Everyone has their own story about how they first discovered the concept of room escapes and each story is interesting and unique as the individuals themselves. From driving past a room escape location, travelling to room escape hubs such as Canada, Singapore, Budapest and Malaysia, being inspired by The Crystal Maze tv series or being interested in board games/video games/logic puzzles. Here’s part two of what inspired some room escape bloggers to start writing. Catchup on part one here.
Name: The EGR Team
Reply: It was back in Feb or March last year, when we noticed this new ‘entertainment’ type of business in our office complex. After driving by it for 2-3 weeks, we decided to take the leap and book it. Looking back it was a very simple room, and we probably wouldn’t have given it a second thought it if we played it now., but we knew we were addicted when we escaped for that first time. After that room escapes were popping up everywhere in the city and we decided we were going to try all of them.
Reply: I first heard about true room escapes only in mid 2014, when I read that Escape Hunt was going to open in Sydney. However, I had tried something similar in about 2009 in Vegas called Las Vegas Mystery Adventures, which was the number one rated attraction in Vegas at the time on Tripadvisor. It was pretty similar to an escape room – you had to solve puzzles and open locks, hack into computers, etc, but the aim of the game was that you were private investigator “assistants” who had to solve a mystery (rather than escape a room).
The experience involved three completely different locations (each of which had several rooms, including hidden rooms) and they drove you between sites in a mini van (but you had to find the address of the next location before you could leave the location you were in). The whole experience lasted about 4 hours. It was easily the best attraction we have ever done and when I heard about escape rooms, I knew that I’d love them too.
I think the reason escape rooms are so addictive is due to the combination of the fun of hunt and seek together with mind-bending puzzles and unexpected, hidden rooms – all of which is heightened by the added pressure of a large countdown clock on the wall. I’ve now been to 10 different escape rooms in Sydney and whilst some rooms are definitely better than others, I have very much enjoyed all 10!
Reply: I first head about escaping in October 2014 but my interested started long before that, probably watching The Crystal Maze, in particular their Murder Mystery games. When I heard of “real life escape games” this is the first thing I pictured and was very excited. While the reality isn’t usually anything like that (but maybe I haven’t played the right room yet?) I still find them an incredible amount of fun.
Name: Escman League
Reply: We played our first game in Singapore back in 2013 and find room escapes exciting and addictive! As we played more games in Malaysia, we learn to appreciate the various elements that make a fun game. We like the adrenaline-rush in beating the time. And the creatively planted surprises that jump on us. We like how we’re able to spend an hour in a world, as a person, different from reality, complete with movie-quality setup. We also enjoy chatting up escape game creators, to be amazed by their passion and also learn about their inspirations. In all, it’s a great new activity we found, something we could see ourselves playing again and again!
Reply: I think I heard first about escape gaming on a geek website, and after the first room open in Paris in December 2013, we’re boardgame [players], and very curious about it. Few rooms open in France but we didn’t [find] any listing or other about the new locations and the games they proposed, and we decide to create it!
Name/s: David Spira & Lisa Radding
Reply: At the end of 2013 I was planning a trip to Budapest. As I perused TripAdvisor, there was a very highly rated thing called “Claustrophilia;” The name and five star rating warranted further investigation.
I soon figured out that it was a room escape, and immediately wanted to play, so I did some research to see if one of these things existed in New York. Escape the Room NYC had recently opened in their first location, so I gathered a group of trusting friends and fell in love with escape games
Name: Evan Wright (Co-Founder)
When did I first hear about room escapes: I became involved in the online phenomenon of room escape games much earlier than I can remember. Upon reading your website, I do remember playing games such as Crimson Room, in addition to many others. I first heard that a live room escape game had opened in the GTA when I heard about the opening of ESC-IT in Markham (Their old Beaver Creek Location). This was in 2013, I believe. I jumped at the idea of a real life room escape and quickly brought a group of my friends to do an escape. This jump-started my interest in the genre.
Why did I develop an interest: As I said, I loved the online version of the games. I’m a sucker for logic problems, I’m the type of person that has a book of logic puzzles on my nightstand to do before bed. Combining the fun of a video game with the thrill of performing one in real life was definitely a driving force in what spawned my interest. I do believe that this is the way that video games are moving, more and more towards removing the “video” and immersing us as much as possible in the game. We see this in the evolution of virtual reality for heavy gaming. We are lucky that this genre is so easily adapted from the screen to reality!
# Finally, thank you to all the room escape bloggers who participated and responded to my question.