What is an Escape Room?

With each passing month, escape rooms are becoming more mainstream. They are rising in the public consciousness, particularly as families and groups looking for fun activities to do together. But some people are new on the escapist scene. So, we asked Arcadia Adventures to explain the basics of these themed activities. Below, we pass this information on to you.


What is an escape room?

Escape rooms are a group activity. Ideally, your group of participants should include between two and five people. In some facilities, you can choose from a menu of experiences, themes or adventures. The room you must escape is based on the theme.

Common themes for these experiences include:

  • Prison cells
  • Theatres
  • Archaeological dig sites
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Pirate ships
  • Spies

Young family is visiting of escape room stylized under chessboard.

Regardless of the theme, your goal is to escape the room within a specific time period. The time typically ranges from 30 to 60 minutes, with hour-long experiences being the most common. If you cannot solve the puzzle or just want to leave, you are able to do that. It is simply a game you play with the so-called winners being those who make it out of the room by properly solving the puzzle within the allotted time period.

Escape room experiences are excellent team-building activities. You can work together to find clues, figure puzzles out, explore the spaces and solve the room dilemma. It is a full-immersion type experience that takes you away from worries of everyday life or outside stress.

Teamwork is critical for getting the most from your escape experience. Individual talents come into the light, enabling everyone to work together. You learn more about each other at the same time. If you get stuck at one or more points during your experience, the gamemaster is typically stationed just outside the door to provide some help.


Who can participate in an escape room?

Most of these rooms require participants to be a minimum age for participation without parents. But younger kids, typically as young as eight or ten years old, can often enjoy the game alongside their parents. Check your chosen escape room facility for ages.

Of course, many of these games are complex and require quick thinking that taps into life experience. This makes it difficult for younger children to enjoy themselves, particularly in light of being within a confined space for an hour at a time. Otherwise, people from all backgrounds can have a great time. Despite their themes, the rooms do not involve scaring or stressing out participants.


Necessary Skills for Escape Room Success

Most of these rooms require a basic understanding of the local language and math. In addition to these capabilities, you will also tap into your intuition, deductive reasoning skills and logic. Sometimes pop culture awareness fits into particular themes, too. The gamemaster can help if you get stuck.


Origins of Escape Rooms

Interactive video games were the beginnings of the escape room concept. Myst and Crimson Room are two Japanese-made video games that became popular in 2004 and beyond. Game developers soon realized that the game interaction could be replicated in real-life settings using the same types of adventure themes.

The first escape room was designed by a Japanese company in 2007. Called “Origin,” this room was based on Agatha Christie’s mystery novels and put participants in the roles of detectives. Using this concept as a template, the first official escape room opened in Hungary. Around 2012, these games started popping up in North America. Now, there are thousands of these game facilities spread out in Canada and the U.S. and around the world.


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