Ever wanted to play detective as a child? Do you secretly still want to be Sherlock? Well then, hail Mr. X.
We overheard some folks at a restaurant talk excitedly about this place called Mr. X and curiosity got the better of us. A quick call to this mysterious place for an 11 pm booking left us thinking what could this possibly involve? They had specific questions about number of people. We jumped into a cab and got to an ominous looking building, boldly named Mr. X in bright yellow signage. Looked inviting and yet a bit scary. Of course, we could not wait to get in.
Inside Mr. X: The concept
Quirky, Gothic decor and some really strange artifacts and artworks greeted us, all somewhat designed to strike fear in your heart. There were four of us, so we got booked into the appropriate puzzle room for an hour. That's when it dawned on us. Mr. X is a unique, one-of-its-kind puzzle house, located in the Huangpu district of Shanghai, at an intersection of two streets (giving it the added look of drama), making it almost seem like a haunted building. Their rooms are designed to cater to large or small groups.
Mr. X, to say the least, is a lot of fun, and a great idea for a bunch of people looking to do something apart from hitting the bars.
The concept is very simple. Mr. X has five rooms, each with a different puzzle that needs solving, and each with a different make-believe decor and theme and level of difficulty. So the more brains in the group, the better. Depending on the wait if you arrive early, you can get a beer (we don't recommend the wines which are suspect) and chat with the old man at the bar. He could belong in a Chinese mafia thriller.
The Room: There's no getting out!
Once you are ready to go in, they take away any drinks (even water), your phones, any lighters or torches, or any food. We entered our room, an old-fashioned and stylish "library" with a fake bookshelf and posters. That's all we will reveal to our readers. Don't get fooled by anything like we did. Our assumption that one hour is way too long for five adults to figure out a way out of the room was oh so wrong. Our time was up, and we were still struggling midway through the clues.
Coming to the clues. There is no explanation provided or no way knowing what one is looking for. Hence, use the full power of your group's imagination, intelligence and logic (and maybe strength). Look for patterns in the room, try to imagine what Hercule Poirot might do. They do have cameras installed to observe the on-goings inside the room and keep an eye on miscreants or watch out if anyone needs any assistance or wants to get out.
The other themes include Sci-Fi, prison, vault or lasers. We don't know if there was ever an instance when some group actually came out on their own merit of puzzle solving.
All in all, we can't wait to go back. The experience is thrilling, a great way to bond with your group, and a cool way to spend an hour. Based on the time of booking, you would shell out between RMB 100 and RMB 120, which is very reasonable. Do book in advance, and don't miss out on this place when you are in Shanghai.
Getting There and Hours
- Address: Building 1, 550 Jumen Lu, near Quxi Lu (1号楼550局门路号，近瞿溪路)
- Timings: Daily 10 am to 3 am
For more information on Shanghai nightlife, please read the following: