It’s been fascinating to see how the escape room ‘movement’ has progressed since my first experience over 6 years ago.
Initially rooms were relatively simple with key or combination pad locks being used to progress the players through the room.
Much like the coffee market, there are some companies which simply look to churn as many people through to increase revenue by mass production - think Starbucks. This was evident during my recent experience at an escape room in Melbourne. It was relatively bare bone being able to cater for corporate groups of up to 6 vs 6. It was still enjoyable however the theme or atmosphere of the room was very low. There was no story line and I felt like there were just puzzles for the sake of having puzzles. We blitzed the room however walked out feeling something was…. missing.
Back to my coffee analogy, if you’re looking for a greater experience where the beans are freshly roasted and the milk is steamed to perfection, you’ll start searching for the boutique or neighborhood cafes with the special beans and end up getting that repeat business.
Now with puzzle/game designers now able to leverage software, electronics and other automation, the escape room experience has evolved and it now really is the case of ‘the sky is the limit’. The types of puzzles has now broadened and the user experience is greatly enhanced. When that timer starts, you really do feel like you’re in a new world.
Yes it may cost just that little bit more, but at the end of your day - life’s too short for bad coffee.