If there is one lesson that video gaming has to teach us, it is that the boundaries between what we perceive as ‘real’ and ‘virtual’ are becoming increasingly blurred. We learn, after the virtual has humbled our egos, that the two were one and the same after all. It’s the premise of many a sci-fi thriller, and probably the concluding line of countless undergraduate Anthropology theses. But this observation has merit, whether it be for understanding how humans relate to one another in the modern world or for creating exhilarating real-life escape games that cross over with video games that explore the same subject.
And that’s exactly what Real Zero Escape: Trust on Trial intends to do. This April, Real Escape Game will be bringing an escape game based on Spike Chunsoft’s visual novel series, Zero Escape, to their Little Tokyo location in Los Angeles, CA. As a collaboration with publisher Aksys Games, Trust on Trial will be Real Escape Game’s first licensed escape game in the US.
The event’s tagline reads: “Divided and doubtful, can your faith in each other overcome this test?” Spooky, no?
For those who don’t know, an escape room is a game that takes place in the real world (yes, the flesh and blood one), wherein a group of players will be tasked with solving puzzles and riddles to try and escape an enclosed space. They are timed, and typically take 45 minutes to an hour to complete. While the prospect of cooperating with complete strangers may seem daunting, escape game players say nothing is more thrilling than solving difficult puzzles with friends and strangers in real-time. The Zero Escape series is, amusingly enough, based on this exact premise, except that its characters are locked in a game of life-or-death to escape a mysterious prison. The collaboration, then, is an opportune blend of virtual and corporeal entertainment that is sure to delight fans and non-fans alike.
Indeed, Trust on Trial is merely based on the Zero Escape series. There won’t be any spoilers, and Real Escape Game assures us that one does not need to have any Zero Escape games to be able to complete the puzzle. Cosplay is allowed to enhance the immersive experience, but Real Escape Game reminds us to wear comfortable clothing so that players can move around and interact with the room’s puzzles.
Event duration and player count have not yet been announced. Don’t worry if you are unable to escape the room in the allotted 60 minute timespan; you will be released from captivity. Your prize for successfully completing the room? The pride of having overcome all obstacles with help from like-minded human beings.
Real Escape Game doesn’t mention anything about the Trust on Trial bending the laws of time and space, though, so Zero Escape fans should be prepared in case such an event occurs.
Trust on Trial couldn’t have come at a better time for Spike Chunsoft, either. The third installment in the Zero Escape series, Zero Time Dilemma, releases some time this year. Aksys is set to reveal more details about it come March.
Real Zero Escape: Trust on Trial opens on April 15, 2016, at the Real Escape Room in Los Angeles, CA. Tickets go on sale on February 29. For more information on the event, visit Real Escape Game’s website here.