The history of escape rooms

Are you curious about the history of escape rooms? There is no definitive answer as to who the original or official inventor was of escape room games. But what is clear is their inspiration comes from computer games based on puzzles and escape scenarios. They were a first person view of a room where you point and click to open items and solve puzzles.

They came from the East

‘Real life’ escape games originated in Silicon Valley by a group of system programmers in 2006. Indeed, it was the ‘Japan Times’ which reported that the creator of these games was Takao Kato of Scrap Publishing.

The games as we know them now started in Hong Kong in 2006 and by 2008, escape rooms could be found all over Asia. Most notably, the company Scraps opened the first ones in Tokyo, Japan, in 2008.

Takao Kato of Scrap Publishing invented the first ‘real life’ escape rooms

History of escape rooms in Europe

The first escape rooms in Europe were opened in Hungary in 2012 by the group ParaPark. Their creator, Hungarian Attila Gyurkovics, realised the most captivating aspects of the online games could be converted into a live game. So real people could be challenged to escape from a physical room.

It turns out that the only changes from the online games were the addition of a time limit of an hour to escape the room plus a multi-player option. This meant a team of up to five people could play the game at once.

Escaping in the UK

It wasn’t long before Attila’s idea was duplicated and it spread across the rest of Hungary and the rest of Europe. The first UK escape room was opened in London in 2012. At the last count there are now over 1,500 escape rooms in the UK.

So with so many escape rooms to choose from, and with them spread throughout the country, it’s hard to know which ones are the best to play. So far we have played almost 80 games around the world, but there are some enthusiasts who have played many, many more. It’s not always the best idea to simply go with number 1 on Trip Advisor. In fact, there are very few escape rooms who have bad ratings on the review site. To help you choose, below are just some of the blog sites of the keenest players around.

https://thelogicescapesme.com/

https://www.reviewtheroom.co.uk/

https://britofanescapehabit.blog/

https://escapethereview.co.uk

With the 2020/21 global pandemic bringing the world to a full stop, escape rooms had to close their doors. Similar to the hospitality industry, people were not allowed to mix indoors. However escape rooms don’t have gardens or outdoor spaces, so our time locked down was longer than most.

But that didn’t mean we all had a break for a while, most couldn’t afford too. Instead, we turned our attentions back towards the internet. We began producing online and downloadable print and play games for those missing escape rooms and for friends and family to enjoy on Zoom.

And we too managed to play our fair share. Find out about the ones we played in the blog Online games – what we thought

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The history of escape rooms

Are you curious about the history of escape rooms? There is no definitive answer as to who the original or official inventor was of escape room games. But what is clear is their inspiration comes from computer games based on puzzles and escape scenarios. They were a first person view of a room where you point and click to open items and solve puzzles.

‘Real life’ escape games originated in Silicon Valley by a group of system programmers in 2006. It was the ‘Japan Times’ which reported that the creator of these games was Takao Kato of Scrap Publishing.

The games as we know them now started in Hong Kong in 2006 and by 2008, escape rooms could be found all over Asia. Most notably, the company Scraps opened the first ones in Tokyo, Japan, in 2008.

The first escape rooms in Europe were opened in Hungary in 2012 by the group ParaPark. Their creator, Hungarian Attila Gyurkovics, realised the most captivating aspects of the online games could be converted into a live game. So real people could be challenged to escape from a physical room.

The only changes from the online games were the addition of a time limit of an hour to escape the room plus a multi-player option. This meant a team of up to five people could play the game at once.

It wasn’t long before Attila’s idea was duplicated and it spread across the rest of Hungary and the rest of Europe. The first UK escape room was opened in London in 2012. At the last count there are now over 1,500 escape rooms in the UK.

The history of escape rooms
Building a real life escape room

Bringing Spectre to life. Handmade physical puzzles for teams to solve.

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