Napier Prison's new 'escape room' is under way

Puzzles, patterns, clues and lasers are among what will be included in what is thought to be Hawke's Bay's first 'escape room'.

'Escape The Mind of a Mad Man' is scheduled to open towards the end of July at Napier Prison and participants are expected to be perceptive, work together as a group and use basic mathematics skills in order to escape the specially designed room.

Napier Prison administrator Thomas Barker said it was "a fiendish new way to experience Napier Prison".

"It is a phenomenon that started overseas and is everywhere now including New Zealand, but is in the bigger cities. Old Napier prison seemed like the perfect place to stage an escape room."

Real-life escape rooms are a type of physical adventure game in which a group of people are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues and escape the room within a set time limit.​

"There are two parts to it; escaping and the story that goes with it about a professor who lost his mind. If people manage to escape, they will uncover his secret," Mr Barker said.

Located in one of the large cells, willing participants will have an hour to escape.

The opening date is uncertain as of yet but plans to open a second, different themed room is already in talks.

Actors from the monthly scare tours and friends of the prison have been used to test the rooms, with more tests to come.

"We are making sure it is tested thoroughly as we don't want everyone to always get it. We want to make sure the puzzles fit together and the story is legible," Mr Barker said.

"If people are really interested they can email us at or check out our Facebook page for more information."


HAWKE'S BAY TODAY 29 Jun, 2017 8:00am

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