Escape From a Runaway Train in the Game "9train"!

The attraction "Escape from the Runaway Train" (or simply "9train") recently opened in Tokyo Mystery Circus, Japan's largest mystery theme park. In this game, you can feel the pressure and suspense of having to escape from a runaway luxury train car first-hand. The puzzle is currently available in English, Chinese, and Japanese, which means that non-Japanese speakers can attempt this escape room as well!

Shinjuku

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***Pictures for this article were taken on March 18, 2020

TOKYO MYSTERY CIRCUS (Shinjuku)

Tokyo Mystery Circus is a five-story "mystery theme park" located in Shinjuku's Kabuki-cho. Each floor has a mystery attraction with a different theme, including collaboration games with popular series such as Lupin III and Jojo's Bizarre Adventure. The park offers hands-on experiences that are fun for friends, families, couples, or even those who want to go at it alone (although we believe it's leagues more fun when you can build up excitement along with someone else and use it as a bonding experience). The theme park also has a cute cafe and gift shop.

Recently, staff from tsunagu Japan had a go at the 9train escape room. Read all about it below! All aboard!

The entrance of the Tokyo Mystery Circus is styled so that it almost feels like you're walking into a circus big top. You can see the reception area with all the information about the games and their schedules as soon as you walk inside. Next to the reception area is a cafe where you can take a breather after challenging yourself at the attractions. Excited to dive into the puzzle, we headed straight to the 9train floor right after getting all the information we needed at the ticket counter.

The 9train has Gotten Loose! Solve the Puzzle and Escape!

Before jumping onto the 9train, first we had to hear the rules of the game. The rules are displayed on a monitor in Japanese, English, and Chinese, so non-Japanese participants can understand the story and rules as well.

The game begins as soon as the rules are explained, when a staff member hands you an invitation to the luxurious 9train (pictured above).

We were given special permission to share the contents of the invitation, which went as follows:

Thank you for coming to today's first-ever private viewing of the "NINE TRAIN."
This train was crafted by a genius puzzlemaker, and each car is packed with a plethora of puzzles.
Please feel free to solve all the puzzles onboard at your leisure.

We already felt immersed in the game's narrative world, and we couldn't wait to get started! And so we jumped straight in.

The conductor soon informs us that a crisis has occurred - the emergency alarm is blaring in car 9, and the train has suddenly begun speeding down the tracks! At this rate, in 50 minutes, the train will overrun the terminal station and crash into the town. We must take it upon ourselves to stop the runaway train to avoid a catastrophe! But in order to do that, we have to pull the emergency-stop lever in car 1... which we won't be able to reach unless we solve the puzzles in each car, starting from car 9!

The conductor hands us a tablet that is essential for solving the puzzles, and with that, our mission begins! The puzzle that needs to be solved appears on the tablet when entering each car. Be sure to check every nook and cranny, and when you've solved the puzzle, enter the answer into the tablet. You won't be able to move to the next room until you put the correct answer!

You must go through 9 adjacent rooms that have mysterious pictures and words scattered throughout them and solve each puzzle to stop the train. You do not need to have any special knowledge in order to find the answers; just be sure to make use of your intuition and instincts. You will also be working against the clock, so keep your mind moving in order to be able to solve each puzzle in time!

Another thing to note is that each car has its own theme: one is the lounge car, another holds the cargo, and so on. Each one was built to appear very realistic, adding another level of believability to the game. You have 50 minutes to make your way through all 9 cars (approximately 5 minutes per car), which may sound quick, but you are also able to extend your time by 10 minutes (fee required) if you find yourself running out of time.  

Keep in mind that for the 9th car specifically, the allotted time is 10 minutes, during which you need to solve the puzzle without any hints. Even if you enter the 9th car with more than 10 minutes left to spare, you are only allowed to use 10, so you'll need to keep your focus laser-sharp right through the end of the game!

Even if you are struggling with solving a puzzle, don't let that get to you - there are hints for each puzzle (excluding the 9th car). Although reading the hints will make solving the puzzles easier, it also eats up time, so watch the clock! 

There are also puzzles that require you to move around in order to solve them, so we recommend wearing clothing that is easy to move in when you're taking on the challenge.

Finally, something that we noticed throughout the game was the absolute care they put into narrative-building, which was imaginative down to the tiny details. It was challenging but fun, and we definitely recommend trying out 9train whether you're familiar with escape rooms or not!
The price for a reserved ticket is 3,000 yen per person if you're in a group of 4. The fee for a time extension is 1,000 yen per person per extension.

This is a great opportunity to enjoy a full-on escape room at a reasonable price!

If you want to give feedback on any of our articles, you have an idea that you'd really like to see come to life, or you just have a question on Japan, hit us up on our FacebookTwitter, or Instagram!

The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.

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