Being trapped in a room and having to solve a series of puzzles in order to find a way out under a strict time limit, would for some people, be their idea of a living hell. And yet the popularity of escape rooms has risen dramatically in the past few years, even despite films such as Escape Room and SAW depicting the terrifying possibility that they could be used for more sinister means. So why, despite going against many of our natural instincts, are people so in love with escape rooms?
Well, firstly we need to look into the fact that escape rooms are a full body, immersive, game experience and a chance for a person to become someone else for the duration of the game. Escape rooms provide their participants with a real life gaming experience, an opportunity to engage with and simulate a popular gaming scenario. Just as video games have been dubbed as ‘addictive’ due to their stimulation of adrenaline, so are escape rooms, people love a challenge and quickly get hooked on the feeling of winning and outcompeting their escape room environment. Just as we used to enjoy playing hide and seek as a child, escape rooms appeal to adults looking for fun and adventure, with the ticking time limit and background fear of being locked in adding to the excitement.
The variety of escape rooms available also play into their success, ensuring that their is a game to suit any player. You can travel back to ancient Rome, fight off zombies in an apocalypse or visit a royal palace, the escape room provides the player with the option to be a part of any number of different worlds and to form their own character within it. From fairy fantasies to zombie nightmares there’s a style of game for all age groups and any number or players, making them appealing to a wide range of people. There are even games such as tiki palace escape room, where the objective is to earn more time in room by completing the hidden puzzles. People get a buzz out of different things, for some people the fear of being in the escape room in a horror style scenario adds to their adrenaline hit and the game is no longer simply about beating the tasks or the timer but about staying alive, for others, it’s all about the mental challenge, and the complexity of the puzzles themselves.
Another important reason why escape rooms may remain so popular is their ability to be played by a group of people, encouraging a feeling of bonding and teamwork as the challenges are overcome. As a social activity with a focus on teamwork and communication they seem perfect for group activities such as a hen or stag do, birthday parties or even work based team building days, companies love them as a way to view how their employees work in high pressure situations.
In essence escape rooms are a very clever activity that taps into a human desire for social, varied, immersive games that release regular hits of adrenaline and offer a feeling of satisfaction and pleasure. No wonder they’re so popular. Have you ever tried one?