms of how fun each theme room is. (1 being the most fun, 5 being the least fun)
1 – Mission Impossible
2 – The Orphan
3 – Prison Break
4 – The Mummy
5 – Factory 19
I only managed to win once out of the five times that we went, which makes for a win rate of 20%. Oh well! You can’t win ’em all, right? I’m excited as I’ve heard that Exit Now is planning to add new theme rooms in the future. That should be exciting, especially to those of us who have already given all of it a try.
If you are successfully able to escape the room in under 45 minutes, you will be awarded and applauded when you exit. Aside from bragging rights and the chance to get your picture on the hall of fame, if you take a short video clip challenging your friends to try it out, you will get one free pass for the next time you try Exit Now. Take note that it’s only one person in the group, not all of you.
You can check out their Facebook page here. You can grab and take a look at the videos and pictures here, as they upload all groups who played on a weekly basis.
You can also check out their official website here. Their website will have more information should you have any questions and inquiries.
For reservations and inquiries, you can call them at (032) 520-7078. From Monday-Thursday, they are open from 2 PM to 12 MN. From Friday-Sunday, they are open from 12 NN to 12 MN. So be sure to head over there in the afternoon!
So, would I recommend for you guys to try out Exit Now? Definitely! It’s a bit expensive for a 45 minute experience, but I personally found it to be worth it. There are a lot of escape room type places, but I only know that they’re in Manila. This is the first in Cebu, so you definitely can’t get this experience anywhere else in the queen city.
I love games, puzzles and challenges, and this place definitely provided a new avenue for that. It’s a unique experience that will foster teamwork, friendship, problem solving, cunning and ingenuity. So it’s perfect for team buildings and group activities. What are you waiting for, gather up your friends and try out Exit Now!
As always, if you have any questions or inquiries, please feel free to leave a comment down below. Or you can follow me on all my social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram) @mikes41720.
Until next time,