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Wednesday, Mar 21 2012
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In America, outdoor scavenger hunts are just an excuse to start drinking early, but it’s different in Japan, which is no surprise. When it comes to pop trends, the Japanese double down. Tokyo’s Takao Kato turned the scavenger hunt inside out several years ago, locking people in rooms to solve puzzles to gain their freedom. Japan fell hard for it, so much so that Kato has been forced to find much bigger rooms, including a baseball stadium, an amusement park, and a cathedral. Now he’s set to conquer America, at least our discerning knuckle of it. Escape From Werewolf Village locks you in an art gallery to madly solve puzzles before the wolves kill you. Make no mistake: The wolves kill you. Not all of you, but most of you. Escape rates for the Japanese games are under 10 percent. Maybe Kato will make it easier for the Americans, but it doesn’t look that way. He offered us a clue, the string of numbers reflected in the headline — it’s one of the puzzles you have to solve to get out — and we looked at it for 30 minutes. The only thing we figured out is that we are dead.
March 23-25, 2012

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Michael Leaverton

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