South Korea: Room Escape Cafes or Escape Rooms?

room_escape_cafe

What’s the escape room industry like in South Korea?

In South Korea, the prevalent term used is “room escape cafe” or “room escape” to describe their business. While the word “escape room” is still in usage, it’s used less often and the results can be seen at the bottom of this blog post.

room escape cafe – 방 탈출 카페 (bang talchul kape)

escape room – 이스케이프 룸 (iseukeipeu lum)

 

The first escape room launched in Seoul, South Korea in May 2015 and there are currently over 50 escape room businesses in the country as of March 2016. It’s become a popular hobby for people and there are escape room enthusiast groups too – “the “RS mystery club” also serves as an important consultant or quiz-makers for many room escape cafes. They meet regularly, develop quizzes based on information they shared, and provide useful tips in creating new themes – Source.

In South Korea, escape rooms are usually private ticketing – book the session and only your group of friends play the escape room. Prices for escape rooms start from around 20,000 won per person
($17 USD, £13 GBP) but it varies depending on the number of people and discount sites such as Coupang and Ticketmonster.

 

Recently Intervirals asked on Reddit for any information about escape rooms in South Korea and this was the best comment, thanks to user /u/uReallyShouldTrustMe –

“Whenever something starts up in Korea and sticks, a million more try to take a piece of the market share and start with promotional deals.

Generally, only the ones in Itaewon, Sinchon, Gangnam, Myeongdong, and Hongdae are English friendly. Some also have availability in Chinese or Japanese.

Some places have English explanations, but the staff doesn’t speak English which makes “hints” quite difficult. About 90% do not offer English at all.”

 

Where is the best escape room to play in South Korea?
Redditors recommended Seoul Escape’s Hongdae branch and the room – Chairman’s Office numerous times for good design, entertainment value and for being friendly to english speakers. Also to note, Seoul Escape is highly rated on TripAdvisor with visitors.

Did you know?
While researching escape rooms in South Korea – an article mentioned private detectives aren’t allowed to legally practice in South Korea. This is due to legislation that hasn’t been approved by the government. As escape rooms require deductive reasoning skills – it must be interesting for South Koreans to experience what it feels like to be a detective.

===

* South Korea: Escape Room vs. Room Escape Terminology *
Seoul Escape – Escape Room
Code K – Escape Room
XEscape – Escape Room
The Q Escape – Escape Room Cafe
Cube Escape – Escape Room Cafe

Esc – Room Escape
Ex-Cape – Room Escape
Sherlock Holmes – Room Escape
Mystery Room Escape – Room Escape
Room Escape Busan – Room Escape
Escape Cube – Room Escape
Mirror Escape – Room Escape
The Clue – Room Escape / Room Escape Cafe
Open The Door – Room Escape Cafe
Beat Phobia – Room Escape Cafe

===
Results
Escape Room: 5/15
Room Escape: 10/15

Notes:
– Small sample size of South Korean escape room businesses that could be found on Google
– If a business clearly mentioned the word cafe on their website or social media it was noted
– With help from Google Translate  ❤

– Essa  🙂

 

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2 thoughts on “South Korea: Room Escape Cafes or Escape Rooms?

  1. Tara December 18, 2016 at 12:14 pm Reply

    There are a lot more escape rooms in Korea than just Seoul. The town I live in which is not a huge city hast about 6 alone. Escape rooms are huge here.

    • Essa December 18, 2016 at 9:22 pm Reply

      It’s really cool to hear that escape rooms are popular in South Korea as well!

      Definitely agree there’s plenty of escape rooms outside of Seoul – it’s sometimes hard to find info on them due to the language barrier. – Essa

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