So, How Do Escape Rooms Work?
Picture this: You and a handful of other people are locked in a room. The space is dotted with an intriguing assortment of objects. Various pictures adorn the walls, along with cryptic scrawlings of numbers and words. All of a sudden, an announcement is made that you only have 60 minutes to escape. The group launches into a frenzied search for clues, leaving no stone (or object) unturned in an attempt to find the key that will unlock the door. The pressure mounts as time continues to slip away; will your group make it out of the room before the time runs out?
This is the thrill and magnetic appeal of what’s known as an escape room experience, a real-life adventure game that’s exploded in popularity over the past few years. The concept was first developed in Japan about 8 years ago as an experiment to turn the classic “point-and-click” online adventure games into a real-world experience.
The game swept across Asia in the ensuing years, and eventually showed up in the United States in 2012. Escape rooms have since caught fire in the U.S., earning a reputation as a fun, exciting and unique form of group entertainment for families and friends, as well as for corporate team-building functions. In fact, according to statistics published by the Escape Room Directory, there are more than 1,200 escape room facilities in 551 cities and 61 countries around the world!
So, how exactly do escape rooms work? At Cincinnati escape room venue Houdini’s Room Escape, there are three three different escape rooms (more to come!), each of which features a certain theme that puts you in an environment not unlike a real-life action-adventure movie.
Players are locked in a uniquely designed and themed room, and are required to solve a series of puzzles and riddles in order to discover the clues that will lead them to freedom. Some of these puzzles can be solved sequentially (e.g., one solution will lead you to the next clue), while others act as “mini-puzzles” that are components of a larger “meta-puzzle.” Objects in the room can serve as clues as well, but there are also times when “decoy” objects are planted in order to intentionally mislead players into a dead end.
The game is typically played by a group of 2 to 12 people, and the only way to beat the clock is to employ fast wits and a healthy dose of teamwork. If you can gather enough clues to find the key before the 60-minute time limit is up, your team wins; if not, the room may have gotten the best of you.
If you’re looking for a great way to have fun with your family or friends while engaging in an unforgettable adventure, an escape room is a great option. For companies that are looking for a morale-boosting, team-building activity, escape rooms are definitely a top consideration. The adrenaline-boosting experience will give you and your fellow participants something to talk about for months to come, and more than likely, your first experience won’t be your last!