Escape Room Chronology

1980s - The Adventure Game, BBC

I challenge you to find an earlier example of a traditional escape room! The middle section of this one-hour 1980s celebrity gameshow usually included a 10-minute segment which you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish from any modern classic escape room.

1980s-90s - Point and click computer games

There are many significant parallels between the old ‘point and click’ adventure games heralded by Lucas Arts, and the escape rooms of today. Search for items in an environment, combine them, use them in clever ways to progress through a story.

1990s - The Crystal Maze, Fort Boyard

When people haven’t heard of escape rooms, the go-to explanation within the UK tends to be ‘it’s a bit like the Crystal Maze, but where your whole team is always working together’.

1990s - Puzzle computer games

Games such as Myst and The 7 th guest drew even further parallels than their point- and-click predecessors; with stronger puzzles and less guess-work.

2000s - Flash point and click games

Crimson Room (Toshimitsu Takagi) is oft described as the first true computer escape room (though MOTAS came three years earlier and had many parallels). These games placed the player in a set, within which they had to pixel-hunt for hidden items and clues and solve a variety of puzzles to progress.

2007 - SCRAP Japan

The first documented ‘escape room’ opens in Kyoto, Japan. It was a little different to the traditional escape rooms we know and love today, hence many believing that Budapest was the original birthplace. SCRAP is still a popular brand on Escape Room in Japan and America.

2011 - Parapark, Budapest

Escape games came to Europe with the creation of Parapark in Hungary. Often mis- quoted as the first escape rooms, it was however the start of a prosperous journey into Europe which grew exponentially to the.

2012 - First room in USA

SCRAP/ Real Escape Game

2013 - First room in UK

Hint Hunt, London. Still available near Euston in London!

2015 - TV popularity!

Big Bang Theory characters play an escape room. Race to Escape: a US TV show pitting two teams against each other in made-for-tv escape rooms.

2017 - World championship

Redbull hosts an Escape Room-esque World Championship in Budapest called ‘Mindgamers’.

2018 - Steady growth and hybridisation!

By 2018 there are over 3000 locations and 10000 games in the US and 1250 games in the UK, with many thousands across Europe and beyond. Escape games are widely considered an individual game genre.

Escape rooms have been used to promote movies (Tomb Raider 2018), and are being created for popular entertainment franchises (Sherlock, Doctor Who). Escape room elements are also popularly combined with interactive theatre, alternative reality, VR.

If you would like to see what all the fuss is about, why not book into one of Escapologic’s award-winning escape rooms!

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