Rising to the challenge: Saira Haseeb Khurram, founder of Challenge Chambers Image Credit: Clint Egbert/XPRESS

Dubai: If mirth and mystery are up your alley, head straight to the Challenge Chambers. It is a unique real life escape game where you end up being locked in a small room to solve a mystery by finding objects, answering riddles and connecting the missing links.

With two branches located both in Dubai (Sunset Mall) and Abu Dhabi (Al Wahda Mall), Challenge Chambers is an entertainment destination with a difference.

“Players have to use their guts and grey matter to make a successful escape from a chamber depending on the theme. They have a fixed time to crack the mystery. So it requires teamwork and is a lot of fun,” said Saira Haseeb Khurram, the Pakistani expat behind the concept.

She said the idea of a real-time live game is fairly new. “Although we’ve seen apps on tablets and smart phones, the LIVE game experience started from Japan and has now spread throughout Asia, Europe and the US. This concept has been well-received all over the world and has been ranked amongst the top five things to do in cities like London and Bangkok.”

Khurram said Challenge Chambers has been designed for all ages and categories of people, be it families, friends, couples out dating or tourists. Each chamber has a set theme, in English and Arabic, and is steered by a challenge master. “We have three half-hour games and four one-hour games, each with a separate challenge. We have tried to cover different genres like action, horror and crime. All characters/stories are a figment of our imagination,” said Khurram.

Insane Level

An ‘Insane Level’ 30-minute challenge for instance has a player desperately trying to get out of a room into which someone, say a school bully, has pushed him. The 13th Victim Escape Challenge, on the other hand, gives an abducted player 60 minutes to escape a serial killer.

Khurram said: “All the games get your adrenaline pumping and are time-bound. Given that you are living, breathing and literally in the game, your emotions and senses come alive. It’s time well spent with your partner, family, friends and/or colleagues. Along the way, you learn a lot about yourself and your team mates.”

The one-hour games require a minimum of two and maximum of five people. Half-hour games can be played in ones or twos.

The entry fee ranges from Dh75 to Dh125 depending on the room, the age and number of players and the chosen day. The rates are cheaper on weekdays. Advance online bookings (http://www.challengechambers.com) are encouraged to avoid disappointment. The games are open from 10.30am to 9pm during weekdays and 10.30am to 10.30pm during weekends.