It’s All Fun and Games…and Intrigue at Moscow’s Cubiculum Quest
John Seckel, Director of MIR’s affiliated Moscow office, is an American expat who has lived and worked in Moscow for many years. Recently he and his staff visited an unusual place to scout it out for MIR guests interested in unconventional experiences.
“Escape Quests,” or “Escape-the-Room” games are challenging live-action activities that have become very popular lately. Basically, a small team of friends or co-workers is locked in a room full of clues for 60 minutes, and charged with solving the set puzzle or mystery before they can get out.
Recently the MIR affiliate staff in Moscow set out on a quest at one of the city’s hottest quest sites, Cubiculum. (Cubiculum has been rated as #1 on TripAdvisor’s “Fun and Games in Moscow” for quite a while.)
Cubiculum is located on the grounds of the Flacon Design Factory, a very suitable place for it. This area is called a “creative cluster,” and is aimed at developing a wide range of creative, educational, and civic activities. Since its establishment in 2009, it’s become an epicenter of cultural life in Moscow.
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We felt a certain amount of suspense; none of us had ever taken part in a quest before.
We were met by Sasha, who welcomed us. She could sense that we were a little nervous, but having lots of experience with the “non-experienced” like us, she put us at ease with her easy-to-understand instructions and smiling eyes that said, “You can do this!”
Some of the basic rules are that no cameras and phones are allowed in the quest rooms. The room has a maximum capacity of four people and a minimum of two. Each room has its own rules, so listen carefully.
Our goal – to unravel the clues and find the Red Button to save the world from nuclear destruction in 60 minutes. Sasha invited us into our room and closed the door behind us. What happened next is hard to explain. The sounds and the lighting in the room start to make the adrenaline pump in your veins. You look around to see what moves, what can be twisted, what opens, what is on the walls. Your pulse quickens as you talk amongst yourselves and try to put it all together to move on to the next step. How many steps are there??? What will bring you to the Red Button??? In what order??? You keep looking at your watch to keep track of the time. You all give suggestions. You find something that looks like it is the answer to the next step. It doesn’t work. You try it a different way – it works!
You don’t need to know Russian to take part in the quests at Cubiculum. All of it is in English and Russian. Depending on how you move along, you can request hints, because someone is monitoring the room at all times. Sasha was very good at not giving us too much help, but just enough. Knowing that this was our first quest, she kept our confidence level up.
With a few minutes left, we had made great progress, but still had a ways to go. We solved many of the room’s mysteries, and were on a roll, but those missiles were on a roll of their own. Tragically, they went off and blew up the world – but somehow we kept going. After solving a few more puzzles, we had a moment of victory. We had located the Red Button! With all four of our hands on the button, we pushed it and our quest was complete.
Sasha congratulated us. Even though we hadn’t quite saved the world, we had found the Red Button. She said that not everyone finds that button. And let me tell you – it is not where you might think it is!
On an adrenaline high from so much excitement, we said our goodbyes to Sasha and left, discussing our feelings and impressions. All four of us are of different ages, and we had come together using our skills to solve a problem – and have a lot of fun. This is not a sit-back-and-watch activity: it wakes all your senses and gives them a run for their money.
Much more fun than sitting around playing a video game!
Want to know more about fun experiences for the whole family? Read about John’s visit to
Moscow’s kid-friendly Experimentanium.
Play Live-action Games in Moscow with MIR
MIR has more than 30 years of travel experience to Russia, with affiliate offices in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Siberia offering on-the-ground support, and tour managers that clients rave about. MIR’s full service, dedication, commitment to quality, and destination expertise have twice earned us a place on National Geographic Adventure’s list of “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth.”
Spend an afternoon saving the world at Cubiculum on a personalized, private journey to Moscow. We love to take your ideas and weave them into a trip tailored especially for you. Travel wherever, however, and with whomever you like, relying on our expert assistance. Contact us to find out more about our custom and private travel expertise – each trip handcrafted to your interests, dates and pace.
Top photo: MIR’s Moscow affiliate team puts their heads together to complete their quest at Cubiculum. Photo: John Seckel
PUBLISHED: November 21, 2017