You may have heard about Escape Rooms in the past few years or so, as they seem to be the latest growing trend to sweep the nation, and indeed the world. Like myself you may be intrigued at the idea, but at the same time wonder what it’s all about, where did the idea come from, is it safe, and is it worth taking part in an Escape Room experience? A few of my colleagues and I decided to head out and take part in the experience to find out.
The Escape Room concept originated from video games called “Escape Games” which were created in 2004, in which players had to interact with other players in order to escape a room and move on to the next level. In 2007 this concept was transformed into live Escape Rooms, and gradually over the years, rooms have popped up all over the world and become increasingly popular.
The name pretty much gives the game away, it is what is says on the tin: a room from which you and your friends or colleagues must escape.
In saying this however, let me just state that it really is a whole lot more fun and less scary than it sounds!
Once you have chosen your venue and the theme of the room you like best, you are met at the venue by your Room Master who talks you through everything, before showing you a short guidance video on the experience, the do’s and don’ts and instructions you need for the next hour. Each room is different and is based on a theme, but the concept is the same, solves puzzles and clues in order to escape. Once you enter the room, you are locked in by your Room Master, the clock starts counting down and your time begins. You have one hour to escape the room, which you do by solving various clues, puzzles and riddles scattered around the room. For every clue you solve, you either receive an item (such as a key or object), or a clue to another puzzle, or part of an answer to a riddle that you’ve not yet solved. Some clues unlock objects that have a later use, and some give you keys to puzzles that you haven’t even stumbled across yet. Sound complicated? Don’t panic! Your Room Master is always watching your progress from another room, and has access to an intercom to communicate with you, so if you need a little help or hint or two, all you have to do is pick up the phone and the Room Master will be on the other end ready to help you. Once all the clues and puzzles have been solved, you will discover the key to the room door and be able to let yourselves out. In effect you will have escaped the Escape Room. If your time runs out before you solve all the clues, your Room Master will unlock the door for you and let you out.
The whole experience took just over an hour from start to finish, but the time seemed to fly by quickly. You really do become totally absorbed in solving all the clues and finding your way out, and before you know it the time has run out.
After experiencing a room for myself, I completely understand why it is such a growing trend. Not only was it fun, exhilarating and challenging, but the thrill of solving the clues fills you with a real sense of elation. Myself and my colleagues didn’t quite make it out in an hour, but this only motivated and challenged us to go back again another day and try again to beat the clock. We all really enjoyed the experience. If you love a challenge and want to try something new, an Escape Room is for you. Not only does the experience encourage you to think outside the box, but it is fun, different and exciting, and will certainly make you want to go back for more. Your problem solving skills are definitely challenged and tested, but it is well worth giving it a try!