Slumped on what to do on your next family vacation? Bored with the same routine night out with friends? Or are you just one of those people who seek the thrill of trying something new? Whatever your reasons, you definitely will not want to miss out on one of the hottest trends today: the Escape Room. Never heard of it? Here are the basics.
What is an Escape Room?
To put it simply, an Escape Room is a game. But this isn’t your typical run-of-the-mill play. While these are relatively new forms of entertainment, the concept itself dates back centuries. One of the greatest Greek myths revolved around the labyrinth – a maze where the Greek hero Theseus kills the Minotaur in order to escape. This idea of escape games was later incorporated into several video games which led to the first actual Escape Room being created by a Takao Kato in 2007 in Japan. Escape Rooms are part of the so-called “reality entertainment” which rose to popularity in recent years because of its immersive nature. These kinds of games are better known today under the umbrella term “virtual reality.” It’s an appeal to players lies in the fact that it places them in a situation that mimics true-to-life experiences. But what makes it so popular? Imagine being placed in the middle of your favorite video game. Instead of just sitting in front of a computer screen, you get to experience the action first-hand. The fun, the fear, the thrill of defeat – you experience all of it in real life.
How Escape Rooms Work
As its title suggests, the ultimate goal of the game is to escape. This is done by accomplishing a series of tasks consisting of solving puzzles, finding hidden clues, and other activities that require both mental and physical prowess. Before the game starts, you are asked to form a team, usually consisting of two or more members. Everything begins with a locked location which may consist of one or more rooms. These rooms are set-up to replicate fictional locations with different themes: a dungeon, a bunker, a jungle, or even a magic castle. Some are even scarier by simulating your favorite horror movies. With all these options, you and your teammates can choose your own adventure before entering the room. Once inside the room, a timer will start and your race against the clock will begin.
Game Play Overview
Once inside, you and your teammates will be given a set of instructions, usually with the help of an instructional video or through the personal directions of your Guide Master. While your ultimate purpose is to get out of the room, you also go through a number of side quests before actually getting the final key to escape. These side quests lead you on a real-life treasure hunt. It requires you to solve puzzles, find clues, and work together to solve the room’s mystery. But what kind of puzzles? Picture this: like a magician’s assistant, you sort through an old bookcase to find a hidden key. The painting near the fireplace contains a secret message, an anagram, that you and your friends need to rearrange to find its meaning. Behind the table, there’s a mechanical device similar to a Rubik’s cube that you must solve to get to the next room. All the while, the clock continues to tick. These are just a number of ways by which an escape room may be set up. The themes may range from whimsical fantasy stories to the horror genre. If players get stuck on a quest, they are given the option to ask for hints. But be aware that these hints are limited in number and should be used with caution. When the timer ends, the team is informed whether they win or lose.
Advantages of Escape Rooms
Because of its immersive nature, the experience of an Escape Room is unlike any other game you have played. But it’s not just all fun and games. Studies have shown that there is a direct connection between puzzle-solving games like Escape Rooms and a person’s overall health. Here is a list of 12 benefits of taking part in Escape Rooms.
1. Escape Rooms Provide your Daily Dose of Physical Exercise
If you’re the kind of person who has been struggling to stay fit but finds it hard to exercise, then consider Escape Rooms your best option. The physical tasks involved are not as strenuous as sports nor as laid back as ordinary board games. Don’t worry, there’s no jumping jacks or push-ups involved. The experience itself is similar to taking a brisk walk in the park. And the best part? Because of the fun and excitement of beating the time limit, you won’t even notice you’ve been exercising. The American Heart Association requires at least 30 minutes of daily physical exercise. And since a typical Escape Room game ranges from 45 minutes to an hour, you are getting even more than your required minimum.
2. Escape Rooms Encourages You to Explore the Use of All Your Senses
Escape Rooms heighten the players’ imaginations and stimulate the senses. Sight, smell, touch, hear, taste — all your senses have to work together to solve the puzzles in the game.
3. Escape Rooms Greatly Improve Your Memory and Decision-Making Skills
Do you pride yourself on having the ability to memorize all your friends’ phone numbers? Well in Escape Rooms, your memory and retention are put to the ultimate test. The tasks involved range from memorizing a mere number sequence to an arrangement of different shapes and pictures. Even your surroundings will require mental action, since the placement of the room may itself be a clue that you need to remember. Escape Rooms also place you in a pressured situation where your decision-making skills are put to practice, requiring you to make certain choices in a mere matter of minutes.
