Paul Showens – Host/ Producer
As listeners to our podcast know, (Episode 12 specifically ) We have been extended the opportunity to check out 5 Wits in DestiNY USA in Syracuse, NY. Well, the boys from G33kpod took full advantage of that hospitality and made the journey on Monday night ( March 2nd 2015 ).
What is 5 Wits? 5 Wits is a cutting-edge, live-action entertainment venue that immerses participants in realistic, hands-on adventures. Think a Disney World ride meets a live action video game. Espionage, TOMB and Drago’s Castle are currently available. In Espionage, you’ll be trained as spies, infiltrating and taking down a mysterious villain in his secret lair. In TOMB you’ll be trapped in an ancient Egyptian tomb fighting for your life against an angry Pharaoh! And in Drago’s Castle, you’ll join forces with a princess to escape a dungeon, solve ancient riddles and come face to face with a giant dragon! That got your attention didn’t it? I’ll talk about each of the adventures in a minute but let’s start at the beginning.
Appearances are deceiving. Your 5 Wits experience begins with an unassuming storefront. There’s lots of thematic merchandise arranged around the room and it doesn’t do much to draw you in, as a matter of fact it kind of obscures the real attention getter, The doors to the adventures! If I had a knock on them at all, it would be this. Find a way to draw more attention to those really cool doors!!!!! The merch is cool and all but, if I’d have noticed those doors before, I would have been in there long before now!!! Once inside we met the staff who would be assisting us in our experience, A great group of people they have working there.
Adventure awaits! So, what about those adventures? 5 Wits was gracious enough to allow us to experience all three of the adventures. Each of the adventures are very immersive with top notch, state-or-the-art effects, there are even a couple of “how’d they do that?” moments! All of the experiences begin outside of the entrance to the adventure. There will be an introduction video that will acclimate you to the storyline. These videos are well produced and very informative and have just the right of campy-cheesiness to make them awesome. Once the intro is over, the fun starts right-away!
Enter the TOMB! We chose to begin our experience with TOMB. Here’s how 5 Wits themselves describes it:
Prove your worthiness and survive to tell the tale!
Enter a 3,000 year old tomb with only a flashlight and your wits to guide you! At an archaeological dig, you find yourself deep in an Egyptian tomb… face to face with the spirit of an ancient Pharaoh! Are you brave enough to make it out alive? The only way to survive will be to best the Pharaoh at his own game and prove your worthiness… but watch out for traps along the way! Test your skills in this amazing adventure thousands of years in the making!
Sounds awesome right? Hell yeah it was! This was my personal favorite of the 3 adventures. Like all of the experiences, it was extremely immersive. , going through it made me feel like Rick O’Connell. ( Yes. From the Mummy Returns ) You really get the feeling that you’re exploring an ancient tomb! It’s creepy and has a strong sense of foreboding throughout the adventure. The puzzles are difficult but not impossible and require you to use your brains as much if not more than your body. This was a very cool adventure with a rewarding ending. Next time I run TOMB, I’m wearing a fedora ( which you can buy from the merch area in the storefront! )
Drago’s Hungry! That’s what CJ told us as we walked to the entrance of Drago’s Castle, the dungeons and dragons-esque medieval themed adventure. 5 Wits themselves describes it like this:
Are you Uppeth for the Challenge?
We’ve opened the drawbridge on Drago’s Castle — our most epic live-action adventure! But the dragon has escaped. And the princess needs your help recapturing him.
See if you have what it takes to escape the dungeon cell, solve the king’s riddles, discover secret passageways, and come face to face with the giant dragon! Otherwise, there may not be a storybook ending…
This is the one I expected to love the most and it was a close second! The tone for this one was a bit more lighthearted, but no less immersive. The environments were amazing and the dungeon area even smelled musty and dank! This experience was a bit more physical but nothing taxing. The puzzles on this go round were quite varied. Some were quite difficult ( we had one that we failed, actually ) and to answer the burning ( pun intended ) question…. Yes you DO see the dragon and he’s awesome! Once again, the finale was outstanding and made for a great experience.
Entering the Spy Game. We saved Espionage for last. This is a 007/ Mission: Impossible-style adventure with modernistic challenges. Here’s how 5 Wits describes it:
The Fate of the Free World Depends on You!
Time is ticking and everything is on the line when the evil CABAL Corporation threatens the world. Do you have what it takes to infiltrate an enemy base and disarm the missiles before it’s too late?
Dodge lasers, crawl through vents, defuse a giant missile and stop a madman from triggering a world war in this action packed spy thriller! Every puzzle you solve, challenge you conquer, and mistake you make will change the outcome, so stay sharp, move fast-and don’t get caught!
I guess by default this was my least favorite of the three but I still had a blast! The challenges were very cool, much of it was more physical than the others ( nothing beat dodging lasers! ) The story was engaging and the sense of urgency is really driven home during the final challenge as the atmosphere teeters into chaos ( you’ll see what I mean when you experience it for yourself.)
Final Judgement. I absolutely LOVED this experience. 5 stars all the way! I cannot recommend it enough. Everyone should go check this out at least once! My suggestion, clear an evening and buy the 3 adventure package. It’s the best value and the most fun, and don’t forget to tell ‘em G33kpod sent you.
For more details, including Pricing and Hours of Operation visit 5-wits.com