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What is an escape room and why you should play them? We try to answer every question about the origins, gameplay and types of escape games.

The origins of escape rooms

The first escape room games appeared on the internet in the early 2000s as a subgenre of point-and-click adventure games. In these first person games you had to gather information, find hidden objects and clues to open doors and get through levels, just as in real life escape rooms.

The first live exit game ‘Origin’ opened its gates in the Silicon Valley (US) in 2006 and was inspired by Agatha Christie’s works. It soon became a real tourist attraction.

Just two years later SCRAP Co., one of Kyoto’s main publishing companies started their own brand all over Japan, and later spread worldwide. The escape game fever escalated quickly and reaching Europe and overseas.

What is a real life escape room?

Exit games – officially real-life room escape games – are a multiplayer real life games where your team physically get locked in a room in order to escape from it within the specified time limit. The players must investigate the surroundings to find clues, puzzles and take part in the game together.

Games usually have a main theme and a storyline to follow. The most popular are:

  • escaping from a specific space,
  • investigating a crime/mystery,
  • fighting some sort of supernatural phenomenon,
  • solving a murder,
  • defusing the bomb.

Most of the escape games take place in indoor venues like apartments, basements, warehouses, etc. Based on the concept of the game nearly every building is suitable for hosting an escape game.

Usually you have 60 minutes to find all the clues, complete the challenge and open the door. The available time varies from 45 to 120 minutes depending on the difficulty and the storyline.

Don’t be afraid of asking hints from the game master who’s always keeping an eye on you to help out when it’s needed.

What do you need in an escape room?

The best thing about escape rooms is that you don’t have to have any special equipment (other than your brain) with you to participate. The organizers provide all the necessary tools in the rooms but they might be hidden in the game area. Just try to think logically and deduct the reason why certain objects are placed in a certain place in the room.

The aim of these games is to enjoy the time you spend with your friends and family while solving a thrilling and thought-provoking challenge. This is a new level of real life intelligent gaming.

While playing you are forced to co-operate, you can complete each other’s ideas, as the various skills of the party members can help you to complete the challenge. Exit games are recommended for team building and other corporate events. It can bring colleagues closer and let them show what they got.

And now, if you’re in a mood to play a bit, gather your family, friends or co-workers and find the room closest to you!

If you want to experience the excitement of an escape room but don’t want to be surprised, or just simply want to show off a bit in front of your friends, check out our tips for beginners. We wrote this article in order to help first timers, and maximize their experience.

Would you like to find out more about escape rooms? Check out our escape room-themed infographic full of interesting facts.