4. Escape Rooms Help Enhance Your Problem-Solving Abilities
The unique quests involved require you to step out of your comfort zone and put you in a situation where you have to think of the best option available for your teammates. As a result, you leave the Escape Room not only with a sense of accomplishment for being able to complete the complicated puzzles of the game, but also the comfort that you are now better equipped to solve your own real-life problems.
5. Escape Rooms are a Great Exercise for the Brain
While a bit of physical activity is involved, Escape Rooms rely more heavily on a person’s mental prowess. The game provides you with a good opportunity to keep your mind sharp and your senses alert. This is particularly true for older team players, to keep away the risks of Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and other age-related illnesses. Studies have shown that solving puzzles also decreases the chances of brain damages and keeps the cells healthy. This is one of the reasons why Escape Rooms are one of the best activities for family bonding: it benefits both younger and older members of the family alike.
6. Escape Rooms Keep You Happy
Nowadays, depression is one of our society’s most silent killers. For this reason, mental health should be one of our top priorities. And a surefire way to take care of ourselves mentally is to keep ourselves happy and fulfilled. The fun and thrill brought by Escape Rooms help you battle the risks of depression because the activities involved facilitate the release of dopamines and endorphins in your body. Both are known as our “happy hormones” because they keep you in a positive mood throughout the day and help alleviate anxiety and depression.
7. Escape Rooms Keep Your Heart Healthy
Studies have shown that most heart attacks result from an inactive lifestyle. Escape Rooms help keep you active without the unnecessary stress that ordinary exercise carries with it. As the clock ticks, while you’re playing the game, your heart rate decreases during concentration while also lowering your blood pressure.
8. Escape Rooms Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Feeling stressed at work lately? Escape Rooms are a good way to help you relax while having fun. The mental aspect of the game helps you redirect your stress into the puzzles so that you come out of the game feeling more accomplished and relaxed.
9. Escape Rooms Develop Fine Motor Skills
Fine motor skills involve good hand and eye coordination that is essential to our everyday tasks. The physical and mental activities of Escape Rooms help you practice these skills in a fun and fast-paced manner.
10. Escape Rooms Improve Your Survival Instincts
Because Escape Rooms are designed to test your physical and mental responses to certain situations all while trying to beat the timer, they provide you with the optimal opportunity to practice how you would react to real-life situations. It increases your sense of awareness of your surroundings and helps amplify your sense of self-preservation. Remember that the ultimate goal is to escape. So the next time you find yourself in a dangerous situation, finding your way out will not be as difficult.
11. Escape Rooms Help You Socialize And Communicate With Others
Let’s face it: many of us are introverts by nature. We find it hard to talk to people, especially ones we have never met before. Escape Rooms offer the perfect situation to help you socialize with others. In the game, you are brought together by the singular goal of trying to escape. Chances are, the people you are with share the same interests of puzzles and problem-solving. And because the mechanics of the game rely highly on team cooperation, communication is essential. It also gives you a chance to meet new people in a fun and unconventional way.
12. Escape Rooms Are a Great Way To Bond With Friends And Family
Perhaps the most common reason why people engage in new activities is to spend time with friends and family. Escape Rooms give you the perfect excuse to bond and to know more about each other through the interactive games involved.
Ready To Start the Fun?
Here at PlanB Escape Germany, we cater to all ages and tastes. As one of Germany’s premier Escape Rooms, we have several adventures to choose from here in Stuttgart and Karlsruhe.
The Magic University
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Then you’ll love this immersive adventure. Get to explore an ancient room full of magical artifacts. Armed with only your wand and your wits, you and your teammates will work together to defeat the evil sorcerer Baracus. Will your magic and smarts be enough to escape from his evil plan?
Imagine yourself trapped in an underground bunker surrounded by old and new technology. The danger of a chemical poison looms in the air. There’s just one catch: the fate of the world is in your hands. Do you and your teammates have what it takes to beat the clock before a nuclear Armageddon strikes?
The War Over Space
The force is strong with this one. This adventure will appeal to any Star Wars fan, engaging you in a battle of the galaxies. You and your teammates will decrypt alien technology and solve the world’s greatest mysteries of space. You are humanity’s last hope. Will you fight to save the universe?
The Secret Jungle
It’s a game of life and death as you bring out your inner Indiana Jones and traverse through the thick jungle full of dangerous animals, ancient artifacts, and hidden secrets. Do you have what it takes to survive?
These are only some of the many fun and exciting choices to choose from. So what are you waiting for? Book your next adventure here with us at PlanB Escape Germany. The clock is ticking!