Escape rooms have been a hot trend in Metro Manila recently. I myself is a fan of mysteries. I just got hooked into How To Get Away with Murder (thank you, Netflix) and was one of Veronica Mars‘ fanboys back in the days. I think people in general are fascinated and can’t resist a good mystery. Maybe it’s because we are all nosy and inquisitive in nature! Haha. So when I finally was able to convince my office mates and friends to finally try Mystery Manila, I know I should’t pass on the opportunity.
How I Know About Mystery Manila
I’ve heard about Mystery Manila a year or two ago through Facebook. I remember, those Breakout Manila events are the fad that time. I never really got into any of those, too much running! Then there’s also Halloween Haunts: Scream Park Manila. I’ve been there, and it was loads of fun!!! I would pay again to experience something like that. But unfortunately, Scream park Manila is not in operation anymore. They said they will come back, but didn’t. Pinaasa lang ako. So when I saw a shared post about Mystery Manila, my curiosity level went off the scale! It promises to be Philippine’s first live role playing game. One room. One mystery. One hour. One way out. Like how cool would this be? It’s like living inside the TV series and mystery books that I love! I can easily imagine myself as Veronica Mars, the cool sleuth in town. But of course in reality, dakilang tsismoso lang talaga ako. LMAO. I promised myself I will experience Mystery Manila. I have to!
Choose Your Own Mystery
Since I live in Makati, I checked out Mystery Manila’s Jupiter Street location. Their website offers a lot of information about the different mystery rooms and locations you can choose from. The Jupiter location offers three rooms: Order of the Oculus, Rebecca’s Room and World of Wizardry. At first glimpse, I really want to do Rebecca’s Room. It’s Mystery Manila’s horror themed mystery, and if you know me, you know that I’m a sucker for anything horror! I love to be scared. Rebecca’s Room seems to be the perfect fit for me. Unfortunately, I have to consider the people I’m doing the mystery with. I don’t want anyone to be forced to do something they feel uncomfortable with. Well, 2 of the girls joining me aren’t really keen about paranormal stuff. I tried to convince them otherwise, but to no avail. It’s okay. A mystery is still a mystery no matter what theme it is. We ended up choosing the somewhat Harry Potter inspired mystery room, World of Wizardry. Really cool, huh? Here’s the premise:
As a trainee wizard, you and your friends are tasked to steal the magical time turner and stop Sidius from his evil master plan that will change the world of wizardry. To do this you must learn to mix potions, cast spells and solve magical puzzles. Hurry, the world of wizardry is counting on you!
Booking Your Mystery
Mystery Manila prefers that you book in advance if you want to solve one of their mysteries. I understand that they need time to prepare the rooms, so having a foresight of the number of people and the time they will play is important. Walk-ins are also entertained, though won’t be a guarantee. It depends on the mystery room availability at the time you drop by. Booking is made online through Mystery Manila’s website. It is very easy. You get to choose the mystery and the schedule, enter your info, choose mode of payment, pay and then you’re good to go. Well, yeah, booking was a breeze… until I bumped into a little problem.
You can’t pay through credit card! This is such a letdown, like how good is an online transaction if you can’t pay through card? Apparently, Mystery Manila uses DragonPay, and the only mode of payments available as of writing are through Bayad Centers and Online Banking. Paying through Bayad Centers would be such a hassle for me, plus they will charge you extra for their processing fee. So since I have an online account with BPI, I chose to pay through online banking. A HUGE MISTAKE! I found out that if this is your first time to pay via DragonPay, you need to enroll their account first before you can make any payment transactions. That means you need to go to BPI’s physical branch to submit the application form, and it will take a few days to be processed. This time, we’re freaking out because if we don’t pay in time, another group might take the time and date we prefer — and that’s the only time we’re all available, so it’s that schedule or never! So we called Mystery Manila to explain the situation. Turned out you can still keep your reservation and just pay them directly when you get there. Whew! This is actually a better idea because you can cancel and you don’t have to pay a cent! Though I do not recommend that — it is bad for Mystery Manila’s business. Haha! By the way, in case you’re wondering, here’s the amount you have to pay:
|No. of Person||Price per Person (Manila Branches)||Price per Person (Boracay Branch)|
|5 or 6||400||50|
It’s Mystery Day!
We arrived 30 minutes before our schedule. We signed up a form and paid 2,400 pesos for 6 people. They told us we have to come up with a group name, so from thereon you can refer to us as Team Boom Shakala! The staff are very nice and welcoming. Our game master, who by the way is appropriately named Sherlock, gave us a briefing before we enter the room. Here’s a little rundown of what I can remember:
- You have to assign a team leader. The team leader is the only person who can ask for clues from the game master. They chose me as the leader. Of course, I am more than willing to play the role. *grins*
- For each clue you ask, you will have 5 minutes added to your total solve time.
- You are not allowed to leave the room once you enter, unless you solved it or your allotted time is up. Make sure you go to the bathroom before you enter, just in case.
- Do not touch items marked in yellow and black stickers.
- They gave us a cloak to wear. I love it! Now we’re dressed for the part as well.
- Most importantly, ENJOY!
If you solve the mystery within 30 minutes, each of you will receive a Mystery Manila “Mystery Solved” shirt. I can tell you, I really want this shirt so bad! It’s like a little badge that says, “Hey, we conquered the mystery!” If you solve the mystery in 40 minutes, you will get a pen. And if you solve it in 60 minutes, you get 2 thumbs up!!! Also, if you like and follow their social accounts, you get a sticker. Not bad at all.
World of Wizardry Experience
The mystery room is dimly lit with a red cast that fills the entire room. Just perfect to set the mood and atmosphere. Hanging on the wall in the center is the timer countdown set to 60 minutes. There’s no excuse, you know what time you’ve got left. Once we’re ready, Sherlock gave me, the leader, the instructions, which serves as our first clue. OKAY! This part is where it gets tricky because I don’t want to put spoilers and rob anyone of their own experience. Let me just say that right off the bat, we got our hands and brains busy solving clues, mixing potions, finding magical items and understanding Sidius. There’s really no preparing for what’s to come. So did we solve the mystery, you ask?
Sherlock told us we did well in the first part and actually expects us to get the shirt. But we had trouble solving this one puzzle. It was chaotic with 6 people chipping in and trying to figure it out. As they say, too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth! LMAO. And once we finally solved it, we had trouble finding this magical item… I won’t spoil what it is. But it was a LOT of fun! Even in the parts where you feel like you’re failing, it’s still a lot of excitement and laughs. We ended up asking for 2 clues. We solved the mystery in 41 minutes + 10 minutes (2 clues), which makes our total solve time 51 minutes. MYSTERY SOLVED! Not bad for first timers! But damn, I want that shirt so bad…
Would I Visit Mystery Manila Again?
Absolutely! No doubt the guys in Mystery Manila will see my face again. This kind of fun is just right up my alley. I love every moment of it. I really recommend this to anyone who wants to have some fun while using their brain juices and bonding with friends and family. We all had a good time, so much good time that the 2 girls are now willing to try Rebecca’s Room. The price might be a little high for some, especially students, but it’s worth it.
Mystery Manila 2nd floor, G. A. Yupangco Building,
Jupiter St. and Gil Puyat Avenue corner Reposo St.,
Brgy. Bel Air, 1200 Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines.
(Landmark: Starbucks right across Mapua Makati & SM Jazz) (+632) 587 1689
(+63) 917 559 40 10