Escape Rooms is a game concept. Similar to the other gaming entrants like Paint Ball and Laser Tag, Escape Rooms fit into a similar gaming concept.
Although it’s been prevalent since the last 4 years in Bangalore and 10 years worldwide, it has only been spreading through word of mouth and curiosity. It has already found a foothold as an outlet for corporate team building activities and party arena. Escape Rooms are not just a source of play but a place for fostering team building relationships and celebrations.
For those who need a little scoop on how and where it first started here’s some information. The earliest was in the year 2003 where the concept of Escape Rooms was first conceived where one is locked away in a room and have to escape from it after finding clues and solving puzzles. Later in 2007 it was developed in Japan, which then spread to Australia and Singapore. By 2017 as many as 8,000 Escape Rooms were developed worldwide spanning the UK, USA, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Hungary and India to name a few.
India is not lagging too far from this concept. Escape Rooms or Adventure Rooms as they are also called are located in many major cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, New Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh and Goa to name a few. Closer home, Bengaluru already has a little more than 10 Escape Room.
Why are they trending or is it just a fad? As the concept had already caught on overseas and escape room- stayed videogames were already played, they are now the future! The 80’s and 90’s had game shows which were telecast on cable TV back then called Adventure Games and The Crystal Maze. They were hugely popular shows which had a loyal fan following. The games were very much discussed by children and adults alike. The format of these shows gave birth to a similar concept of escape room -styled video games which have now metamorphosized to an indoor adventure game- Escape Room.
Escape Room provide a thrilling experience of solving mysteries and puzzles by finding clues hidden around a room to finally escape out within 60 minutes. They form a more interesting detective like gaming experience which is more interactive than reading a murder mystery novel or solving them on the internet. If you want to play in an Escape Room there are innumerous themes that one can choose from- like a treasure hunt for an ancient King for the less adventurous ones, catching a diamond thief, breaking open the vault of a bank, excavating a treasure from the tombs of Egypt, solving a murder case, freeing a kidnapped child and so on. All these games can be played by a group of 3-7 participants of any age group starting from 5 years and above. These story lines make for interesting discoveries to enhance the experience of the participants. They are an indoor styled game activity which has all the drama since the rooms are aesthetically styled with props so participants can get a real feel of the game. This is the main difference between the gaming experience of an Escape Room vis a vis a Paintball or Laser Tag. Escape Room are a different genre but in the same league of indoor adventure games.
Earlier in the decade, Bowling became extremely popular when it was introduced. It was a place to hang out with friends after college, work or have a celebration there. Apart from the traditional games like cricket, football, chess, carrom, badminton, Uno, Scrabble, Pictionary etc. new military- styled games like Paintball and Laser Tag came up in the last 5-7 years in our City. Paintball and Laser Tag are competitive sports played in teams with an opponent. The former uses an air weapon which has a dye-filled gelatin capsule used for hitting the opponent to score a point and the latter with infra- red sensitive gun beams. Both these games have gained popularity with children and adults. It isn’t strenuous like other traditional outdoor games like cricket or football, but a lot of fun can be had. It’s played in a closed arena and participants wear vests and strike their opponents with these hand- held devices.
Escape rooms are similarly played in a closed environment but it’s more of a mental activity. They are not competitive rather one only competes with time to finish the task. It makes one think out of the box. It tests your capacity to think more making one realize their limitations. Bowling, Paintball, Laser Tag are more competitive in nature as one emerges victorious by striking down the opponent or scoring more points than the other. Paintball and laser tag are usually enjoyed by kids and adults, Escape rooms welcome even Senior Citizens. As running around or climbing over is not required at Escape Rooms, it’s all about tactics, searching for clues and puzzles hidden around in different locations in the room and solving the case. Its a game that can be played with parents, grandparents and children which makes it viable to all.
What one learns during a game of Bowling, paintball or laser tag vis a vis Escape Rooms is very different. While an experience at a Bowling, paintball or laser tag center is more focused towards scoring points or striking down opponents, at an Escape Room center you focus on teamwork. It’s about cheering each other and encouraging each other when one has contributed to the search or helped solve a puzzle. It’s about when all participants work as a team trying to beat the clock. Ones’ alertness, how quick you are in searching for clues, ability to come up with assumptions or solutions quickly are all tested. These are some real-life skills being developed while playing Escape Room.
Escape Room are the only indoor games that has mystery written all over. Mysteries have a certain enigma and thrill about them making them special from other indoor adventure games. So, if you enjoy this genre you will most certainly enjoy playing the game too!