It’s about 9am, and we had just arrived at a crime scene in Ho Chi Minh City’s Chinatown.
To be exact, we’re in the house of a Dr Lam who was found dead at 10.30pm the previous day.
He was apparently murdered in a ritualistic manner, and the police have called upon us to find out who’s the killer.
His body had been taken away and the only clues we had were in the picture above.
Only thing is, it’s not a real murder (haha, what did you expect?)
We had signed up for a game that would test our investigative skills.
Armed with only the clues we gathered in Dr Lam’s room, a map, a cell phone and a few other gadgets, we headed into the streets of the Cholon District.
Obviously, I can’t give away too much of the game, but suffice to say that we spent the next few hours searching for clues in traditional medicine shops and the many temples in the area.
It was not an easy task under the scorching sun.
We also had to ask the locals for clues.
Fortunately, most of them were very good-natured, and even if they didn’t understand us, they’ll respond with a smile.
But what we’re looking for are ‘actors’ who can give us clues for our next task.
Some of the clues (especially the first few) were easy to solve, but it got progressively harder.
Hint: use everything you’re given.
Towards the end, we must have criss-crossed the district more than a dozen times, as we tried to figure out who killed Dr Lam.
And we got to explore thoroughly an area of Ho Chi Minh City which we might have skipped (it’s not exactly off the tourist track, but neither is it a must-see).
And that to me, is probably the most interesting aspect of the game.
After all, the premise of the game is somewhat similar to the numerous escape rooms sprouting up across Asia.
And what’s different about this is that the entire game takes place outdoors after you collect the clues from the apartment.
My friends and I had a great time playing investigators on the streets of Vietnam, even though it got frustrating when we couldn’t solve a clue after numerous tries.
And that involved us scouring through temples after temples in Cholon in the midday sun.
We only managed to solve it after our controller (whom we kept in contact with on the cell phone given) gave us very very obvious hints.
So all things considered, I think it’s a great way to spend a morning in Ho Chi Minh City, especially if you, like me, have visited the city before.
It allows you to see another side of the city, while indulging in your childhood fantasies of being a police investigator (ok, maybe that’s more for me).
This isn’t a plug for them, so I’ll leave you to google their website for yourself.
That’s your first task as investigator :p