Hello Everyone, its been a while since we’ve posted on g33kwatch and I hope to see that begin to change shortly. I plan to start reviewing movies and tv again soon. Joey is supposed to begin doing Full Play videos again and there will hopefully be a new podcast. So lets talk about an intriguing event I recently took part in on Coney Island. The Purge Breakout Experience.
The Purge Breakout is an immersive interactive real life survival-horror game. Participants are placed into teams and given an opportunity to enter one of the more unique dystopian futures created in recent years. For those unaware the world of the film series The Purge takes place in an America where crime and violence are seemingly a thing of the past. As it turns out the New Founding Fathers of America (the new leaders of our country) have enacted an annual holiday called The Purge. On the night of The Purge, for 12 hours, nearly every possible crime is legal including murder. This day is celebrated as a way for Americans to free themselves of their frustrations. Touted as a way for the poor to balance out life with the rich; the inequity of the situation becomes apparent as government officials above a certain rank are immune, the wealthy can afford powerful home defense systems and quite often the rich hunt the homeless for sport. The film’s success led to it becoming a Fright Zone at Universal Studios Hollywood and a stand alone haunt in LA called Fear The Night.
With the success of these two events and a second film in the series, The Purge: Anarchy, coming in 2014… The Purge Breakout was designed as a limited time event and promotional tool. Modeled after games like Escape The Room and built with the same intensity as a Haunt experience you and your team begin the game locked in a cage. It is 30 minutes from The Purge and if you don’t escape you will be killed. From there the puzzles and frights come one after the other. You must find clues, keys, and codes, but you also have to brave incredibly dark rooms, put your hands into foul objects and find the courage to go into one uncomfortable room after another. I went to the game with my friend Vonka Romanov who was an incredible teammate. She was willing to climb into a small claustrophobic space when a man near her decided to say, “ladies first” instead of going himself. When he saw her take a deep breath and dive in calling his bluff he had to follow. I found my niche helping to open or opening alone no less than 5 different locks. Our crew managed to make it into the final space with more than half our time left on the clock but then we got bogged down as the team began to focus on their own ideas of what to do and not to follow what needed to be done. More than once I was pushed off a task I could have helped with and in three different cases once the person gave up I ended up solving the puzzle myself. That said when I came up against a task I couldn’t complete (one of the puzzles in the last room had a lock that I could not read in the strange lighting) I asked Vonka to help me. She could see and I told her the code and how to solve it. This led us to finally move forward with nearly no time left but several of our teammates struggled where they once were helpful and after a while our group had half the players solving clues and the rest just standing around. The atmosphere, time limit and pressure got to them and they were busy shouting at everyone to do things without actually doing anything themselves.
If you go to play this game know that it is not easy to complete. You have to work as a team. You have to keep your wits. You have to let others help and you can’t let the experience get to you. There are elements, I won’t spoil here, provided by the game that both help and hinder your progress. Particularly when there are only five minutes left an incredible asset can become a total liability making things worse. Did we have fun? Absolutely. Is it something I’m glad I did? Absolutely. Do I wish I had a chance to play again with another group? Absolutely. I really wanted to finish the game and survive the night even though no one managed to make it through when we were there. I will admit that I tried to set up a second run through this upcoming weekend but its not in the cards.
The Purge Breakout has already been through Atlanta, Miami and New York City. The game is moving on to Chicago June 27th-29th, Dallas July 3rd-6th, Los Angeles July 12th & 13th, then 15th-20th. The experience will be in Philadelphia during Philly Comic Con June 19th-22nd (where I had hoped to take a second shot at the game) but its only available as part of a $250 VIP Wizard World Philadelphia ticket purchase. They won’t be running stand alone sessions outside of the convention. If you want to play the game June 19th-July 20th tickets are $20. To play at a discount enter the code: Purge10 and $10 will come off the price of your ticket order.