Unusual escape room traps you backstage at an Apple keynote

Tim Cook is 15 minutes from the start of his keynote and you’ve been invited backstage because he trusts you and your friends can help the big Apple event run without a hitch.

But then there is a hitch – Cook’s clicker is broken and the new products Apple is set to debut are missing. It’s up to your group to quickly solve the mystery and find the devices on time.

This is not a bad dream, but an actual experience you can have during WWDC in San Jose next month in a pop-up Apple escape room at AltConf 2019.

Since 2011, AltConf is the free alternative conference for Apple developers, a fun community-driven event that offers speakers, workshops and a chance to network.

Apple escape room: Save keynote!

New this year is “Backstage at the Keynote,” the theme of the escape room designed by Chadwick Severn, a puzzle buff and computer programmer from Ontario, Canada staging his fourth Apple-themed escape room.

AltConf goers will need to visit the event website to sign up for a time slot to play the game. Tickets are $5.

Severn’s Apple escape room makes its American debut June 3-6 after creating similar escape rooms at three different Úll Conferences in Ireland (Úll is Irish for House of Apple).

Apple escape room
Úll Conference goers try to solve the mystery of an Apple-themed escape room in 2017.
Photo: Ben McCarthy

Severn says the usual escape room gives participants an hour to follow the clues that unlock the exit and have high rates of failure. His, he says, are equally challenging with only one or two teams victorious.

He quickly presents teams with the storyline and leads them into the game space.

Success can be found with active communication and having at least one teammate who knows their Apple history, even the odd-ball stuff.

“Escape rooms are incredible fun,” Severn told Cult of Mac. “It’s a fantastic way for a bunch of friends to have an experience together. It’s interactive and cooperation, a lot of people yelling, ‘I’ve got this.’ I encourage people to go out for drinks afterward and talk about it.”

Severn’s rooms are pretty sophisticated with elaborate Apple-like gadgets to engage a hands-on experience. He built a “new” Mac Pro for one room, created a dongle band for an Apple Watch at another and built a network of Apple Pay terminals for one puzzle.

The gadgets will draw your attention and likely send you off course. Severn loves planting red herrings and little inside jokes.

Apple escape room
Which Apple Pay terminal provides a green light to victory?
Photo: Ben McCarthy

During a Úll Conference, Severn created an “Apple Keyboard 3” with an unusual layout. Participants had to figure out how to type a message to receive a clue.

At another conference, attendees had to get inside a crate sealed with something called “Camera Lock.” Around the room, were pictures of Apple executives that people figured out might unlock the crate, much like the iPhone X line’s Face ID.

Also in the room was a black turtleneck and round glasses. The winning teams figured out that the crate unlocked when someone donned the Steve Jobs trademark uniform and stood in front of the camera. Severn always has prizes for the winners and a Q and A afterward, especially for losing teams to understand why they failed.

Severn pitched the idea to AltConf organizers because he thinks the audience will love the game.

“I’m always game to do an escape room,” he said. “I’ve been to WWDC. The whole block is vibrating over new Apple stuff. This is the perfect mix.”

This article was originally posted here