Escape Rooms Throughout History

by Mads

Escape Rooms have started to gain more popularity in recent years, however, did you know they’ve been around for over a decade now? It all started with Takao Kato in 2007 who created the first escape room in Japan with the company called SCRAP. It became a worldwide phenomenon, and then rapidly spread across the globe to offer the general public to be inside the entertainment, not just be a passive watcher. 


Why do people like puzzles so much?


They’re just puzzles, right? Well, that’s not entirely true. When you hear the word ‘puzzle’ the first thing that comes to mind are puzzle pieces you need to put together to create a picture, but it’s actually a lot more than that! Puzzles are filled with secrets, codes and everything that could classify as the ‘unknown’. They are a mystery and solving mysteries gives us a sense of excitement, adrenaline, and gives off the sensation of going on a treasure hunt. 


Why do we love treasure hunts? Because of the treasure, of course! There’s not a better feeling in the world than your journey being fruitful and you being able to share your successes with your friends and family. 


Where did the inspiration for Escape Rooms come from?


SCRAP may have been the first company to bring this game to live-action, but the idea itself has been around way before that. We can say thanks to the technology and video games, especially the ones where the player has to seek out clues, solve the tasks and use common sense and logic skills to progress to the next stage. 


Video games are responsible for getting the players intrigued about the format and getting hooked on them, but we can also look into pop culture, for example, The Crystal Maze (1990) and any of the Sherlock Holmes adaptations that get people excited about clues and solving mysteries. Combine those two elements and you have an escape room being born!


So really, escape rooms were just waiting for the technology to catch up to be able to provide the best entertainment possible. 


How have Escape Rooms evolved?


The most simple games will be in one room with many paper clues and padlocks. It can be quite limiting to create tasks if they do not require any technological aspect but they can still prove to be difficult, exercising every single brain cell. Since 2007 a lot has changed. Many companies have taken escape rooms to the next level with the use of tech (if it’s available, why not use it right?). This means that people can expect the unexpected. Many doors will be on maglocks (short for magnetic locks) that only open when a certain task has been solved. It gives freedom to creativity as what could this door be - a hidden bookshelf that suddenly pops open, a fridge, painting, or maybe an entire wall that just falls right in front of your eyes, letting you go through. The options are endless, but the excitement is always guaranteed. 


Technology also allows us to create more intricate and unusual puzzles, using screens, robotos, heat, 3D glasses, audio decoders, and much more! 


Does AIM use technology?


Of course! We’re not called Revolutionary for nothing! We have 2 games that are fully technological - Patient Zero 2150 (our most difficult games) and Spy Heroes (It has lasers, need I say more). You will not find a single padlock or key in any of these games. The other two - Psychopath’s Den and Hangover Deja Brew - are more on the traditional basis, but it still uses advanced tech to enhance the experience!