Offering “Western Japan’s first western-style escape room”, Escape Games Fukuoka convinced us to get locked in a mysterious warehouse full of a baffling assortment of objects – can any of them help us to get out of here?
- Location: Fukuoka, Japan
- Players: 2-6
- We played: April 2019 as a team of 2
Great things about Wherehouse
- The puzzles themselves were by far our favourite element of Wherehouse – they were inventive, surprising and many of them were enjoyably large in scale. Tasks that require you to manipulate large objects and find new ways to use them can be very satisfying, and tend to engender effective teamwork.
- This room has been designed to be playable with no knowledge of Japanese – or English, or any other language. Verbal cues and clues are (almost) completely avoided in favour of visual indicators, and language-based puzzles eschewed in favour of logic challenges.
- Our host, who was one of the room’s designers, was not only attentive and on-hand during our game but took the time to explain and walk us through parts of the room as needed (and it was needed!).
On the other hand…
- Players who appreciate a carefully-thought-out backstory will be disappointed here. Wherehouse is about the puzzles, not the story, and there’s no purpose driving the game besides opening the door and leaving.
- As a side effect of making this game playable for speakers of different languages, the system for giving clues and help was rather messy, consisting of a combination of optional picture clue cards in various places within the room, picture clues appearing on a screen, and the host entering the room to help out. In our case, when we failed to understand the picture clues (more than once!), we needed the host’s intervention to be able to progress through the game, which had us feeling a bit frustrated at times.
Who should try this room?
Wherehouse offers a western-style escape experience in Japan, and therefore has something to offer both locals and non-Japanese visitors. Escape room fans who are all about the puzzles and don’t need a story to justify them would appreciate this room, which would best suit a group of 3-5 players.
Our rating – 7/10