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19th April 2018

What is an escape room challenge?

You keep hearing about this escape room challenge marlarkey and it all sounds rather daunting. Do you really want to be trapped in room? Well, wonder no more. We have the 101 on escape rooms to help you decide if you want to run for the hills or dive right in and join the bandwagon.

Escape room challenge in a nutshell

Well, not inside a nutshell – whoever came up with that saying anyway? We digress. Ultimately an escape room is an exciting new type of pass-time that is growing with legions of dedicated fans all over the country. The basis of the an escape room is encouraging a bunch of people to willingly getting trapped in a room. Locked in, typically for an hour and in order to get out, they must solve a set of growing complex puzzles.

Not a fan of being locked in a room?

Incidentally, if you’re a little claustrophobic there are some escape room type challenges around that use the same premise but are less about escaping and more about solving the clues. This includes our most popular game Lady Chastity’s Reserve, which is set in a haunted boudoir. Instead of escaping the aim is to win the wine – result. We also have an immersive street game that begins in a boozer and sets you and your team mates off on a mission around the city to solve the puzzles and save the world, using some cheeky AR technology.

Where did it all begin?

The escape room challenge experience started off in Japan and was carried over to Europe and after that hit America. If you’ve never been to escape the room, it’s a new stage of enjoyment. With a group of friends, it’s a fun-filled and frantic hour of aiming to figure out, some usually very clever clues to beat the room, escape and maybe win a bonus along the way.

The rooms are a little like video games come to life. They’re filled with gadgets and puzzles that teams – usually of two to six people – and you need to solve these puzzle so as to win and escape! Escape rooms are immersive theatre and they have and can be created almost anywhere with surprising little space. In fact a number of the very best escape rooms find  the room tucked away within a bar, so much the better as the celebrations (or commiseration) can continue right after the escape room has freed you!

What happens in an escape room challenge?

There are sufficient escape rooms to add enough range and flavour and the greatest rooms have more that one theme. Here’s how it works: A group running from two to 12 people is given the backstory and the plot by the “game master.” Now each room has its own theme and its own background story. We won’t get into the real details for you it all as that’s going to mess up the fun! But you get the story and the very first hint to get you going right before you’re left in the room to solve the puzzles.

So just imagine you have ventured deep and are stuck in the bowels of a pub in a place in London. The timer is set, the policies (for example, no breaking stuff and some obvious but best advised good sense safety reminders) are stated, the door is sealed, then it’s go time. You absorb the room and that’s when you begin to recognize the amazing detail and exactly how much of an alternate world you have just stepped into.

You take a second and then, as a group, you tear it apart, looking for hints. There are locked suitcases– exactly where do you find the combination? Books– will one provide a secret message? Broken clocks– should you pay attention to the time it’s stopped on? Mugs, flashlights, magnets, piece of art, jars, sticky notes, watches, trench coats, wigs, compasses, light fixtures, board games, playing cards. And in them or on them or under them are clues and riddles and puzzles, whose answers lead to a letter that means a number that leads to another locked box, and now it’s seeming like that will lead you to yet another clue, and an additional clue!. All the while, the clock is relentlessly ticking down the minutes.

 Unravel the clues to plan your escape!

Do you fancy being enclosed a room with a ventriloquist dummy directing your actions or how about trying to not only escape but bag your team a bottle of vintage (or likely not) wine? What do you do, how do you respond and how do your friends respond when you have just 60 minutes to escape? You can find out more about our games using the links below:

Why are escape rooms growing in popularity?

Escape rooms are definitely growing in popularity, we can see that as they are moving out from the RPG (role playing games) and video gaming fans and into the mainstream. If you think about how we exist in a world, where screens are the leading source of recreation, perhaps it’s just the kind of shake-up people now need?

Us humans have a natural wish to play games that are both social and physical. Sports have always been this way, for example.  With the march of modern technology, we moved for a while from the physical to the digital, video and computer games at first were solo endeavors and that made us turn into very solitary creatures. But now, we’re seeing the evolution of the social and the physical in games.

Just look for proof of this in the recent massive growth  of the popular console game “Call of Duty”, created with a more social component that intentionally made it possible for players to speak with other gamers playing at the same time. Then other advancements in physical engagement with games like the Nintendo Wii, a system that was based around physical activity while playing.  Even games that are single player  are being streamed or filmed and submitted to YouTube for others to watch and comment on.

Now with the next generation of virtual and augmented reality video games are including headsets that completely immerse the individual in a different world. The future of this is being looked at in the new Spielberg epic, “Ready Player One”.

Escape rooms tap into that need for the social and the physical while also giving intellectual stimulation and a bit of an excitement. Some rooms try to make the journey slightly frightening, to contribute to the rush of the time crunch.

Who uses escape rooms?

You’d think it was groups of friends in their 20’s and 30’s bored with the normal humdrum and searching for a night out with difference but that’s not the case, escape rooms appeal to a very diverse demographic. During the week, patrons might be co-workers utilizing the room as an exercise in team-building.

On the weekends, the groups are mostly friends, families or dates. It’s a great option for birthday parties, a few stag and hens are increasingly choosing to run parallel teams to challenge bridegroom against best man, and the hen parties are also following!

There is even a new trend that is starting to attract couples who intend to use the room for baby gender-reveal parties. Congrats, you escaped! Also, it’s a girl!

Unravel the clues to plan your escape!

Be prepared to lose yourself, anxiously hunting for clues to root out the missing key, the room is surprisingly full and detailed and time is wasting away and– ” Do you want a hint?

The words echo through the room and you find yourself a little shaken as you’re roused  from the adrenaline-fueled goal that had you thinking you are an adventure-movie hero. Then you recall you’re inside a game.

These rooms are bizarre and complex and hugely clever. A mix of detailed theatre set, coupled with the gamemaster, usually a real actor really does transform a plain, frequently disused spare room into something truly scary or weird, or both.

Check our games on offer in London and Brighton and get stuck in to the action.