What is an escape room?
An escape room is an immersive, 60-minute, real-life adventure game.
But what does that really mean? Don’t worry, we’ve got answers for you here!
Here you’ll find:
What To Expect
1. Select a Theme
First, you’ll pick which epic, themed escape room you want to play! Themes range from exciting and action-packed to silly and light-hearted. Popular themes include bank heists, prison breaks, and zombies.
2. Meet your Game Guide
After choosing a room, you’ll meet your Game Guide. The Game Guide takes you to your room, explains the rules, and answers any questions before you begin your adventure.
3. Enter the Game and Watch a Mission Video
Once you’re ready to start the game, your team will watch a mission video. This video explains the world your team is now a part of, what you’re trying to accomplish, and why you only have 60 minutes to do so!
Some missions are about escaping the room, like in a prison break room. Other missions might not be centered around escaping, but instead, you might be completing a heist or launching a martian spaceship.
Here’s an example of the type of mission video that plays at the beginning of a game. This one is from The Escape Game’s The Heist!
Once the video ends, your one-hour timer starts counting down!
4. Escape the Room!
To escape, start by searching the room! Look for patterns or connections and communicate with your teammates! Together you can find solutions. You’ll solve puzzles, uncover clues, and crack codes to progress through the game!
5. Get a Clue
Don’t forget to call for clues or ask your Game Guide for help! They’re there to make sure you have an awesome experience and help your team escape!
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you locked in a room?
Nope! You are never going to be physically trapped inside of a room. If you need to leave at any point during the game, you’re always welcome to step out!
What happens if you don’t escape in time?
If you don’t escape in time, that’s okay! While it is exciting to successfully complete a mission, escape rooms are still a blast for those who don’t make it out on their first try–it gives you a goal to work towards the next time you come and play!
How do you escape?
To escape, you’ll need to find clues and puzzle pieces around the room. Those will help you unlock locks and solve puzzles, advancing your team through the room until you escape!
How do you reserve a game?
To reserve a game, book online or call an escape room company’s guest experience number. Those are both normally available on the company’s website. While walk-ins are usually welcome, escape rooms often book up in advance. To ensure you can play at a specific time, it’s best to make a reservation!
Get more answers to frequently asked questions here!
Escape Room Tips
A successful escape requires you to uncover hidden clues, crack tough codes, and solve challenging puzzles. Everything you notice is a potential clue or puzzle waiting to be solved. But hurry, the clock starts ticking the moment you enter the escape room!
Look at, in, and under everything
- Upon first entry into a new room, examine everything! What opens? What items have objects hidden inside? Time runs quickly and these first few objects are clues that will continue to propel you through the game!
- Don’t forget to look underneath rugs, sift through the books on shelves, and take a closer look at all those paintings on the wall!
Search for patterns
- The solution isn’t always obvious. Look closely at clues, objects, and wall printings to find any similarities or irregularities. These could be the key to solving a puzzle!
Utilize everyone’s skills
- Some team members may be great at jigsaw-type puzzles whereas others are good at analyzing a set of patterns. Escaping is a team effort, so help each other shine and work where your skill sets fit!
Keep track of solved puzzles and used clues
- Once a puzzle is solved or a clue used, it’s usually not needed again in the game. Keeping items in a discard pile communicates to team members that they’ve been used. This is also important so people aren’t wasting time trying to solve puzzles that have already been completed.
- It can be discouraging watching the minutes tick by and not knowing what to do next. But don’t give up! Working together and having a fun time with the team is what escape rooms are all about.
If you want more tips, check out our Ultimate Guide on How to Beat an Escape Room!
Escape rooms are a whole new way of experiencing storytelling. By combining social interaction with challenging adventures, each room is designed to immerse you into entirely new worlds that feel like Hollywood blockbusters. No wonder they’re so addicting! Here are the top ten most common escape room themes:
- Prison break
- Treasure hunt
- Bank robbery
- Outer space
- Secret agents
- Ancient Egypt
- Murder mystery
Learn more about the different types of escape rooms here!
In recent years, the production value of escape rooms has also reached a whole new level. Watch the video below to see the trailer for the game Ruins: Forbidden Treasure from The Escape Game that has a treasure hunt theme!
Escape Room – The Movie
There’s an escape room movie? Sort of! The “Escape Room” psychological horror movie series is a fictionalized account of an escape room adventure.
First released by Sony in 2019, the first film features a group of contestants who compete for a major cash prize in a terrifying series of escape rooms. The sequel “Escape Room: Tournament of Champions” (2021) follows a similar storyline.
While there are real-life, horror-themed escape rooms, most aren’t scary and none involve monetary prizes or life-threatening scenarios. Escape rooms are meant to be fun, not deadly!
What Are Virtual Escape Rooms?
COVID-19 led to a need for online escape rooms and at-home games. During lockdowns, friends sought out innovative ways to spend time together. Work teams searched for virtual team building activities. Even as lockdowns have become less restrictive, people and organizations are still looking for ways to connect from a distance.
Virtual escape rooms tackle those issues. There are various kinds of virtual escape rooms including point-and-click apps, audio-only narrated games, and live hosted events.
Watch the video below to see an example of a virtual escape room experience over Zoom!
Learn more about virtual escape rooms here.
The History of Escape Rooms
Although they’ve only recently gained popularity, escape room games have actually been around for over a decade! The concept of escape rooms began with first-person adventure video games where players interacted with their surroundings by clicking on-screen objects.
Planet Mephius is the earliest example, designed by Eiji Yokoyama and published by T&E Soft in 1983. Initially only available in Japan, this prototype for virtual adventures led to the creation of “escape the room” video games.
Takao Kato from Kyoto created the first real-life escape game in 2007. The popularity of “escape the room” video games and his personal desire for adventure inspired him to try something new.
Originally, guests played in-person games in different Japanese bars and clubs. However, companies constructed more permanent locations throughout Asia and Europe over the next few years.
Escape games finally hit the United States between 2012 and 2014, with several brands gradually gaining traction in San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, New York City, and Nashville. Now, there are over 50,000 epic escape rooms worldwide! They’re used as fun bonding adventures and as corporate team building activities! There are even escape room conferences for fans to learn more about the industry and experience new content.
Learn more about the history of escape rooms here.
National puzzle hunts are another sim activity rising in popularity! Click here to learn more about the most popular competitions and how you can participate!
Ready to play?
Now you’re fully equipped to make a great escape! To book an adventure with The Escape Game, click here!
For more information on escape room blogs and directories, click here!