Where The Crystal Maze Meets The Pub Quiz… How Escape Rooms Are Sweeping The Nation

Do you remember ‘The Crystal Maze’, the popular TV show that saw contestants complete a series of puzzles in order to get crystals and win prizes? It may be over now, but you can relive the experience yourself without having to watch it on TV by visiting an escape room.

So what is this new craze that is sweeping the nation?

The Escape Room Boom

Escape rooms are everywhere now. And they’re not just in the UK – this is a craze that is taking over the world.

The number of escape rooms in America has gone from 22 in 2014 up to over 2,300 today. In 2013, Britain only had one escape room. Now, there are over 600. And each location has multiple games, putting the number of escape room experiences at well over 1,000. There are even escape rooms on planes now!

So what exactly are they, and why are they so popular?

Put Your Skills to the Test

Escape rooms are special rooms that are decorated to look like a prison cell, a museum, a pirate ship – or even outer space.

You enter the room with a team of a few people, usually up to about seven, and you are locked in the room. (You’re not really locked in because you can leave if you have to, but that’s the idea of the game.)

Just like in the ‘Crystal Maze’, you have to solve clues and puzzles to progress. You are given a set amount of time, which is usually 60 minutes, and if you manage to solve all of the clues, you escape from the room and complete the challenge.

If you don’t, you remain trapped in the room forever! (Not really, but it’s always very satisfying when you manage to escape.)

Release Your Inner Indiana Jones

The escape room boom has been rapid, and it’s easy to see why they have become so popular in such a short space of time.

For a start, they provide an immersive experience. The decorations, the themes and the mysteries allow you to lose yourself in the game, which is much better than watching a TV programme. When you enter an escape room, you become part of the game.

They are also a great way to test yourself and your problem-solving skills, as well as your ability to stay calm under pressure. If you are a fan of pub quizzes, an escape room takes it to a whole new level.

They are a great way to have fun with a group of friends, your family or work colleagues – or even complete strangers. You will have to work together to solve the puzzles, and this puts your teamwork skills to the test.

How to Organise an Escape Room Session

Because escape rooms have seen a boom over the last few years, organising a session is easy. All you have to do is find one nearby, and this won’t be hard as they are all over the UK, from escape room Southampton to Edinburgh.

Take a close look at the rooms available. Each escape room location will have a few rooms to choose from, so look at the types of adventure you can have. Do you want a space theme? A classic spy theme?

Do they have realistic props and decorations? The experience can range from very basic to completely immersive, so try to find an escape room where more effort has been put into making it realistic.

Finally, find some reviews. This won’t be hard because there are lots of online reviews you can read. See what other people are saying, and if it sounds like they had a great time, you can be sure you will too.

The Adventure Awaits

So, do you fancy putting your skills to the test? Then you should definitely find an escape room near you. Once you’ve found one, get your team together, book a session and enjoy an adventure that you won’t forget.

Jess Glinn

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