Escape room

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File:Real life escape(Japan).jpg
A real-life room escape game at Ajito of Scrap in Tokyo

Real-life room escape games are a type of physical adventure game in which people are locked in a room with other participants and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles, find clues, and escape the room within a set time limit. Some games include sub-plots.[1] The games are based on "escape the room" video games in which the player is locked inside a room and must explore his or her surroundings in order to escape. Players must be observant and use their critical thinking skills to escape the room. Other inspirations include adventure board games and movies.

Weekend or day event escape games have been held in the United States, Europe, Australia and a number of Asian countries. In the 2010s, real-life room escape games became popular in the United States, Japan, Taiwan and mainland China. Each game integrates local concepts or original themes to settings. For example, some games require you to escape prison cells, space stations[2] or werewolf villages.[3]

Permanent real life escape games in fixed locations were first opened in Europe[citation needed] (Switzerland and Hungary) and followed later in North America, Asia and Australia. Notable organisers include The Escape Hunt Experience, clueQuest, HintHunt, Puzzle Break and AdventureRooms.


The earliest real-life room escape, "Origin", was created in Silicon Valley by a group of system programmers in 2006.[4] The mysteries and challenges in the game were inspired by the works of Agatha Christie and became a popular tourist attraction.[5] As early as in 2006, real-life escape games also emerged in Hong Kong as group activities for secondary school students organized during joint school camps.[citation needed]

Real Escape Game (REG) in Japan was developed by 35-year-old Takao Kato,[6] of the Kyoto publishing company, SCRAP Co., in 2008. It is based in Kyoto, Japan and produces a free magazine by the same name. Over 200,000 participants have played the Real Escape Game in Japan, China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, and the United States since SCRAP was established.[citation needed]

Escape games appeared in Singapore from late 2011, where a group produced an installment known as "Volume 1: Escape from the Mysterious Cathedral".[7]

In 2013, Enigma Productions, of St. Louis, Missouri began staging real-life room escape games called "Trapped: A St. Louis Room Escape".[8] Participants have 60 minutes to work together and solve a series of kinesthetic, linguistic, numerical or logic-based puzzles in order to access the escape key. Two rounds of the game have been produced, with a third in the works for August 2014.[9]

In 2013, Lisa Thomas franchised the Swiss Adventure Rooms game system and brought it to Canada.[10] It has since expanded through out Ontario.[11] In 2014, Tim Nicolas Tang converted his 250-level online puzzle game the Tim Tang Test into a room escape game in Richmond, known as Escape Key.[12]


The South China Morning Post described the real-life escape games as a hit among "[h]ighly stressed students and overworked young professionals."[citation needed] Sometimes the excitement becomes a bit much, though, and players get so invested that they tear down equipment or decorations inside their "fake" prisons, as Zhu Yumeng, chief operating officer of Beijing room escape game site Taoquan told China Daily.[citation needed]

Hong Kong room escapes have been reviewed by local journalists as an attempt to escape the living conditions of the city.[13]


  1. ^ Locked up, The game with no escape by Mario Hugo August 2013 Wired
  2. ^ "[Vol 6] Escape from the Moon Base". Real escape game in Singapore. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  3. ^ "Escape from the Werewolf Village in LA". Real Escape Game by SCRAP. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  4. ^ "真人密室逃脫 | accessdate = 2013-04-03". Baidu. 17 February 2013.
  5. ^ "Real escape game popular young people entertainment new favorites". Newzstreet. 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2013-04-01.
  6. ^ Corkill, Edan (2009-12-20). "Real Escape Game brings its creator's wonderment to life". Japan Times. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  7. ^ Marinho, Natalie (2012-01-31). "The Real Escape Game in Singapore". recognitionpattern. Retrieved 2013-03-31.
  8. ^ "Trapped: More Information on A St. Louis Room Escape". Enigma Productions. Retrieved 13 September 2014.
  9. ^ Wicentowski, Danny (2014-04-17). ""Real Escape Rooms," the diabolical Japanese puzzle game, comes to St. Louis". Riverfront Times. Retrieved 2014-07-20.
  10. ^ {{ | url =}}
  11. ^ name = "CTV news">"Adventure Rooms". Kitchener.
  12. ^ "Popular riddle site developer opens unique real-life puzzle experience". Vancity Buzz. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  13. ^ "Real-life escape games offer respite from daily stresses| accessdate = 2013-04-10". South China Morning Post. 2013-02-13.

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