Video games let players take on heroic identities while exploring fantastical worlds, and a small piece of that comes to life in Los Angeles this weekend. The "Defenders of the Triforce" Real Escape Game, based on "The Legend of Zelda," starts the first of two L.A. engagements Friday as part of a national tour.
The game is similar to other escape rooms, the increasingly popular interactive experiences in which teams try to solve puzzles in order to win their freedom — but this one opens up the experience, with many teams playing at once to complete their quest.
“We’ve got some of the most iconic tribes and races from the Zelda franchise that you’ll be interacting with," Scrap Entertainment producer Doc Preuss told KPCC. Scrap is the company behind the Zelda escape game. "We’ve really designed it to be very fun, interactive and immersive, and we think that the players will appreciate all the nods to the Zelda series.”
Players will be placed in teams of six, with between 150 and 240 people playing the game at once, depending on the location. They have to solve puzzles, go to checkpoints and interact with different characters. There's only 60 minutes to reach the end of the story, so it's also a race against the clock — sorry, no save points or continues here.
Preuss offered his pro tips for players:
- "Even if you don't have a full team to go with, try it out. Playing with strangers is a really fun experience. You make some new friends."
- "Always keep an open mind, if you do decide to play. No ideas are too crazy."
- "Try everything: always think outside the box. I would say that probably applies to real life too."
If you don't already have tickets, you may be out of luck, since tickets are sold out for the Feb. 10-12 and March 9-12 runs in L.A. But don't lose heart — they've previously added more play times, so watch out for any future announcements. Plus, Preuss said they're adding an extended run in San Francisco at their permanent venue, the Scrap Hall of Heroes, where you'll be able to go play from March 17 until mid-May. Zelda road trip, anyone?
Scrap is also currently running other non-Zelda escape games in L.A., based on the anime series "Attack On Titan" and the video game "Zero Escape." They're the latest in a long tradition — Scrap is company that originated escape rooms in Japan in 2007 before bringing them to the U.S. That long history meant that Scrap picked up some fans at Nintendo along the way, making this Zelda experience possible.
Preuss attributes the success of escape games to their offer of a type of entertainment that lets people interact with others while feeling like they're accomplishing something.
"In our games, the story is about you," Preuss said. "You become the hero. It's your chance really to live an adventure. There's a certain element of escapism. You get to play out these adventures that you wouldn't get to do normally in real life."
So if you want to try your own hand at an escape game, grab some friends and check out the Real Escape Game website for more on how you can play.