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Solve the murder of Saint Agatha in the town that bears her name

20:00 26/02/2021
A clever Brussels trio have thought up an escape room that can be played out of doors

Back in the 18th century, Belgium was home to two towns called Berchem. This was a source of confusion, so one of them decided to change its name. And Berchem-Sainte-Agathe was born.

But why did the city fathers choose to name this now Brussels municipality after the Sicilian saint? Find out why and much more about one of Christianity’s most venerated martyrs during Who Killed Agathe?, a new murder mystery game in the Wilder forest.

There’s nothing like solving a grisly crime in a deep wood, but the organisers of the game are more interested in teaching you how to think critically and work together. “Only by working together can you solve this mystery on time,” explains Vincent Riga. “If you work alone, you will fail.”

And you don’t want to fail because if you do, the bomb in your backpack will blow up, taking you, the forest and all of Berchem-Saint-Agathe with it. This is how Riga and his two collaborators have managed to make this an escape room game – but one that sticks to coronavirus regulations.

Énervé

Riga is a city councillor in the municipality but also a founding member of NRV, a non-profit that organises sports, games and other activities for kids and families. “I founded the organisation in 2019 with two friends – Nathalie and Rudi – so we called it NRV, for Nathalie, Rudi and Vincent,” he says.

But it’s also a play on the French word énervé, which means annoyed. “We were annoyed because we felt that there weren’t enough activities organised in the commune. So we launched a series of activities in our municipality. And the last activity that we created was this outdoor escape game.”

Riga and Nathalie are big fans of escape games and so decided to come up with one that could be done during the pandemic. Who Killed Agathe? is a substitute for an event they were going to host last summer, which would have seen 400 kids coming together.

A team solving the murder of Saint Agatha

“Instead of welcoming 400 kids inside at one time, we had to figure out how to welcome four people outside 100 times. We turned to  our passion for classic escape games, but with the constraints of the coronavirus, we decided to invent an outdoor escape game.”

Groups of four can reserve a spot online and will be met by one of the NRV team at Bois du Wilder. Participants get information about the famous Agathe and clues to help solve her murder, as well as rad detective gear. And the infamous backpack. Solve the murder in 90 minutes or – kaboom!

The game text is in French and Dutch, but an English version is on the way.

Photos courtesy NRV asbl

Written by Lisa Bradshaw