Will You Make it Out Alive? : The Adventure Builders Club organizes live games on campus

The Adventure Builders Club’s reaper lurks in the dark waiting for their next unsuspecting victim
Photo by Martin Musialczyk

By Coral Nafziger

This year everything went wrong for a pair of trick-or-treaters who found themselves locked in a serial killer’s house. The only way they managed to escape was by cracking codes and solving puzzles.

The Adventure Builders Club set up this scenario for their escape room, which was part of the Halloween festivities in the PUB last Friday. Students entered the “serial killer’s house” in groups of two or three and had about 12 minutes to escape.

When players entered the darkened room, the puzzles started out innocently enough with a deck of cards on a table. As players worked their way from puzzle to puzzle, things became creepier, cumulating with a final puzzle in a room with fake severed body parts and fake blood.

Escape rooms, such as Seattle’s Puzzle Break and Ninja Escape have been popping up fairly recently both locally and globally. Unsurprisingly, these rooms are popular with some members of the Adventure Builders Club.

Mathew Hageland, who recently joined the club, has done a couple of local escape rooms and says he enjoys the challenge, storylines and how the only way to get out is to work together as a group.

Another member, Aaron Armando, said of his experience at Totem Room Escape in Bandung, Indonesia, “The rooms felt ominous and tense, giving off an eerie feeling that forces you to rush solving the puzzles.”

The club’s most recent venture was an escape room, but they also organize other live games. According to the club president, Vianca Mandalica, the Adventure Builders Club was formed by a group of friends who wanted to do a campus-wide treasure hunt. This turned out to be more ambitious than what they were able to achieve within constraints, including a $500 budget.

A popular game the club regularly hosts is their Battle Royale, which will return this spring. Despite being named after what was essentially “The Hunger Games” before “The Hunger Games” existed, nobody dies during this event. For this “assassination” game, each player is given a kit that includes a picture, class schedule, and information about another player they must “take out” — with a sticker. Once the sneaking around and “assassinating” is over, three winners emerge victorious.

Mandalica says one of the things she likes about being in the club is getting to see other people enjoying themselves as they interact with the club’s activities. For Armando, even planning events with the club is really fun because he likes being involved in the exchange of ideas.

Anyone who is interested in getting in on the adventure is welcome to join the club or participate in events as a non-member.

The club meets from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday in Room 1103. You can also reach the club president, Vianca Mandalica, at [email protected]

Pairing Recommendation

Our sommelier suggests that this article be paired with the TV show, Community, Season 1 Episode 23 “Modern Warfare” and Season 2 Episode 23 “A Fistfull of Paintballs” avaliable on Hulu.


The Game is Based on What?!?! – Battle Royale

In Koushun Takami’s 1999 book, “Battle Royale,” a class full of middle school students are forced to fight to the death by the government. Each student receives a random weapon — some get guns or knives while one gets a fork and another a banjo. The victor is the last student alive.

A movie of the same name based on the book was released in 2000. Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, this movie has become a cult classic and has an 86 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

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