This month in An Interview with an Enthusiast, we spoke to Marissa Chan! Marissa is a recent graduate making big waves in the escape room industry as a play tester and all round escape room super fan! Presently, Marissa assists Scarlet Envelope in the planning of their games, and has also play tested for other companies, all whilst also working on her own fantastical puzzle creations on the side.
Here’s Marissa to introduce herself!
Tell me about yourself!
I’m a fresh Master’s grad, originally from Malaysia but spent 4 uni years in the UK. I studied psychology so I guess you could say I’m into all things mind-related, from understanding the way people think to brain-busting puzzles 😀
Escape Rooms, Board Games, Video Games, Theme Parks, Immersive Experiences..? What’s your poison?
Escape rooms are a classic! But I’ve recently been playing lots of boxed/subscription based puzzle & escape games and I am in love with them!
Which was your very first escape room?
I believe it was The Mysterious Room by Escape Room in Malaysia circa 2013. We didn’t escape 🙁 I was also quite new to puzzles so I didn’t have any experience going into it, but that’s where my interest in escape rooms began!
The million dollar question – how many escape rooms have you done?
Honestly, probably only around 10/11 but I plan to do more now that I’ve finished school for good and have a job! 😀
I’ve also done about 12 online & boxed puzzle games if you’d like to count those!
Desk, plant pot, picture frame – which do you look under first?
Desk for sure – although looking inside them also helps 😉
The last TV show you watched suddenly gets its own licensed escape room. Hooray, or oh no?
The last TV show I completed from start to finish was Darwin’s Game (anime) so hooray in terms of games, puzzles & objectives but big oh no in terms of the game being potentially fatal.
Can you think of a song that would make the perfect soundtrack for how you tackle an escape room?
Perry the Platypus’ theme is all I can think of right now. It’s been stuck in my head since I first saw this question, which was a few days ago (sorry).
When you’re not escaping from locked rooms, what do you like to do in your free time?
Play non-locked-room puzzle games!!
Otherwise, I’m a HUGE dog person, and a HUGE foodie! Pasta and burgers are my guilty pleasure. I like to read, journal, watch anime/TV series, play D&D. I also enjoy coming up with creative ideas like story or puzzle concepts, world & character building, physical crafts, etc.
If I gave you a blank cheque to create a dream escape room, what would it be like?
Literally just a room full of dogs or cats but the door is unlocked. Would get 5 stars on TripAdvisor.
Okay, but real talk, I really like the whole carnival/circus aesthetic so a cool story could be a visit to a circus and the ringmaster leads you into different exhibits but there are clues everywhere that lead to a darker twist and you have to solve the riddles to break a curse that has befallen the circus!
Finally.. A Fun Question! Whats Your Favourite season of the year?
WINTER!!! I love the snow and the cold and just bundling up in blankets with a hot chocolate. I’m the kind of person who wears shorts out in November/December so I’ll probably save a bunch on gas bills as well 🙂
Can you give us a short puzzle for us (and our readers) to solve?
I created this one for a team-building game and it’s based on a puzzle in a real escape room I had played many years ago, and I’m really proud of it!
(Peep the shabby photoshop skills – yikes!)
wound ecstatically, show
nought but wisps emptying
a mess of thought
ending whimsically at my frigid soul
Hint 1: You need numbers but you have to start somewhere.
Hint 2: The red dots are your starting positions. Move them one segment at a time.
Hint 3: To find your direction, you better use a compass.
Solution: Each line of the poem contains a set of directions (N,S,E,W) corresponding to each digit. Move the red dot according to the directions in the respective line to trace a number.
Mairi is the editor-in-chief of The Escape Roomer and writes about news, and reviews covering London and UK south.